Build Your Own Tools For More Power

Building something on your own usually carries with it certain benefits, such as being in full control over what it is you are building and what it will accomplish, as well as a sense of pride when you create something that finally works just the way you want it. If you continue down that path, you may eventually start making your own tools to help build your other creations, and if you also have some CAD software you can make some very high quality tools like this belt grinder.

This build comes to us from [Emiel] aka [The Practical Engineer] who is known for his high quality solenoid engines. His metal work is above and beyond, and one thing he needed was a belt grinder. He decided to make a 3D model of one in CAD and then build it from scratch. The build video goes through his design process in Fusion 360 and then the actual build of this beast of a machine. The motor is 3.5 horsepower which, when paired with a variable frequency drive, can provide all of his belt grinding needs.

[Emiel]’s videos are always high quality, and his design process is easy to follow as well. We’re always envious of his shop as well, and it reminds us a lot of [Eric Strebel] and his famous designs.

18 thoughts on “Build Your Own Tools For More Power

    1. One moment of unawareness in a car and you killed yourself and potentially your family and someone else’s.

      You could build belt guards but they need to be adjustable enough to deal with the wide range of adjustment available and quick and easy enough to move out the way to adjust/service as required. You also need to be able to manufacture said cover. While you can make an argument for this if you know nothing about the end user (i.e. when developing a commercial product) I don;’t think it applies here.

      Sometimes it is OK to understand the risk and take measures to mitigate them.

    2. If you need safety features to use every tool you ever touch, you’ll never get any work done.

      By the time this grinds into your finger, an e stop wouldnt help anyway, and belt guards are a pita if you need the belt flexible for sanding sometimes.

      I guess if you really wanted to, you could make it a foor switch power on, so letting off pressure with foot shuts it off

    1. Ok now THAT is awesome.

      I use crappy harbor freight belt sanders when I head to my local blacksmithy to forge stuff, and I think now I gotta make one of these and donate it. That is incredibly good design. I especially appreciate his use of shims to give clearance when welding.

  1. The 72 inch sander is pretty much a standard for bladesmithing these days. Even so, not everyone has the room for one. FWIW, it’s amazing how fast a grinder can “grab” and launch a tool if you slip up. Cast iron toolrest mount sheared even.

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