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Shop-Made Strip Sander

I recently needed a strip sander for a small project I was working on.  I never needed one prior to this and wasnt sure of how much Id need one once I completed the project.  After pricing 1 and 2 models from Craftsman and Delta, I decided to build one.  (Im not cheap, just frugal . . . and always on the lookout for a project that will challenge my problem-solving skills.  This is the fifth shop made jig Ive built.) 

I purchased a package of 1 x 42 belts from Sears, two pieces of redwood lumber from Home Depot and a few nuts and bolts from my local Ace Hardware.  All other parts came from my scrap/spare parts bins.   

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Strip Sander Image 1 
(Click images for a larger view)

My Shopsmith powers the strip sander.  I fastened a piece of timber to a 3-3/4 faceplate and turned a capstan with a 1 recessed groove to accommodate the belt.  I stretched two rubber bands around the recess to provide extra traction for the belt. 

 To ensure the belt always had adequate tension, I attached a pivot arm to a vertical support with springs. 

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Strip Sander Image 2 

I also turned an idler pulley with a 1 recessed groove.  This pulley has a length of O.D. high-speed steel as an axis.  This shaft rotates inside of two I.D. copper sleeves, which are held in place by two setscrews.  The high-speed steel shaft was reduced slightly (using sandpaper) to ensure it wouldnt bind or create excessive heat inside the copper sleeves. 

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Strip Sander Image 3 

 

The strip sander works great and only cost about $17 (and I have some redwood left over for my next project!)