As a child, [David Windestal] already knew that a belt sander was the perfect motor for a banging radio-controlled car. Many years later, the realization of that dream is everything he could have hoped for.
The core of this project is a battery-powered belt sander by a well known manufacturer of gnarly yellow power tools. With an eye for using bespoke 3D printed parts, the conversion appeared straightforward – slap on (or snap on) a pre-loved steering mechanism, add a servo for controlling the sander’s trigger, and that’s pretty much job done. Naturally the intention was to use sandpaper as tread, which is acceptable for outdoor use but not exactly ideal for indoors. A thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) tread was designed and printed for playtime on the living room floor, where sandpaper may be frowned upon.
The finished product is a mean looking toy with plenty of power. What we really like most about this hack is the commitment to the aesthetics. It’s seriously impressive to see a belt sander so convincingly transformed into a three-wheeler radio-controlled car. The final iteration is also completely reversible, meaning that your belt sander can keep on sanding two by fours on the job site. All the printed parts snap snug into place and are mostly indistinguishable from the stock sander.
Speaking of reversible, there were just a couple of issues with the initial design, if you catch our drift. We won’t spoil what happens, but make sure to watch the video after the break for the full story.
If this hack has whet your appetite for more quirky tool hacks, make sure to check out our coverage of the angle grinder turned slimline belt sander. Or if you can’t get enough of RC, then check out this remote controlled car with active suspension.
12 thoughts on “Boring Belt Sander Is RC Racer In Disguise”
Well done hack, really cool end product, and good description of the design process. Awesome!
Like to use it to sand steel
Genius. And a well done video.
“gnarly yellow power tools” I always thought Ryobi’s tools were a bright neon green.
Yup, when I read ‘yellow’ I immediately thought of DeWalt but that name was not on the case of that tool.
I’ve actually had this debate a couple of times, it’s possible I have some kind of mild undiagnosed color blindness? Anyway green, yellow, it sure is bright.
There is a legit belt sander racing group.
Corpus Christi is where I watch it.
This thing begs for skis in front instead of the wheels, to become a RC snowmobile.
Sanding 2x4s? Someone has never done framing ;)
Woodworking was never my strong suit… :)
I’ve done framed multiple custom homes and track homes over the past 20+ yrs and on numerous occasions I’ve sanded and plained 2x4S for various reasons and projects. I’ve also sanded 2x4s making rocking chairs or outdoor furniture. I’m guessing mjrippe must only frame cracker box’s that don’t matter if walls are crooked or not plumb nobody cares haha
We used to race the wood-workshop belt sanders in the corridors of school.
A teacher heard the noice and opened a door halfway down the racetrack, and that door got a instant catflap…
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