I've been wanting a 2" belt sander for some time but most on the market are flimsy, low HP, and tracking is always needing to be adjusted. I found some 1 HP flange mount motors at https://www.surpluscenter.com for under $50 so I designed around them. I had some scrap 1/4" plate and 3" x 3/8" angle so this is what I ended up with.
This is the "mule" build that I gave to a friend who turned the wheels. (I am without a lathe right now and looking for one.) With The 1 HP motor, this sander can really remove metal fast.
I will post more detailed photos later of the sander I kept, and the stand that I built for it.
My wheels were both grooved to the same dia of 3.75". The circumference of that dia =3.75 x 3.1416 (Pi) = 12.81" So a 48" belt - 12.81 = 35.19" That divided by 2 = 17.6" the center-to-center distance.
I used a 1" OD x 4" long spring inside the 1.25 sq tube to get the proper belt tension. For a 2" wide belt 3M recommends 40-50 lbs of force. If you know the spring rate, you can then determine how much it must be compressed to get the right belt tension. I designed around this compressed spring length but also put an adjusting screw under it so someday as the spring ages my grandkids can tighten it up.
Another option if you already have your wheels & belt is to have someone hold the belt tight with the wheels and then measure the center-to-center distance.
Happy building !
Neat work! It sure looks pretty.
I think that build will last for your grand- grandkids too.... I designed around this compressed spring length but also put an adjusting screw under it so someday as the spring ages my grandkids can tighten it up.
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