Edge belt sander mode
Having modified the belt tension and tracking mechanism, I was finally ready to build a base and table allowing this sander to be used as an edge belt sander.
The idea was to lie the sander on its side and have a height adjustable table in front of it. Here showing how the pieces will go together.
I drilled a 3/8" hole on either end of the slot, but drilled two overlapping holes where the cut starts so I can start the jigsaw blade right on the edge of the slot.
I needed two threaded knobs, like this one borrowed from my tilting router lift
I printed out 1:1 templates for the knobs from my CAD model, then cut them out on the bandsaw. I drilled a shallow hole on one side of the knob to recess a carriage bolt head, then drilled a hole for the bolt to pass through.
After that, I put some construction adhesive below the carriage bolt head and hammered it into the knob. The adhesive isn't really necessary, just that I had an open tube of it already, so might as well use it before it goes bad.
Because I'm using recycled plywood, I have to scrape the old varnish off where the gussets glue on.
I used a piece of hardwood, and drilled two overlapping 3/8" holes to form a short slot. The hole is elongated to leave a bit of room for tilting the table sideways.
I cut that out on the bandsaw. You can see how the end of the table has a hook on it to curve around the idler roller of the sander, but this made it too awkward to get the table on and off, so I cut the hook straight.
The knobs to hold the table need to screw into something. I'm using some T-nuts in a small piece of plywood (with holes for the prongs pre-drilled). Because the threaded knobs I made were barely long enough, I needed the T-nuts to go all the way through the plywood so the knob would still reach them.
I cut the plywood to the right thickness on the table saw before adding the
Once I checked how things fit together, I realized the gussets were a bit too deep, so I shortened them on the table saw (I hadn't added the gussets in the CAD model, so I just made them "big enough").
After marking where the holes on the table need to go, I drilled them on the drill press, then put the table back on the supports and, with screws in the holes, tapped them to mark where the pilot holes need to go.
I then realized getting the base of the sander in and out of this channel was too tricky, so I beveled the inside edges of it on the table saw (also making it less deep). I used a small hand plane to cut off the sharp edges, and later also to round the inside corners a bit more to make it easier to tilt the sander out of the slot.
So far, the front edge of the sander was just resting on the nut holders that I made earlier. I made a wider rail to rest it on. This rail has two notches cut out for the nut holders, which allows them to slide side-to-side a little, but still keeps them in place.
When sanding hard near the edges of the belt, the tracking drifts to the side a little. This is probably because I made the drive roller the crowned one. In hindsight, it would have made more sense if the idler roller was the crowned roller. I'll change the plans to reflect that.
I originally figured I'd mostly use the idler roller for sanding curves because it has fewer obstructions around it.
But with dust collection on the drive roller side, it makes more sense to do most of the curve sanding on that side. So it would make more sense for that roller to be perfectly cylindrical.
Some hate the shade of green I use, but others have asked for the code for that colour. At right, the code on the can from The Home Depot, if you want them to mix the exact same colour for you.