The shop I grew up using was my father and uncle’s professional cabinet shop. One of the tools I used most regularly was a large horizontal belt sander. When I started woodworking on my own, that was the tool I missed most. I was stymied & and to get a machine that would do its job was very expensive. So I did what many woodworkers have done over the years. I clamped my handheld belt sander on its side, built up a “table” in front of the belt and started sanding. It was pretty Rube Goldberg, but it did the job. Fast forward 20 years and DeWalt has rigged up its 433, 3″ X 21″ belt sander with a frame kit that would have solved all my problems, lo those many years ago. (Well, all my sanding problems, anyway.)
The DW433KT includes a nifty frame that holds the sander securely for three different operations. First of all, flat sanding. If I have an objection to 3″ X 21″ sanders in general, it’s that they are tippy, and for that reason it is easy to install surface flaws as fast as you sand them out. DeWalt’s external sanding platen attaches to the sander and holds it level, keeping you from “cutting an edge” with the sander. This is not a new piece of technology & but what happens next is. With this kit, there are two brackets that mount to the frame or platen. You can attach them so the sander is held either vertically or horizontally. There is also a table (which can be adjusted to varying angles) that bolts to the frame in either orientation. The brackets are made so that you can screw them to a bench or work surface for added stability. In just a minute or two, you can set up your own edge sanding machine.
This setup is not the equal of the 6″ x 84″ horizontal stationary belt sander in my father’s shop & but it would be very handy in an average Joe’s workshop. (And it is sure a lot better than the makeshift edge sanding setup I described earlier.) The unit is sold in a carrying/storage case that will keep all of the parts nicely organized. It’s available right now (I found it on Amazon for about $220.00), and I can see a good future for one of them if it found its way into my holiday presents.