The Mother of All Belt Grinders

It seems like everyone is building belt grinders these days. You might think [Jeremy Schmidt] is just hoping on the bandwagon, but you’d be wrong. He took a full two years to design the perfect belt grinder for his needs. Now he’s built his perfect beast, and we must say, it’s quite impressive!

[Jeremy] had seen grinders which can tilt, but most of them tilt the entire machine, including the table. He designed his machine with an independent table. This means the belt can be placed at any angle, while the table remains flat. He’s achieved some really interesting finishes with a course grind on a 45-degree angle to the workpiece.

No build is without its problems. In [Jeremy’s] case it was building the box which acts as a receiver for the machine and the tables. Regular square tube stock wasn’t quite rigid enough, so bar stock was the way to go. The first attempt at building the box resulted in a warped tube, due to the stresses of welding. [Jeremy] was more careful the second time, moving from section to section of the four welds. This kept the heat from building up, and the box stayed straight.

The final result is an incredibly rigid machine which definitely will withstand anything that [Jeremy] can throw at it.

If you want to see more belt grinders at work, check out [Bob]’s treadmill belt grinder, or [Mike’s] conversion.

28 thoughts on “The Mother of All Belt Grinders

      1. I work with a 12″ aluminium wheel @1700rpm and I have a wooden backstop to catch parts when they fly off the wheel. Also use a grinder without guards. And a hand held belt grinder. Get me some Ppe that has no optical effects and I might use it. When you work with equipment all day you know how close you can get.

  1. You would be horrified at the high percentage of guys in the building trade who remove the guards off of 4″ angle grinders, a lot of them opt for the safety squint instead of glasses also.

    1. big problem everywhere. people seem to think they just have to take the guard off. angle grinders are extremely dangerous when used in the wrong position. had one out in the shipyard kickback and cut up a man’s face badly. kickback is from using the grinder straight on and without the side handle. you really need two hands on the machine for control.

      1. Seen an angle grinder literally jump from a guys arm, only to land on it a second later… damage wasn’t too bad, didn’t even need stitching, but the dude definitely had a lot more respect to the tool after this incident :P

  2. Well done! Is mentioned you should probably design a sefety shield around the exposed rear of the belt. All it needs to be really is some expanded metal bent to keep the belt from being hit from the side to protect the belt itself. When belts fail the only real risk to the operator is from the torn end whipping off the front. A little flap of steel just above the front upper roller will prevent that. Again well done!

  3. He’s gonna have a lot of fun when he does the “tilt while running” demo and his t-shirt gets caught in the belt. He’s obviously a smart and talented guy who built a beautiful sander, but he totally deserves the grief he’s getting over his complete lack of common-sense safety.

  4. To all the surrogate nannies out there: Yes, we know these things can be dangerous. Believe it or not, we actually do (at least mentally) run risk assessments. Circumstances that may appear “life-threatening” to you have NOT gone unnoticed. There will be blood. There always has been. Some of us are cool with that, and the majority of us have become accustomed to the occasional cut or graze. We actually pity those of you that live in fear of the same.

    1. Who is this “we” you are talking about? I bet many of the readers of this article (me included) didn’t immediately recognize all the risks that were pointed out in the comments.

  5. Nice job, especially compared to the last belt sander featured.

    Only things I have to say are you dont need 100% welds most of the time. Small stringers will be more than strong enough and lessen the amount of warping.

    And like Ronnie said above, wear long sleeves while welding. Sunburns are not fun.

  6. This was excellent! I did a lot of research on what features different grinders have before getting mine (I don’t have welding equipment), and this really hits all of what’s needed, and built like a tank to boot. As much as I enjoyed the whole video, my favorite bit was at 20:12, cause I know the feeling of looking for excuses to get more equipment all too well..

    Mine has a flat platten that can rotate, which I find to be pretty beneficial sometimes, maybe that can be an upgrade down the line. If he need to make an angle guide, I bet he could weld up something pretty quick like this that I made:

    hackaday.io/project/14917

    I hope he posts about the things he makes with it!

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