Benchtop Thickness Sander

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Project by Andreas posted 11-28-2012 08:40 PM 12863 views 40 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this benchtop thickness sander over the weekend. It has a 16” bed and a removable dust hood, which also serves to keep my fingers away from the action. The best part is that I was able to scavenge most of the parts. I only had to buy the bearings for a total of $20!

I plan to add a safety guard to cover the belt and I’d also like to convert the drum to a hook and loop system (I’m using carpet tape for now).

It works really well and leaves a very even surface on thin panels.

27 comments so far

View Von's profile


206 posts in 1249 days

#1 posted 11-28-2012 08:47 PM

looks good. I’m waiting on a pair of pillowblock bearings to build myself a similar unit.

View jap's profile


1243 posts in 1090 days

#2 posted 11-28-2012 09:19 PM

very nice

-- Joel

View Oldtool's profile


2147 posts in 1227 days

#3 posted 11-28-2012 10:13 PM

Came out very nice. If it works, the project is a success. Enjoy your new machine.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5489 posts in 1328 days

#4 posted 11-28-2012 10:47 PM

Cool. Very nicely done, but get that belt guard on ASAP. Also, you might consider putting a cover on that switch to keep the dust out. Otherwise, great job and I admire your ingenuity!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 1227 days

#5 posted 11-28-2012 10:53 PM

von, I have a set of pillowblock bearings… made in US. However, sorry but im not selling them :P

-- My terrible signature...

View exelectrician's profile


2285 posts in 1463 days

#6 posted 11-29-2012 01:08 AM

Andreas – You woodworking skills far exceed mine. However I must point out little fingers can get through the gaps on that switch without a cover and the results could be …...... ???

Also NO guard on the belt – I am speechless at your carelessness . Your other projects are so clever and beautifully done and now this.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View foneman's profile


111 posts in 3131 days

#7 posted 11-29-2012 01:16 AM

That looks great and I really like the fact that it is a benchtop unit!!! You did a good job!

View Andreas's profile


46 posts in 1486 days

#8 posted 11-29-2012 01:52 AM

Yeah, I’ll definitely make a guard to cover that belt. That’s my project for next weekend :)
I also plan on putting a faceplate over the switch. I didn’t have one that fit properly so I have to go out and buy one.

View mloy365's profile


442 posts in 2166 days

#9 posted 11-29-2012 02:18 AM

This is just real good stuff!

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View whitewulf's profile


450 posts in 1973 days

#10 posted 11-29-2012 03:32 AM

Andreas –

Mortise & tenon frame, Turned pulley & height adj. knob !!


-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2019 days

#11 posted 11-29-2012 05:29 AM

nice job and saved some money too

View majuvla's profile


5425 posts in 1904 days

#12 posted 11-29-2012 09:00 AM

Awsome project for one weekend!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View SuperCubber's profile


611 posts in 1320 days

#13 posted 11-29-2012 01:44 PM

I love it! Is it a repurposed motor? If not, can you give me some details on it? I’ve been wanting to build something similar, but have no idea what to use for a motor. Thanks!

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View StumpyNubs's profile


6569 posts in 1837 days

#14 posted 11-29-2012 01:55 PM

I’m liking it! What do you mean you use carpet tape for the drum? You mean you wrap double sided carpet tape around it and then the sand paper? It looks like the end of the sandpaper is tucked into a slit on the end of the drum. Right?

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View Andreas's profile


46 posts in 1486 days

#15 posted 11-29-2012 03:15 PM

Supercubber: it is a 1/2 hp repurposed blower motor. 1/2 hp seems sufficient for this sander but I would probably use 3/4 hp if you had a wider drum.

StumpyNubs: There is a small slit on both ends of the drum where I tuck the ends of the sand paper. I also put a strip (about 4”) of double sided tape in front of the slit to keep the paper from popping out when the drum is spinning. The rest of the drum has no tape. This works well enough, but it isn’t ideal. The sand paper tends to bunch up on the tape if I haven’t wrapped the paper tightly enough.

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