Belt sander recommendations – Example in thread

Hi all, Im looking for a good belt sander. There’s a lot out there but I’m looking for a specific feature: The ability to let the belt follow the fillet and the tubes. I have a hard time finding on the than can do that, the belts usually sit very close to the blade, making it hard to let the belt follow the smooth turns.

Im looking for something more like this:

Any recommendations? I can use pneumatic and power.


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This one’s cheaper and can adjust the blade angle.

Since I have a few M13 tools I will give this a go.

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The Dynafile II with the 11204 contact arm seems to be the de-facto standard. I had luck finding one on eBay for a reasonable price, but that’s not guaranteed.

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You don’t feel the hard blade edge gets too close to the frame?

Holy… That’s out of my league :laughing:

But this is kinda the ‘feature’ im looking for though! Smoothing…

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I have the cheap Amazon one and use it for a lot of things, but to finish brazes nicely it’s a lot easier to have one that has the space between the belt and the tool to contour (like shown above).

That said, I’ve had the cheap Amazon one for a year and not in a hurry to replace it.

I’ve got this guy, no cut out like you’re looking for, but cheaper than the amazon version, perhaps cheap enough to try and modify…

I dont have it yet but will get it soon

Probably not super productive to make one, but very educational and fun:


I adapted the cheapest sander I could find with a big offset bearing to add some room to flex. Works very well eventhough I am no longer using it to file the fillets with it.


This is what I need.

Can you explain what you did? Then maybe I can copy it. I also like the idea that its cheap! :smiley:

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I basically just cut off the front and made a new end from some scrap aluminium and I cut away the bits that hit the belt. Probably my shittiest yet most effective tool.
Here is a photo of the original thing:


I got a Milwaukee M12 cutoff saw and a kit off of ebay to convert it to a band sander. There is a guy in the UK that sells his with the contact arm. It’s not a cheap way to go though. I was looking at how to electrify my dynabrade, because they use a lot of air and I don’t have a big compressor. Even the rebuild kit for the dynabrade die grinder costs a lot. And all the good electric die grinders would be a pain to adapt to the dynabrade structure. They are also expensive.

I have thought about making it so I can adapt dynabrade contact arms to my sander. I don’t need a dynabrade for fillets. I hate to file so I have worked on making my fillets clean enough that they don’t need a lot of filing. It’s so easy to cut into the tube with a dynabrade. When I was at Trek in the '70s I used to hate it when the guys with the dynabrades would just go wild and undercut the tubes.


If this were a popularity contest, then I think the air tool belt sanders would win. Most people that use a dynafile type of narrow belt sander to sand brass fillets use those. However, I didn’t even know that Milwaukee now makes a battery powered narrow belt sander. Thank you for pointing that out! I would totally go for that. Less hoses for me to trip over in the garage! Even if the battery doesn’t last long per charge, it wouldn’t matter to me. I don’t really like spending forever filing my fillets smooth anyway, and consequently take lots of breaks which I could use to recharge the battery if needed.


My corded Makita belt sander quit on me the other day so I was kind of looking at this one. I have no idea if it’s any good though.

One feature I’d consider whatever brand you choose, is enough clearance and torque to run 3M Scotch-Brite belts. I’m not very familiar with all the choices available, but I use a Dynabrade, you can change the arms for different needs and belts. I found the Scotch-Brite belts to be by far the most useful.

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Whoa, I had no idea there were scotch-brite belts!!

One thing I’m learning with my Dynafile is that it absolutely devours compressed air. My shop has a pretty small shared tank and it only takes a few minutes of intermittent use to run down to empty.

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Dave Kirk has an electric one. It’s also a lot quieter. Mine is a 40 year old air version.

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I have an electric dynabrade. With the wide arm and the narrow arm. I also didnt know there were scotchbrite belts!

I love mine. Rarely use it but when I do, it’s amazing

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