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Lathe disk sander with micro adjustment

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Project by LittleBlackDuck posted 09-12-2016 03:34 PM 1052 views 1 time favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Boys and Girls,

Not in the too distant past, I built a circle cutting, come disc sanding jig dedicated for T & J models’ wheels. While it served it’s purpose well (and still does) I found it just a tad limited and not that good for cutting my fingernails.

While it had longitudinal adjustment, which was sufficient for wheels, it sadly lacked latitudinal adjustment required for the fine tunning of the cuticles of my fingernails.

I just happened to have a lazy good for nothing “Two way cross slide vice” gathering dust in a corner of my workshop.

Much as I tried to shrink it, flatten it and even dug a hole under my disc sander, I couldn’t find any way to incorporate the vice with the sander and still manage to contact the sanding discs with the timber on the vice. I then had a revere blonde moment and thought that the vice would sit comfortably on my lathe bed if only I could somehow connect my disc sander to my lathe spindle.

That being too arduous a task, I decided it might be easier to make a sanding disc for my lathe and mount that to the spindle. Rather than stuff around with screw on faceplates, I considered making a threaded faceplate attached to the disc out of wood as I had a 33mm thread maker for my lathe spindle. To cut a thread for a 33mm spindle I needed a 1 3/16” hole which was not too easily made with a 1 1/2” forstner bit so I conceded and used a 1 3/16” one instead. To facilitate the fitting of a 1 3/16” hole over the 5mm spindle of my bandsaw’s circle cutting jig I designed and 3D printed an adapter insert (the green thingy in the picture). One could always turn one on the lathe out of wood but this one could print one so he did.



I then made a mounting block out of timber with the same bore (actually a different bore but the same size) and used the 3D printed adapter to align the two pieces for glue up.

After the glue had set and eventually melting out the plastic (as it got glued to the wood), I mounted the assembly to the lathe using the chuck. To save you grief, I suggest you try the small block first as I quickly found the large disc was too big to fit.


I then aligned the thread cutter and braced it with the tailstock which also ensured it went in straight.

Then very deftly, preferable with both hands and the feet kept on the ground, I turned the threader with a shifter while extending the tailstock to advance the threader to assist the newly cut thread’s “pull”.

Once I hit the chuck, I quickly realised I couldn’t cut a thread in it so I moved the operating over to my work bench (leaving the lathe on it’s stand).

I then proceeded to work the threader all the way through. If you do this, make sure you’re not wearing thongs (flip flops) as the threader dropping on bare toes hurts.

Then using the wooden disc I traced it’s image on a piece of “starter” (that’s what sheets of the hook with the adhesive backing is called). After realising the hook side would not stick to the wood, I removed protective backing (off the starter… the wood does not have adhesive unless you apply glue… DOH!) and stuck it to the disc. I was a bit generous with my overlap so I could trim it to size using a box cutter.

I then measured up my lathe bed and created a carrier for the vice. I made a runner to fit down the centre of the lathe bed and made two hold-downs to the profile of the lathe bed channel.


At this stage, or before, and if neither then after, you need to decide how you want to mount the vice. If your a southpaw then it’s a simple matter of orientation, however, if you are a normal person…(right handed) decide on the orientation as if you choose longitudinal you will have to reverse the lateral motion of the vice.

If you are now confused, become a left hander and you don’t need to worry further. IF you take on this project, rest on the knowledge that it can be changed to suit. I chose lateral mounting as it seemed more stable, however, it does have the longitudinal control close to the lathe bed. Lateral mounting would have the longitudinal control off to the lathe’s side and the lateral control well above the lathe bed.

Now you need to decide on the vice tables design and mount. As a pilot exercise, I used a very basic table with a piece of timber that I mount in the vice jaw (actually that’s not true, I used the original vice table I designed years ago). You may need to do some out of square thinking if you plan to do vertical mitre sanding. If you don’t know what I mean then you’d probably never want to do it.

Now for a test piece. Rather than use my finger nails, I chose a bit of timber.

I then clamped one of my early prototype of my circle cutting jig (remember the opening sentence) to the vice table. I position the work as close as I can but exactness is not necessary. Now I can micro control the movement of that (latter) jig with the vices longitudinal and lateral control.

When you are finished… TURN YOUR LATHE OFF… or explicitly mark on your jig the direction of travel.

Nothing worse than advancing the finished product into a spinning sanding disc to create that unsightly flat spot….

PS. Future enhancements will be a dust collection add-on and a table with T-tracks.

The follow up to the table with T-track.

