< $15 Auto rotate sanding tool - lathe use

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Project by GenuineGeek posted 03-24-2013 09:21 PM 3163 views 8 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A guy named Robert S makes some great commercially available sanders like this, but I did not have $65 to drop down on one, so I spent less than $15 and made my own.
Main parts were bought at Princess Auto (sorry non-Canadian turners) on sale right now for $10. that is the second picture.
I drilled a half inch hole about an inch deep on my turned handle (oak) directly on at one end and at 45degrees on the other. I will make two more at other angles as I have 2 more nylon bushings to use. The nylon bushings come form Lowes. Details are on the third picture.
At the bottom of the hole I placed a rare earth magnet. (Mine were free from taking apart computer hard drives), I then put a small amount of gorilla glue on the nylon bushing and pushed it in the hole.
Ready to use. The magnet keeps the stem from dropping out but is not to strong to hinder spinning. The nylon bushing holds it very steady but it spins very easily. The yellow foam has some give to it, but is quite firm, I may put some other foam in between and then I will have to add a few cents worth of hook and loop (Velcro) to my costs.
Works great, and I have 3 different size heads – whereas Robert only gives you one. I have to manually change positions and am limited to 4 preset positions whereas Robert’s gives unlimited positioning.
I an VERY happy with how well it works

-- Don't try to figure it out... just turn it.

8 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3863 days

#1 posted 03-25-2013 01:16 AM

Way to save some big dollars ! Nice project.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View tyvekboy's profile


1817 posts in 3188 days

#2 posted 03-25-2013 03:42 AM

Great idea

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Mip's profile


453 posts in 2253 days

#3 posted 03-25-2013 03:50 AM

This is a great idea, especially since I’m like you: cheap, I mean thrifty. I just can’t see forking over 50 to 70 dollars for something I can make myself. I may have to make one of these. One thing though: I’ve never seen a princess work on cars, before.

View Dakkar's profile


345 posts in 2103 days

#4 posted 03-25-2013 04:46 AM

Not really being a lathe person, I was a bit dumfounded trying to understand how this was used. I found this video that shows good ole Robert using his, though:

View GenuineGeek's profile


157 posts in 2156 days

#5 posted 03-25-2013 03:53 PM

Thank you Dakkar. I had not seen that video before, and now I have the idea presented to add buffer disks as well.

-- Don't try to figure it out... just turn it.

View GenuineGeek's profile


157 posts in 2156 days

#6 posted 03-25-2013 03:57 PM

Princess Auto actually has more farmer related goods than anything else. Since farmers generally try to repair their equipment on their own they have pneumatic, hydraulic, electrical and all manner of products and hand-tools. I have no idea how they came up with their name.

-- Don't try to figure it out... just turn it.

View jte9999's profile


25 posts in 2277 days

#7 posted 03-25-2013 09:47 PM

One of “Capt Eddie’s” (Youtube) followers suggested a spherical rare earth magnet to hold in the shaft and aid in spinning. He demos it working very well.

-- --half full, half empty? How about twice as big as it needs to be?

View GenuineGeek's profile


157 posts in 2156 days

#8 posted 03-26-2013 04:39 PM

Indeed, Capt Eddie did suggest that, and I watch his video’s regularly. Mine works very well too, no worse than his. I would have had to buy a spherical magnet, but these were free, and they spin very easily. It provides just enough hold to hold the shaft in place, but not enough to hinder the spinning to any noticeable degree. In any case, a magnet will not aid in spinning as a magnetic force will try to hold a ferrous metal stationary.

-- Don't try to figure it out... just turn it.

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