- Big belt sander –
We are always trying to improve The MakerBarn, adding new tools and materials. Recently we had a very generous donation of a Sheng Shing SDM-15 wide belt sander. This machine uses a 5HP motor to power the 16×48″ sanding belt. The belt oscillates back and forth, which helps lengthen belt life and avoid streaking the wood being sanded. It can sand a 15″ wide swath, but being open ended on one side, the operator can rotate his panel and sand a piece 30″ wide! The machine weighs about 800 pounds and is very solid.
When we received the machine is was complete, no missing parts. It even came with two copies of the manual. The machine was built in October 1996, so we just missed its 20th birthday. The sander was also in good condition except that all the internal pneumatic tubes had disintegrated. Not a single line could be found, they had all turned to dust. The pneumatic system is somewhat complex since it operates the belt tensioning, belt oscillation, and the emergency motor brake. Information in the manual was sketchy, but I was able to re-plumb the pneumatics and now they work as they should.
The machine runs well. Unfortunately, after a few minutes of running, the sanding belt broke. Not an unexpected event, since the belt was probably many years old. I’ve ordered new belts in several different grits, so we should be in good shape.
What’s next? I need to install a MACS system and a main power switch. Strangely, the machine was never built with a main power switch. We may want to change the two V belts at some time, but for now they should work. Within a week the machine should be ready for use by the members.