Shop Made Thickness Sander

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Project by ProbablyLost posted 11-05-2009 11:01 PM 21325 views 55 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this sander about 6 months ago but just now got around to posting it. I looked at the few that were already on this site and took some of their ideas and I found a book at the local library that was printed in the 60’s that had plans for shop made tools and used a little from each. I wanted a sander that was wider than Blake’s or Yorkshire Stewarts, but didn’t have a huge motor. I ended up using a harbor fright 3/4 hp grinder ($29) and making the drum 18” long. it has worked great! I wish I had built it years ago. I painted the dust hood and planned on painting the base in the same red paint, I just never got around to it. I realized I didn’t include a pic of the bolt that adjust the height of the table. The back of the table is attached by a piano hinge. I also used a swith off of a old router table to turn it on and off. I hope the new pic explains a little better.

-- Chris

34 comments so far

View DavidH's profile


519 posts in 3764 days

#1 posted 11-05-2009 11:09 PM

turned out nice, i saw the shopnotes version that runs off your table saw it it has always intrigued me.

good job!

-- David - Houston, Texas. (

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3217 days

#2 posted 11-05-2009 11:16 PM

That’s cool. Looks so simple but I am sure you had some challanges.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 3282 days

#3 posted 11-05-2009 11:19 PM

Looks good to me. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3843 days

#4 posted 11-05-2009 11:22 PM

Chris, this looks pretty good. This is a nice tool to add to your shop.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4240 days

#5 posted 11-05-2009 11:31 PM

I’m going to be looking real close at this. Thanks!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3356 days

#6 posted 11-05-2009 11:34 PM

Great build. I think your approach with the grinder as a motor was brilliant too. I wish you could do a blog on how you built it, but I guess it’s too late?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18283 posts in 3697 days

#7 posted 11-05-2009 11:36 PM

Nice job! You say you made the drum, where did you get the sanding paper to put on it?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3259 days

#8 posted 11-05-2009 11:43 PM

Great project. I need one of those so bad… Using a grinder as the motor is a great idea.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

533 posts in 3273 days

#9 posted 11-05-2009 11:44 PM

Maybe a dumb question, but can you adjust the thickness your sanding? How?


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

516 posts in 3708 days

#10 posted 11-06-2009 12:26 AM

great looking job

-- Joe, Ga

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3347 days

#11 posted 11-06-2009 01:25 AM

Neat project. Others have asked the same questions I have so I will just watch this post for your reply…

View ProbablyLost's profile


83 posts in 3539 days

#12 posted 11-06-2009 01:49 AM

Boom, I added another pic of the bolt that raises or lowers the table height.

-- Chris

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

533 posts in 3273 days

#13 posted 11-06-2009 02:26 AM

OK thanks. So the table pivots on one end, and then adjusts witht he screw on the other?
Does the table stay pretty parrallel with the sanding drum?
This is a very interesting build, I might like to try it someday.
Thanks for the info.


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 3276 days

#14 posted 11-06-2009 03:19 AM

The sanding drum is a circle so the table will always be tangent to the drum. It doesn’t matter if the table is parallel to the floor, side rails, etc, as long as it’s flat and solid.

-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3580 days

#15 posted 11-06-2009 03:30 AM

Great job. Now I just need to get mine finished.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

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