PPS. I haven’t provided any plans or measurements as this article is more a proof of concept rather than following the bouncing ball (and I misplaced my tape measure).

For all you nosey parkers that paid attention, here are some pickies of the original circle cutting, come sanding jigs,

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD





21 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

1703 posts in 1660 days


#1 posted 09-12-2016 05:27 PM

Nicely made! Works well;I bet.

-- just rjR

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

1941 posts in 1562 days


#2 posted 09-12-2016 07:07 PM

You will have a lot of benefit from this great complement.
Alex to prevent injuries or to reduce them it is very handy that you can speeddown the RPM.
I was wondering if the solid wood plate will stay flat!

-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3151 posts in 1597 days


#3 posted 09-12-2016 08:07 PM

looks the shot well designed,
Now speaking of shots I could not find the ones of your finger clamped up and you winding the mech into the disk until you reached your pain threshold no guts no glory.

The sander is sure good for inflicting small but very painful injuries.

-- Regards Robert

View Pjonesy's profile

Pjonesy

103 posts in 219 days


#4 posted 09-12-2016 09:06 PM

You have done it again Alex, great story along with a great way to ensure you have perfectly round wheels.
Keep up the good work.

-- Peter New Zealand

View htl's profile

htl

1913 posts in 553 days


#5 posted 09-12-2016 09:09 PM

I have been Eye balling one of those vices at Hf but so far haven’t pulled the trigger.
Nicely done!
How quick can you switch back to lathe mod once set up.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7258 posts in 1400 days


#6 posted 09-12-2016 10:16 PM

Well aint that Fancy-schmancy! I’m impressed !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View bruce317's profile

bruce317

179 posts in 216 days


#7 posted 09-13-2016 12:20 AM

Alex,
Another well thought out project. Thank you for sharing.

-- Bruce - Indiana

View BobWemm's profile

BobWemm

1679 posts in 1319 days


#8 posted 09-13-2016 12:33 AM

Very NEAT, Thanks for the info.
I have been thinking about this for sometime, just needed a boost.

Bob.

-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

514 posts in 214 days


#9 posted 09-13-2016 01:34 AM



I was wondering if the solid wood plate will stay flat!

- Dutchy


Dutchy, If you are referring to the disc, touch wood the run out is negligible so it should hold it’s shape as it is 19mm pine (might use hardwoord for the next one… if needed). It didn’t take long to make the disc… with most time taken up with the glue drying. I could speed that up using super glue as I also use 37mm screws to hold the base block to the disc. Now that I have the plastic adapter insert, unpacking the bandsaw circle cutting jig and placing levelling support is the pain. However once set up I could cut several discs for future use or different grits (though this is mute as it would take longer to unscrew the disc than rip off the “looped” sand paper and put a different grit on). Being wood I can always touch it up in place on the lathe till it needs replacing.
For the “table”, it is held in place by the vice’s jaws. You can make an all purpose table or whip up a dedicated one in minutes.
The benefit is that measurements do NOT have to be too accurate as you can micro manouver the table (once your piece is in place) using the controls.
The lathe’s variable speed (low speed) is another boon to the project. Also if desired, I could make up discs up to 400mm in diameter… though that would be a killer for the cost of the “starter” (it is quite expensive), but with that size I could then easily sand off an arm right up to my elbow.

Now speaking of shots I could not find the ones of your finger clamped up and you winding the mech into the disk until you reached your pain threshold no guts no glory.

The sander is sure good for inflicting small but very painful injuries.

- robscastle


Sorry RC, don’t be too disappointed as it definitely was done, however,with one hand clamped, the other to perform the mechanics and both feet never leaving the ground, the camera focused and set up on a tripod, I had no appendages left to press the camera’s remote (could not use my teeth as I was screaming in pain too much).


I have been Eye balling one of those vices …
How quick can you switch back to lathe mod once set up.

- htl

#4, I originally bought it for my drill press, but then I made a 2 way movable table on slides for it so it was relegated to a vacant corner of the workshop.
Your disc table adjuster, enhanced with you and Dutchy’s prolific use of the disc sander combined with my inability to hold workpieces steady, spurred me on to come up with this alternative. I am always on the search of sneak up solutions as when I normally need to move something and it’s past the desired spot, I then have to move it back and it’s past the desired spot and I then have to move… I think you get the picture.

Switching back is more laborious than time consuming as both the vice and tailstock are heavy enough to make alignment of “runners” a pain. Unfortunately (on hindsight), I designed it so that I had to remove the tails stock and slide the vice in from the open end. If I redesigned it so that I can just put it between the tailstock and spindle it would take less time that I can skull a mug of vino. All I need to do is redesign the hold downs… Actually I’ll go and do that now as I use that principle for other lathe mounted jigs… just two more quick vinos while the missus has her back turned.


Well aint that Fancy-schmancy! I m impressed !

- JoeinGa


You should see the underside… Gold plated titanium screws (solid gold kept breaking), diamond encrusted glue (to stop glue slip), laser engraved with my life story jarrah inlaid into the base… and that’s just 2 of the last minute touch ups.

I have been thinking about this for sometime, just needed a boost.

Bob.
- BobWemm

BobW and anyone else interested (unfortunately I don’t get a commission for this), I bought my spindle tap here. They cover most popular spindle threads… if you purchase, don’t forget to buy the matching hole cutter… I did.

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2245 posts in 1802 days


#10 posted 09-13-2016 01:51 AM

Can I have it? LOL. Great idea!!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View crowie's profile

crowie

1350 posts in 1344 days


#11 posted 09-13-2016 02:08 AM

Ducky, Looks impressive and with your craftsmanship it works well too BUT for me I’d need the lathe too and you’ve seen my shed that hasn’t a skerrick of room for one…oh well….NO USE dreaming…
BUT THEN it could work on my 12” disc sander…hmm….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

514 posts in 214 days


#12 posted 09-13-2016 03:12 AM


... a skerrick of room for one…oh well….NO USE dreaming…
BUT THEN it could work on my 12” disc sander…hmm….

- crowie


Crowie, you are down under... just mount it on your ceiling…

Seriously, I must have had a blonde moment that lasted a long time. I kept thinking the disc’s table was too high. DOH! My Hungarian heritage must have crept in (I refuse to admit I was thinking as an Aussie), I didn’t consider removing the disc’s removable table and mounting the vice at bench level… or the appropriate “prop up” distance. My only out here is that the sander is mounted to a bench with no free perimeter surface…

OK. I concede… I may put a “shelf” on my disc table and mount the vice there. Damn you Crowie… you create more work for me than the missus.

PS. If you just happen to buy the spindle tap, seeing as how you haven’t got a lathe, you can always give it to me… the spindle tap that is, not the lathe you haven’t got….

PPS. Just had a non-blonde moment and seeing as how I could still edit this post…
Won’t move to the disc table as I would loose the variable speed function of the lathe… Phew Crowie, I nearly took your implied advice prematurely.

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

514 posts in 214 days


#13 posted 09-13-2016 08:19 AM



How quick can you switch back to lathe mod once set up.

- htl

If I redesigned it so that I can just put it between the tailstock and spindle it would take less time that I can skull a mug of vino. All I need to do is redesign the hold downs… Actually I ll go and do that now as I use that principle for other lathe mounted jigs… just two more quick vinos while the missus has her back turned.

- LittleBlackDuck


Thanks for the incentive #4, The missus had her back turned… yay! Eventually staggered down to the workshop.

Zip x 4 with the Jap. pull saw and I had notches instead of holes.
Switch back is now measured by how quickly I can now hide the vice assembly once removed. Unfortunately with my clutter that can still be an hour long exercise.

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

View htl's profile

htl

1913 posts in 553 days


#14 posted 09-13-2016 02:12 PM

notches instead of holes now I really like that idea and need to use it on some jigs.
On your lathe clamping system couldn’t you just narrow the holders under the rails when you would just loosen them and give them a half turn and then they would just raise between the rails?

Ducky for someone who is always going on about having to do a lot a reading you sure don’t mind making us do some do you but interesting very interesting. LOL

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

514 posts in 214 days


#15 posted 09-14-2016 12:52 AM

... couldn t you just narrow the holders under the rails when you would just loosen them and give them a half turn …

- htl


The toleration (driven by my refusal to wasted workshop space), is a tad too close to turn sideways (horizontal plane). However, I can twist/turn it in the vertical plane an it slips out… not by design but pure luck…
(The missus accused me of wasting film, but I knew I’d get to use this picture somewhere.)

...
Ducky for someone who is always going on about having to do a lot a reading you sure don t mind making us do some …

- htl

#4, All I keep saying is, I hate reading. This is my S & M coming out… “forcing” you guys to do what I hate.
Furthermore – the more I write, the more you have to read… the more you have to read, the less time you get to write… the less time you get to write, the less you write… the less you write, the less I have to read… and my missus thought I was stewpyd…

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

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