It works just like a vertical belt sander, that has a tool rest, or a small tilting table, except for my sanding station is horizontal and the tool rest doesn’t tilt. It always stays at 90º angle and it’s rather quite big for a rest. On the other hand is relatively small for a table. But that’s not a problem, if I need a bigger table I mount the sander in a different position. This setup works great for sanding small parts, I can rest a workpiece vertically, against the wooden block, or keep it flat and still use that rest at the back as a stop block. Either way, the workpiece is being pushed to the back as the belt rotates, that keeps it nice and flat or perfectly square at all times.
Using fence clamps I fixed my belt sander to the bench. Next I cut timber to size using my table saw and a sledge I built some time ago. The biggest block got a rebate and another one – a slot, that was cut off for a sander metal plate, sticking out a bit. I drilled some countersunk holes and put the assembly together using just screws.
Here’s some detailed pictures that may explain why the rest was designed and built that exactly way. There is a slot on the side, surely for a fence, which didn’t come with my sander. I used it for a runner, which also prevents the tool rest from tilting. When it’s clamped it stays in place. On the opposite side I had to cut a little slot for the metal plate, which wasn’t flush with the rest.
When I do some quick sanding, I simply clamp the sander to the bench, place a rest on it and clamp it with an f-clamp to the sander. It’s usually fairly square and ready to use straight away, but of course, I check it for square. It’s really nothing big or complicated, but it makes my work much easier. Belt sander, when used properly, removes material much faster than an orbital sander. Also I can’t use an orbital sander all the time, for all of my projects, sometimes it just doesn’t make sense or doesn’t work.