DIY series: How to make your own power tools - Belt sander

With the Fourth of July quickly approaching, I've been bombarded by sales filers and promotional emails from all the big home improvement stores, tempting me with their great power tool sales. Although I consider myself a weekend warrior, my workshop does lack some essential tools. Then again, if I were really a master DIYer, I would just make my own power tools. In the first installment in this DIY series, we meet Matthias Wandel, the woodworking pro who decided to design and build his own belt sander.

According to Wandel: "I bought this 6x48" belt sander from a pawn shop in 1997. It's a Shopsmith attachment, on a base, with its own motor.

I had been meaning to replace it with a homemade belt sander for some time, not out of necessity, more as a challenge. I came up with a design in 2012, but never got around to building it until now.

Going through my collection of shafting and bearings, I decided to use some 12 mm shaft for the main shaft, mainly because I already had some bearings that fit it precisely. I decided to use some cheap 3/8" steel rod for the idler roller's shaft, the same stuff I used for my jointer parallelogram mechanism."

To learn more, visit Matthias Wandel's website or Popular Mechanics.