Free 173 Best Homemade Tools eBook:  
Remove advertisements
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Mod to cheap 4"x36" belt sander

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 37 Times in 5 Posts

    DanLins's Tools

    Mod to cheap 4"x36" belt sander

    I've owned this cheap Harbor Freight belt sander for 10 years, and it has always been under powered and slow. So, I replaced the 1/2 h.p. 1725 rpm motor with a 3/4 h.p. Craftsman 3450 rpm unit, and while I was working on it, decided to make a better fence (or table?)

    Simple, adjustable and easy to make from stock laying around my shop. Mod to cheap 4"x36" belt sander-20161129_164948.jpgMod to cheap 4"x36" belt sander-20161129_165107.jpgMod to cheap 4"x36" belt sander-20161129_165149.jpg This thing now has plenty of power and is quick to remove material.

    Dan Linscheid

  2. The Following 16 Users Say Thank You to DanLins For This Useful Post:

    Andyt (05-22-2018), billster (01-13-2018), drivermark (04-28-2018), Iconoscope (12-01-2016), Jeff Michel (09-27-2018), mattthemuppet (11-29-2016), Moby Duck (01-14-2017), Paul Jones (11-30-2016), PJs (11-30-2016), rlm98253 (01-13-2018), rossbotics (01-15-2018), Texf1 (09-27-2018), thoms_here (01-14-2017), Toolmaker51 (12-01-2016), Tule (01-14-2018), Woodgeezr (12-23-2016)

  3. #2
    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    3,094
    Thanks
    357
    Thanked 707 Times in 644 Posts


    Thanks DanLins! We've added your Belt Sander Motor Modification to our Metalworking category,
    as well as to your builder page: DanLins's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




  4. #3
    Toolmaker51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Midwest USA
    Posts
    1,254
    Thanks
    2,568
    Thanked 1,236 Times in 715 Posts

    Toolmaker51's Tools
    Collectively, many of us are HFT tool and equipment modders. Typical of many imports, most of us relate various product shortcomings can be remedied by a creative mechanic. The mystery is why certain products aren't improved over time, and others are decent. I believe they aren't engineered and evaluated with actual oversight and consistent quality standards.
    Swapping the motor and a proper new table make it more than acceptable; operating as intended, not of just 'looking the part'. A couple weeks ago a post exhibited a lathe he improved. His comment was the designer had seen a lathe - but didn't understand it's range of use, history, successful features, or had ever used one himself.
    Parallels what many homemakers say about architects and kitchen planning...
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

  5. #4
    C-Bag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    California, central coast
    Posts
    720
    Thanks
    689
    Thanked 831 Times in 467 Posts

    C-Bag's Tools
    " I believe they aren't engineered and evaluated with actual oversight and consistent quality standards."

    Oh so true, and made in 100's of different shops all over China, all HFT is an importer, not manufacturer. And purposely made with as little automation as possible to employ as many unskilled as possible. Not just to take advantage of low wages, but to give as many workers as possible experience and a paycheck. It's the opposite philosophy as here. And this also accounts for the varying quality and why some are improved. For the most part if they are made aware and what the fix is, they are eager to fix it because it is seen as a way to make more money. Another thing that isn't necessarily like here.

    The lathe that was posted while possibly might have been an example of "not knowing" could have also been an example of how to provide the most for a fraction of the cost of a professional lathe. That seems to be overlooked in the critique. Wanting a Leblond for penny's on the $$ in a small lathe that is obviously going to be bought by a hobbyist is not the point. It getting into his hands a kit that can be improved upon as the user gains experience for a price that is more in line with what folks paid for a hobby lathe back in the 50's.

    Interesting about the homemakers and architects.....my experience has been homemakers are to blame for these huge granite covered dysfunctional showcases, the architects are only doing what their told. I mean granite? It's like owning a black car in the Dust Bowl, and expecting it to stay perfect! It is so easy to scratch it is shocking. Look at any real restaurant kitchen and they look nothing like these kitchens you see in the showrooms and not a scrap of granite to be seen. When we we redid our little galley kitchen I kept in mind my mother in law's kitchen. She started out cooking for railroad crews when she was a teen and then had a small diner for decades. And said she never worked out of anything bigger than what we have. It didn't matter if it was serving 4 or 40 , it was all about the stove (late 40's O'Keefe & Merritt) and having everything within steps of the fridge. No islands, no giant counters, no granite, all in 1/4 of the space of typical modern kitchen.
    Last edited by C-Bag; 12-02-2016 at 05:27 AM.

