Introduction: Making a Sanding Belt From an Old Bike

About: Just your average engineering student.

It's the end of summer

I'm looking for a project to do. Maybe something with that old bike in my side yard. I think i'll turn it into a sanding belt. First I better make a list of what i'll need. I don't have much in my house but I be able to throw something working together! If I have any extra paint I can even make it look cool. This has always been an idea of mine but I have never once seen it done online. So I decided to do it myself. Now you can too!


•Old Bike

•Sanding paper

•Wood (for supports)




•Very strong glue


•Dremel(usefully but not 100% necessary)

scrap wood is fine just make sure its about 4-5' long. For the paint and everything else, I was using all scrap/leftover stuff I had laying around my garage so if you go to the store and buy anything your sander will turn out quite a bit better then mine.

basic woodworking tools and a tool box should be fine. if you normally work on small projects like this you should have all the tools handy.

Step 1: Striping the Bike

Before you start turning your bike in to a sanding belt you will need to remove some pieces, all of the pieces. Simply put strip the bike of everything. You wont need most pieces, but if you plan on turning this back in to a bike you might want to keep them. However if you are not going to use this as a bike ever again there are still a few pieces you will need to keep.

some things to keep:

•back tire


•back brakes

•back gear system

I made the mistake of removing the back brakes and gear box(wire?) This means that I have to manually change the gears and that they sometimes slip off, stopping my sanding. If you want to have the back brakes you can. However they are not necessary. I removed them so I could also remove the handlebar's reducing the weight of the sanding belt.

Step 2: Turn the Back Wheel Into a Sanding Wheel

To make the back wheal capable of sanding we need to prepare it so that sandpaper will stay on it. I did this simply by running a long piece of duct tape along the circumference of the wheel. I created a small U shape so that sandpaper will fall in to the curve and not slip out. Now a correctly sized piece of sandpaper will stay put and if you want to be extra studious you can use some double sided tape when ever you put on new sandpaper.

Step 3: Creating the Support

This piece will keep the back wheel from touching the ground each end goes on the axis of the bike, where the bolts that keep the tire on are kept. This essentially turns the bike in to a stationary bike. if you happen to have a stationary bike at home that you don't need that it would be an even better option to turn in to a sander then a normal bike.

It is a simple U shape that is a little taller than the back wheels radius. Creating it is easy. you cut your wood so that the piece is slightly longer then the radius of the back wheel. Second measure and cut a bottom piece to connect longer two together. I used 4 screws to keep the pieces together. i was using spare wood and screws but for those that want to know the wood was a 3/2" by 3/4" piece of scrap wood. and the screws were self drilling 1 &1/4" screws. i drilled a 3/4" hole in the top end of one side of the U. This helped me keep the whole thing together.

Step 4: Sand Paper!

We are going to need some sand paper. I made some makeshift sandpaper out of pieces I found in my garage, however it's not to pleasing to the eyes, and its function is far from usable. I recommend measuring your bike tire and then buying sand paper that fits it. Remember you only need it to be 1 inch thick. Also you can buy the custom sandpaper online. That might help as bike tires differ in circumference.

Step 5: Painting Time! (optional)

Using spare spray paints that were laying around my garage, I painted the bike a half dark and half light grey. the reason for the half and half is because I ran out of one of the colors half way through. I would have loved to only use the dark grey paint.

Step 6: Problems Along the Way, and Their Solutions

I ran into a few problems. Here's to hoping you don't!

First: The back gear box prevented one end of the support from reaching the bolt on the bike. To fix this I had to cut it down and ended up gluing the bike to the support. Next time I would create a custom support rather then this weird makeshift one.

Second: The seat was very hard to sit in while facing backward. I loosened the bolts that changed the angle of the seat and fixed this. But it was still hard to balance. Also I need to be near a wall or table to use the sander. I should make the supports bigger next time.

Third: The front of the bike kept turning and this made the bike fall over. I added a piece to the bottom of the front axis.

Step 7: (Re)Assembly!

Here you can see how the support was attached to the rear wheel.

Finally! The last step is to simply put everything together. For me this means putting on the back tire and gluing the supports on. I hope you have fun making this. I sure did!

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