After pricing specialty tools made for welding flat urethane belts, i decided to make my own. I have a kit for welding round, V and flat belts up to 1 1/2" and needed a tool for welding 2" flat belts. It was a one time job and the tools for doing this cost $300-$400.
List of parts purchased.
1 - Locking C-Clamp *deleted link to clamp (had issues with clamp, self adjusting feature turned out to be more of a hindrance than a benefit. a standard non self adjusting locking clamp should be used)
1 - 1/8" x 1 1/2" x 2' Aluminum Angle Stock
1 - 1/8" x 1" x 2' Aluminum Flat Stock
1 - Package of 4 1/4-20 Wing Nut
4 - 1/4-20 Round Head Machine Screws
4 - 10-32 Round Head Machine Screws
4 - 10-32 Nuts
4 - 10-32 Flat Washers
4 - 10-32 Lock Washers
The Locking C-Clamp wasnt the easiest thing to drill, so you will need a good sharp drill bit. If i was to do this again or if i was doing this for a tool i would be using all the time, i think i would have substituted the Aluminum with Steel to make it a little more durable and to be able to tap holes in the angle brackets and thread the screws in permanently.
This instructable is to just give others an idea and let them make it any way they choose. I didnt have much for machine shop tools and i had to use a hack saw to cut the aluminum stock and a hand drill to drill all the through holes.
Of course the hack saw walked a little bit and the corner brackets didnt come out all that square. Not a big deal and it doesnt affect the tools operation.
Total cost was around $40. If you have some stock laying around in your shop or at work and a locking C clamp, this can be a very low cost option to paying the big bucks from Eagle, Durabelt or the like.
Of course you will need a 2" flat welding iron or one for whatever width belt your trying to weld. I have a 1 1/2" one that came with the Eagle Kit i have and will be trying to use it to do the 2" belt. Im pretty sure itll work. If not the 2" welding irons are about $70
Edit: Got to use the tool today. It worked great after making some modifications to allow the welding iron to easily reach the belt. See new pictures above. I was welding the belts in place and the pull of the belt caused it to close before the clamp ends touched. I had to adjust its tension almost to max in order for it to work. I like the concept of the self adjusting feature but it wasnt the right tool for this project. Live and learn. Otherwise the tool worked great and i was able to use the 1 1/2" welding iron to weld the 2" belts. It took a light touch when gripping the clamp and i had to quickly slide the iron across the belts in order to keep them hot enough to weld.
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