Converting a Shaper to a Spindle Sander/Thickness Sander

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Forum topic by End_Grain posted 12-18-2009 12:10 AM 7721 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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95 posts in 3106 days

12-18-2009 12:10 AM

I was in my shop today and looking around I though, ‘Gee, shure would be nice to have a edge sander.’ It was a fleeting thought that lasted until reality set in about the $$ for one and I really don’t have the room for the one I would be happy with. I looked around and saw my shaper. It goes round and round just like a spindle sander. I have a 1/2” collet adapter for it. If a sanding spindle had a 1/2” shank, why wouldn’t it work. Heck, from there and with a little ingenuity and trial and error engineering I bet a guy could fashion a manual feed thickness sander as a next step.

Do I have left field so screwed up nobody can catch a fly ball or could this really be done?

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

6 replies so far

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3137 days

#1 posted 12-18-2009 12:19 AM

The only thing I would be concerned about would be speed, a shaper spindle spins at higher rpm’s than a spindle sander and you may run the risk of burning your material. I could be wrong on this subject but just figured I’d put in my two cents, hopefully someone could let me know if I am wrong.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3303 days

#2 posted 12-18-2009 01:42 AM

I have thought of using my shaper for this too, but I think it’s way too fast as mentioned above. I do my drum sanding on the drillpress where I can control the speed. If you have a variable speed hand drill couldn’t you mount it in a cradle with a table on top and a hole drilled to accept your sanding drum?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3527 days

#3 posted 12-18-2009 01:47 AM

A shaper would have too fast a speed for Sanding. Unless you could reduce the speed, I do not think it will work.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3862 days

#4 posted 12-18-2009 02:19 AM

I can reduce the speed on the shaper (not sure if I can reduce it far enough) but regardless, the edge of the wood will quickly peel the abrasive coating off, thats why some oscilate but then again

nothing ventured nothing gained

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View End_Grain's profile


95 posts in 3106 days

#5 posted 12-18-2009 02:54 AM

Actually, the goal is to rig a thickness sander out of it all. I can reduce the speed also. I’ve seen spindle sanders converted/rigged to work as a manual feed thickness sander and really as far as basic function (with the exception of RPM) it is identical.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3167 days

#6 posted 12-18-2009 06:12 AM

Not sure if this would help but Felder and Hammer offer sanding drums to fit on their 30mm shaper spindles, but their machines do have multiple speed settings ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 rpm. They probably are available from the Felder US web shop too.

There’s likewise a company called Carroll in the UK that do a variety of drum sanders for use in a drill press to 3,800rpm.

They also do a high speed variety safe up to 10,000rpm for use on spindle moulders:

Not sure if they are sold in the US, but you could probably mail order them from the likes of Axminster Power Tools in the UK: or


-- Late awakener....

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