$10 Ryobi belt sander gets new life
For a while I frequented the local tip shop/refuse centre where I often picked up broken tech that I could repair or give a new lease on life. On this trip I managed to find an old Ryobi belt sander sitting in the corner at a $10 price tag. It looked in pretty good condition other than the switch was completely missing and the wires were hard wired together.
I attempted to get the sander running with the wiring as it was but it was really dodgy, so I cut the connections and re-twisted them together so I could at least verify that it worked before I bothered getting new parts. To my delight it fired into life, but this is when I noticed the next issue, any pressure on the top belt drive caused it to stop moving while the disc sander part kept moving. The belt drive in the back was completely destroyed. After a bit of Googling, ringing Bunnings and trying to find replacement parts, AliExpress and eBay came to the rescue as usual, I honestly don’t know why I bother looking locally sometimes. I opted for a safety switch from AliExpress and found the replacement belts on eBay, which are apparently used for 3D printers as well.
After a few months when the parts eventually arrived, it was a rather quick process of actually getting the belt sander fixed. To fix the belt, you should be taking off the cogs and fitting the belt then putting it back together, but as you can see someone already tried that. I ended up just gently stretching the belt over the lower cog to get it to fit. The switch was a bit harder, it didn’t actually fit the hole where the last one was so I had to file it out a bit to get it to slot in. Once it was physically mounted it was just a matter of wiring it up to the correct terminals. Ideally, I would have used terminal connectors but I didn’t have any in stock and just soldered it together.