My Benchtop Belt/Disc Sander

Inaugural "My Tools" Post

Welcome to the inaugural "My Tools" post.  The idea is, occasionally I'll post about a tool, maybe tell the story of where or why I got it.  Other times, it might be more about tips, usually adapted from other sources, with some anecdotal, maybe even apocryphal story.  Who knows?  It's really just something to talk about from time-to-time.

Delta Model 31-080 

My 1" belt/5" disc sander is a Delta brand, benchtop model.  Here's what Delta has to say about it, "the Delta Model 31-080 Belt/Disc Sander is a handy machine for sanding wood, metal, plastic, or ceramic workpieces.  This machine incorporates a 1" belt sander and a 5" disc sander, and uses an induction-type ball bearing motor for long-lasting performance. Features include automatic belt tensioning, removable belt platen, built-in dust spout, and a power take-off for mounting an accessory flexible shaft to do specialized work."

When and Where

That's the question at hand, and it's an interesting one at that!  It's funny, in my mind's eye I can almost see myself bringing the sander home - almost.  I looked through pictures of the earliest day of the House 173 blog, and in even the earliest picture - there it sits on the workbench.

I have no idea why the bench was in such a state of disarray, but that often happens mid-project of some sort or other.  But - at the end of the day, I really have no idea when or where I got this one.  I know I didn't buy it brand new, so there's really two likely scenarios: either I picked it up at this old second hand tool called The Tool Shed, or an old friend of mine gave it to me.  

The pioneers cleared the forests from Jamestown to the Mississippi with fewer tools than are stored in the modern garage. - Dwayne Laws


This sander's a good tool.  It's not flashy or fancy, but it's been a solid tool for these many years I've had it.  This is one of those tools that's so underrated and so taken for granted that I couldn't tell you how often I use.  Soften an edge here, round an end there - just don't even notice!  But every once in awhile I do get a picture of it while working on a project:

Changing the Disc Paper

I guess what prompted me to write about this sander was that a couple weeks ago, while making a simple beam compass, I realized I've had this sander for years and hadn't changed the paper!  I know, I know...but it really just didn't occur to me because it just kept sanding.  Until, that is, I was trying to round over the ends of the compass, absolutely nothing was happening.  Time to change the sandpaper!  

Considering I had never changed the paper on the disc, I thought removing it was going to be difficult, but the old sandpaper came right off.  I left just a bit of adhesive on the face of the disc, but that came right off with a couple drops of Goof Off.

Oh, before I forget, after taking off the guard over the disc, look at the pile of sawdust at the bottom.  Cleaning that up was one of those oddly satisfying moments.

It only took a few minutes to change the paper, and I was on with the task at hand.  Now the ol' belt/disc sander is like new!

The User's Manual

If you haven't explored House 173, you may not know I've begun building a static page where I adding links to the user's manuals to as many of my tools as I can.  I figure that way I can have the manuals all in one place, and electronically!  That page is under the "Manuals, Etc." tab at the top of the page.  Here's the manual...

Stay safe out there!

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