  6. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to C-Bag For This Useful Post:

    Moby Duck (01-14-2017), PJs (12-02-2016), rlm98253 (01-13-2018), Toolmaker51 (12-02-2016)

  7. #5
    [email protected] tonyfoale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    502
    Thanks
    211
    Thanked 864 Times in 266 Posts

    tonyfoale's Tools
    I made exactly those same mods to my identical sander. Larger motor and better fence.
    My attitude to much of the stuff from the orient is to regard it as a kit of parts only assembled with chewing gum screws to keep it together for transport. Dismantling, sometimes remachining, cleaning and reassembly with real fasteners should all be regarded as part of the buying experience. Bought with that viewpoint there is often little to complain about.
    A recent example, for quite a while I had a cheap variable angle vice for the mill or drill. It had served me OK for a while but I had a job which was fairly critical so I checked the vice out first. It was terrible. The hinge pin was way out of wack both horizontally and vertically. The fixed vice jaw and the base weren't square to anything etc. A couple of hours machining and general playing about had it in excellent shape. Of course the best solution is to always buy best quality tools, and several decades back when I had a business making race motorcycle chassis I found that it was the most expensive quality tools that were the ones that made the most money. However, now all my workshop work is for me alone with no question of earning money from it and the economics of tool purchase are very different. Although sometimes I lash out and spend a bit more. I have a couple of Indian made boring heads and they have worked reasonably well, even though one needed a bit of fettling first. About a year ago I bought a near new Narex boring head at over 20x the price of the Indian ones. At the time i thought about what else I could have spent the money on, but that is forgotten now and I don't think about that when using the tool, it is so much nicer. No regrets, after all it's only money, right?

  8. #6
    Frank S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Peacock TX
    Posts
    2,938
    Thanks
    547
    Thanked 2,566 Times in 1,287 Posts

    Frank S's Tools
    Sometimes the most expensive tool is the best choice for being modded. In the case of knuckle busting wrenching for a living for a while I found that the best open&close ended combo wrenches to mod turned out to be Snap-on. Mostly because as a simple spanner they suck They might not break or spread out when you pull on the really hard but that is because of 2 things. First they are made of high quality steel but mostly it is because even if you wear heavy welding gloves the body of them is thinned down so far that even the perfectly rounded edge is sharp enough to cut through leather and pull the hide off of a Blacksmith's hand. However this also makes them the perfect choice for heating and bending to shapes not offered by any manufacture. Being extra slim allows them to reach into tighter places than most any other wrench,
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  9. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I purchased the HFT 6"Disc/4"belt sander similar to this sander. You are 100% correct in that it is underpowered and the table on this machine is horrible. Changing the belt sander belt takes a solid 45 minutes and everything on the disc sander has to be re-squared. It was so frustrating to use the disc sander, I recently purchased a larger 12" Disc Sander and have relegated the HFT sander to my "rarely used" tools. Seeing this modification, I may get it back out and modify it. I have a spare 3450 1hp motor so if the speed isn't too bad, I may make at least this change. Thank you for the idea.

  10. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    13
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 37 Times in 5 Posts

    DanLins's Tools
    You are most welcome, and thanks for the kind words. I've used this upgraded sander now for over a year and it is much improved. More power & speed, and the ability to be more stable and accurate is also a plus. Also, it doesn't try to wander around on the bench since I added that 1/2" thick steel plate under it.

    Dan L

  11. #9
    Jon
    Jon is online now Jon has agreed the Seller's Terms of Service
    Administrator Jon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Colorado, USA
    Posts
    13,678
    Thanks
    2,712
    Thanked 5,939 Times in 2,180 Posts
    It's been a little while since I plugged my HF tool modification post: Homemade tools made with Harbor Freight tools

  12. #10
    Toolmaker51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Midwest USA
    Posts
    1,254
    Thanks
    2,568
    Thanked 1,236 Times in 715 Posts

    Toolmaker51's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by DanLins View Post
    You are most welcome, and thanks for the kind words. I've used this upgraded sander now for over a year and it is much improved. More power & speed, and the ability to be more stable and accurate is also a plus. Also, it doesn't try to wander around on the bench since I added that 1/2" thick steel plate under it.

    Dan L
    1/2" plate lol. At 20 pounds per square foot, that'll hold most anything down.....even when they aren't well balanced.
    https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/s...ht-d_1561.html
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •