Shop made disc sander

  • Advertise with us
Project by jistincase posted 08-19-2010 02:08 AM 6348 views 14 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have always wanted a nice 12 inch disc sander but never could make myself spend the money to get one. I really enjoy making things out of bits and pieces and I had been saving a motor off an old vent system for over 15 years and finally decided to do something with it.

I found the design in a book that I had and followed it pretty close but made my own mods wherever I needed to. My one big problem was getting the disc to be balanced enough that it wouldn’t shake off the bench when in use. This also made me nervous as I kept thinking about it flying off and throwing a disc of wood through the shop at about 80 miles and hour. I tired using 3/4 cabinet grade plywood like it said but could not get it to run straight.

Finally I decided to try MDF of the same thickness. Since the pulley on the other wood was just screwed through the back I had to figure out a different way to attach it so the screws wouldn’t strip out and cause the run away wheel thing. I finally found a bigger pulley and I got some #10 round head machine screws and counter bore a hole so the head would be below the surface on the paper side.

This turned out to solve my balance problem but it was still a little skeptical about the durability of the MDF and if it might explode on me causing serious damage to me and the surroundings. I knew that I wanted something on the disc front other than just wood so that peeling the discs off would not keep tearing away the wood and causing rough spots on the disc that would cause uneven sanding.

To solve both my problems I went to a local salvage yard and found a piece of old conveyor belt that was about 3/16 in thick and hard rubber on one side. I sprayed contact cement on both pieces and put the cord side against the disc. Once it was set up I simply took a razor knife and trimmed it to the outside of the disc and voila. I solved 2 problems at the same time. Now the disc is a lot quieter than sanding against just a wooden disc and it covers the counter bored holes and gives me more peace of mind that the rubber will hold it together if the wood should some how fail at one of the holes.

-- If it doesn't work we will always wished it had.

10 comments so far

View cwdance1's profile


1158 posts in 3282 days

#1 posted 08-19-2010 02:35 AM

What a great project. I love making toos that I need. Working on a 24” thickness sander myself. Only part I need is a motor, so far the motor has been hard to find.

View panther's profile


59 posts in 3266 days

#2 posted 08-19-2010 03:32 AM

that is one cool sander, going to make one myself

-- you must live for something or die for nothing (rambo)

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3112 days

#3 posted 08-19-2010 09:07 AM

Really great project, perhaps a safty shield would be a extra improvement.
Really impressed by your project.
I have a 12 inch, my self, and I love it, use it all the time, and can not imagine not to have it.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3212 days

#4 posted 08-19-2010 10:49 AM

Really cool and interesting build. Making your own sander not sure I would have thought of it! Congrats.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View VTScroller's profile


40 posts in 3037 days

#5 posted 08-19-2010 02:17 PM

this is great I’m trying to design a new sander that can take all different types of papers

-- Dennis Goodhue

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3750 days

#6 posted 08-19-2010 03:23 PM

Nice looking sander, I have be thinking of doing the same. What HP is your motor?

-- Ray

View jistincase's profile


14 posts in 2864 days

#7 posted 08-19-2010 05:05 PM

Nice looking sander, I have be thinking of doing the same. What HP is your motor?


Not sure what the HP is. It was turning a 16 in squirrel cage so I would think it is a least a 2hp. It is also explosion proof and completely sealed. It came out of an old Kaiser aluminum plant. I have seen people make them out of old washing machine motors too. They say not to go over 3000 rpm on the speed.

If you want to know Danny Proulox is the guy who authored the book I got the design from.

-- If it doesn't work we will always wished it had.

View gul's profile


400 posts in 2985 days

#8 posted 08-19-2010 08:47 PM

This is great stuff.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3059 days

#9 posted 08-19-2010 09:09 PM

Good build, thanks for posting. One day I may just make one myself.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View MagDaddy2's profile


53 posts in 3707 days

#10 posted 08-22-2010 03:43 PM

Nice job. I’ve been contemplating buying one, need large belt sander too and thought I would buy a combo. Seeing this, I think I’ll do like you did, build them. Again, Great Job. You have inspired me.

-- -- Only God can Create it. We are blessed to see it, live it, and enjoy its beauty.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics