I have the same sander with the same shortcomings. I also found that when trying to plumb my shop vac into the dust collection port on the back, that when the vac was turned on, the belt would not turn... there was not enough clearance between the belt and the port to get adequate airflow, and not enough torque in the stock motor to overcome the suction. Ultimately, I just wound up scrapping the back of the unit and the flimsy plastic disc sander portion, swapped out the motor with an old craftsman, and bent up a slightly better 'table' that will ultimately have to be replaced with something like the one you built here.
Thanks for the tips!
Woodworking (and plain old tinkering is just a hobby for me so I can seldom justify the purchase of "top shelf" equipment.
HF stuff fits my budget and my learning curve. I have no family to pass on any "heirloom tools" (But I do own two
Kirby Vacuums...one is used for the "front end" of my dust collection system) so I buy HF and look for mods like these.
Mine is a Craftsman branded import, plank mounted with soft rubber feet. Iffy at first, using good 2x42 belts biggest improvement. I don't care for the disk, available grits at 6" diameter are unsatisfactory. I'm no Tuomas, but right angle grinder works fine.
...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...
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