My little HF 1” x 32” Belt Grinder

A little while back I purchased this little Harbor Freight 1” x 30” belt sander. I was making more projects involving parts cut from steel and wanted something to aid in cleanup.

In my shop I have a rigid oscillating sander, 12" Disk sander, high speed grinder, low speed grinder, and various other hand held grinders and sanders.

In the past I found myself going to one of these machines, but more and more I reached for the Harbor Freight 1 x 30”

The problem is the 1” x 30” Harbor Freight belt sander is under powered and easy to stall. It’s small belt means that the parts heat up a lot faster.

In addition, this sander has other issues as well. It is OK for occasional use but wont stand up to heavy use.


DIY 2 x 72 Belt Grinder Gen 1

I started doing research into 2” x 72” belt grinders.

In this first generation, I wanted something easy to modify, with no welding.


I purchased a wheel set and d-plate from originblademaker off ebay.

While this may not be what I use in future generations of my 2x72, it did put ahead of the curve when came to getting the first gen up and running.

The motor I chose was this one:

TEFC 1.5HP 1725RPM 3Phase 56C Frame

Most of the wheel sets that are readily available, have a drive wheel to mate a 56 or 56C frame.

I chose the 56C so I could use the motor to help support the grinders frame.

I chose this 2.2KW VFD to control the motor. While it is overkill for this project, it was one I had on hand and was not using. It will eventually get replaced with a much smaller one.

Note that with the VFD we can run the motor at higher than the rated 60Hz.

This is one reason I chose the 1750 2 pole motor. I get the benefit of a lot more torque and the advantage of taking the motor to higher RPMS if I need to.

The Frame

The frame consists of two pieces of plate stock that sandwich some 1-1/4” punched square tube.

Currently I am using MDF for the plate because it is cheap and easy to machine. Later these plates will be changed to something harder and a little more durable.