|Project by Blake||posted 05-16-2008 02:52 AM||101977 views||486 times favorited||116 comments|
Boy, am I glad to have this done! I have been wanting a thickness sander for over a year now. I have ended up with so many small pieces of wood that I would love to use for boxes, but I had no way to dimension them. For a long time I thought about saving up and buying one, but the “cheapest” model is about $600 bucks, which seemed way too expensive for such a simple machine (it’s just a spinning drum!)
I have been in to building my own shop machinery lately. If you haven’t seen my router table, check it out too:
Anyway, I originally saw a similar design on another blog (which is no longer active and the old photos are gone.) But seeing this design what made up my mind to just make my own. I really like this design because it seemed simple and just the right size for my work. A couple other Lumberjocks have built other versions before mine and answered questions for me (thanks).
Here are some other Photos:
- I started by building the frame out of plywood and biscuits. I primed it and spray painted it teal-blue.
- The table is a laminated scrap I got for free from a cabinet shop. I lined it with Beech (all the bare hardwood you see is Beech.)
- To raise and lower the table I built a simple mechanism with a piece of wood and some common hardware. At the top of the allthread there is a cap-bolt (with a round top) that pivots freely like a socket joint in another large nut that I found.
- I ordered the pillow block bearings online. The drum shaft is drill rod from the hardware store.
- I chopped up some 1/2” MDF into squares and then cut them into circles on my bandsaw with a impromptu circle-cutting jig. Then I stacked them up on the shaft with glue in between each circle and clamped them together to form the drum.
- I installed the motor, switch, pulleys, and link belt. Then I started it up and ran blocks of wood with sand paper stuck to them under the drum until it was uniform and true to the table.
- I built the dust hood out of Plexiglas and hardwood. I made cut-outs to fit over the pillow blocks and inserted a couple of rare-earth magnets to keep it down (but still easy to lift off)... see photo above.
- I covered the drum with epoxy to make it smooth enough for the self-adhesive velcro to stick to (which I ordered from Grizzly).
- I also ordered a 150 grit 3” wide roll of hook-n-loop sandpaper from Grizzly which I cut and stuck to the drum.
- I had a small rolling cabinet that was the perfect size which I am using for the base right now.
Stats: The drum has a 4” diameter and is 12 1/2” wide. It has a vertical capacity of about 4” tall for running entire small boxes through. The motor is 1 hp, 1725. The pulleys change the speed of the drum to about 2200 rpm’s.
It seemed to work perfectly on my first test piece! It runs very smooth and quietly and is dust free. And by the way, feed rollers/belts are over-rated. It is very easy to just push pieces through the sander, and the drum keeps them down flat against the table. I just use a flat push block to push the piece through.
Let me know if you have any other questions. This is a relatively simple and cheap project for such a handy shop machine.
-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com