Thickness Sander from an 8 x 4 sheet of plywood

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Project by Jim Rowe posted 03-22-2013 12:02 PM 5275 views 45 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I posted a short blog yesterday giving some details of how I made my Thickness Sander from an 8×4 sheet of plywood .
Here is the completed article with some additional pictures. It’s a relatively easy project to make and the use of plywood results in a really rigid yet light framework. I used hide glue whenever possible to fix the mortise and tenon and finger type joints in place.
I found many superior examples of Thickness Sanders here on LJs and used ideas from many of them as my design and construction progressed. Many thanks to those who preceded me.
Thanks for looking and if you have any questions or comments please let me know.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

13 comments so far

View drbyte's profile


762 posts in 3875 days

#1 posted 03-22-2013 01:12 PM

Nice job! Really great tool to have around. I have one for mounting on my lathe but wish I had room enough for a dedicated machine as nice as yours!

-- Dennis, WV

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

440 posts in 2014 days

#2 posted 03-22-2013 02:35 PM

This should be a Top Daily Three!

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View oldnovice's profile


6391 posts in 3181 days

#3 posted 03-22-2013 04:27 PM

I always wanted one of those so maybe I’ll build one of these too! It looks heavy duty enough to do the jobs I want.

It has been added to my favorites.
Thanks for sharing!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View hoss12992's profile


3956 posts in 1706 days

#4 posted 03-22-2013 05:57 PM

Great job, and Im sure i will be following your lead and build one for my shop. Thanks for sharing!

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View hoss12992's profile


3956 posts in 1706 days

#5 posted 03-22-2013 06:02 PM

What did you use for the roller tube with the sand paper on it?

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

995 posts in 2125 days

#6 posted 03-22-2013 06:49 PM

Hi Hoss
The roller is made from 20 41/2 inch diameter bandsawn mdf discs each with a 3/4 inch centre hole. The table is 15 inches wide. The axle shaft is a piece of 3/4 inch diameter mild steel. The discs were glued to the shaft using an epoxy glue and the discs were glued together with Titebond. It’s a fairly slow and messy process. The discs are clamped together together during the drying process. The initial cylinder will be uneven (that’s life) so once you have rigged up your motor and pillow bearings you can true the cylinder by gently sliding a piece of mdf that has 80 grit sandpaper glued to it under the cylinder until you have an even sanding pattern. Make sure you have a fitted dust hood in place as mdf dust is really nasty. Once you have levelled the cylinder you need to seal the exposed edges with a proprietary mdf sealer or a mixture of white glue diluted with water. Leave overnight to dry. Cover the cylinder with sticky backed velcro to which you can then attach the velcro backed sandpaper.
Good luck.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View JJones98042's profile


228 posts in 2065 days

#7 posted 03-23-2013 01:08 AM

Outstanding! :D

-- "Keep thy airspeed up, lest the earth come from below and smite thee." - William Kershner

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2427 days

#8 posted 03-23-2013 02:58 AM

out standing tool build ,

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View hoss12992's profile


3956 posts in 1706 days

#9 posted 03-23-2013 03:07 AM

Thanks Jim for sharing your advise and insight. I really appreciate the help. Again, Great Job!

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View kiefer's profile


5562 posts in 2480 days

#10 posted 03-27-2013 02:40 AM

Nice blog and post Jim.
Got me thinking and would be nice to have another sander like this but where I want to place it are some size restrictions .
I like the way you used the plywood construction .
A well build machine that will last and now enjoy !

-- Kiefer

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

995 posts in 2125 days

#11 posted 03-27-2013 10:36 AM

Thanks for your comments. The footprint of my version is 22 inches wide by 25 inches deep. The table is 15 inches wide by 24 inches long. It’s mounted on wheels – two steerable and lockable ones at the front and two fixed straight line ones at the rear. If your space is at a premium you should really try to shoehorn one of these in. You will find it very useful. Just think about all of those wonderful thin veneers you will be able to produce to stick on with hide glue!

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View StumpyNubs's profile


7477 posts in 2613 days

#12 posted 03-27-2013 11:14 AM

We can’t get 8X4 sheets of plywood in Michigan. Would a 4X8 sheet work?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

995 posts in 2125 days

#13 posted 03-27-2013 12:49 PM

Only if you can cut the pieces out sideways! Apart from that it should be fine!!

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

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