Anyone used a table saw for sanding?

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Forum topic by spinmon posted 09-27-2010 02:31 AM 12026 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 2216 days

09-27-2010 02:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw sanding station sanding disks sander

Hi everyone! I am new to this forum and I have several questions. I’ll just keep this one on topic and see if I can find the answers I am looking for in other posts. I am in the process of looking to upgrade my benchtop Craftsman table saw to a solid contractor saw with cast iron wings. My budget is somewhat limited, but I can probably get together $800 or so for the new saw which opens up my possibilities. Buying used would further increase the scope, but I’m not sure I want to buy someone elses possibly abused/neglected machine as one so important to the heart of woodworking. I’ve noticed tons of benchtop saws on Craigslist for $50-$75, so I think I may just keep my old one and convert it into a sanding station. Some of these can be expensive as a stand alone unit, and there is always a need for one it seems, especially with the projects I have running around in my head. I’m sure it can or has been done, I just don’t know of anyone who has. Any idea where I can find solid backed sanding wheels for this possibly in 8-10” diameters? Also, does anyone know if there is a supplier of belt sanding attachments for an arbor in a tablesaw? I’m sure it can be done, I’m just not an engineer nor do I have the skills/machinery to mill a prototype. I’m hoping that someone else has figued out how to do it and is willing to sell me something. Any help would be appreciated.


-- You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist's office.

35 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5099 posts in 2611 days

#1 posted 09-27-2010 03:01 AM

Greetings John,
I have never used my tablesaw as a sander…I don’t think I ever would on mine, because I have a Delta 6×48”
sander w/ a 9” disc that I’ve had for years. Fore me personally, the table saw is made to have cutting blades on it, and nothing else. But….they do make a disc for sanding that you mount on the t.s., and most have a 5/8” hole to fit the arbor.. Personally, if I were going to do that, I’d go no bigger than 10”. You can get these disc at practially any ww supplier, like Rockler, Woodworking Supply,, etc..I think what you want to do would be ok and safe (with the disc), but not real sure with the belt sanding attachments…Maybe someone else will chime in and tell you.. Good luck in your endevors.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View spinmon's profile


6 posts in 2216 days

#2 posted 09-27-2010 03:30 AM

Thanks for the input Rick! its a small benchtop without much power or accuracy, but I figured the tilt of the blade would be convenient, as well as the ability to use the fence as maybe a quick jointer. The speed of the rotation may be a concern though, but it bogs down with plywood. It will probably never sell, and the return would not be enough to pay for what I’m looking for. I’ll try it and see – it can’t hurt. Looks like I’ll be going to Woodcraft next weekend – like I ever really NEED an excuse.

-- You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist's office.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 3509 days

#3 posted 09-27-2010 03:50 AM

I was going to say that it would throw off the machine and not cut very well after putting perpendicular pressure on the sanding disk but I see now you’re going to use an old one as a dedicated sander so never mind. Just don’t expect it to cut anything with a blade very well after using it as a sander for a while.

By the way, welcome to LJ’s John.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View JasonIndy's profile


187 posts in 2852 days

#4 posted 09-27-2010 04:21 AM

spinmon, I saw the exact same setup in an old Deltagram article. I have a Black & Decker table saw that’s probably not too far off from your Craftsman. I bought some sanding discs and just cut out a wood template, drilled a hole in the middle, and mounted them. I was concerned about it burning because the RPMs are much, much higher but it turned out okay. It removes a lot of stock very quickly, though. If your saw’s anything like mine, there’s already a little bit of wobble in the arbor when it runs anyway, but I think Chip makes a good point, I hadn’t thought of that.

View Cwolfe's profile


7 posts in 2428 days

#5 posted 09-30-2010 05:24 PM

Considering that table saws are used to cut coves in wood, I think using one for sanding should be fine. But, I could be wrong.

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2297 days

#6 posted 09-30-2010 06:55 PM

John- Be CAREFUL if you use a sanding disc on the TS. I was in the same situation as you. I had a cheaper bench style TS and updated to contractor saw so I put a sanding dist on my old saw. The first time I used it worked well at first but after a few min I heard a horrible sound and dust blowing all over. The RPMs are IMO a little to fast on the TS and that along with the pressure on the disc caused the sand paper to loosen up and come off. Now I don’t know if this is any huge danger but I imagine if some of the paper hits you in the face it could hurt. If you use a sanding disc just make sure the paper is attached to the disc as good and tight as it can be. Mine was either glued or was a stick and sand paper, I cant remember. I did use it again but after a few more uses I found that it just turned way to fast and removed to much material for my liking. On rough lumber or wood where you need to remove a LOT it works well. For minor sanding I would skip it.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3438 days

#7 posted 09-30-2010 07:07 PM

I had a sanding disk around here I bought from Sears for the table saw.
I can’t see why you couldn’t use an old anchor for a disc sander.
See ir Sears still supplies the discs.
I don’t think I would try to set up a belt due to the motor speed on most saws ( 3500 RPM).
That could get exiting.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Colin 's profile


93 posts in 2228 days

#8 posted 09-30-2010 08:52 PM

I can’t remember where I saw one; maybe grizzly? But somebody makes a disc specifically for a table saw. It is actually marketed as a setup tool for checking alignment. But then they sell sanding discs for it too. Sounds like a good use for an old tool.


View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 2720 days

#9 posted 09-30-2010 09:02 PM

Another idea; is I was able to find a well used 2hp 12” disk sander on Craigslist for $50.00. It has become a real “go to” tool in my shop. HF has new 1hp models for about $130.00 They are cheaper when on sale and a guy can get a HF 20% off coupon off the Internet or out of a magazine anytime you want to.


-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View DrDirt's profile


4133 posts in 3159 days

#10 posted 09-30-2010 09:35 PM

I have a sanding disc for my saw – like other have said – I found it runs too fast, and the positioning is awkward compared to a stand alone unit. The one I have is this one from amazon (actually Eagle AMerica)\

I do notice that you are asking about a BELT sanding attachment, and That is something I have never encountered.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2491 days

#11 posted 09-30-2010 11:34 PM

There are situations where it is good to have a sanding disk that is in exactly the same alignment as the table saw blade you used to make a cut. This is a ShopSmith selling point. Set the tilt and the miter angle just right – make your cut – replace the saw blade with a disk sander and sand the same surface you just cut perfectly.

There is no reason the same principle would not work on a conventional TS, if you have a sanding disk to attach. However, on the SS you can turn the speed down and on the TS you cannot. TS speed is very high for sanding. It’s doable but it is not ideal.

Frankly, I would not do it. A basic disk sander does not cost much.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View jackass's profile


350 posts in 3130 days

#12 posted 10-01-2010 12:05 AM

I have done it. I was scared to death, because of the speed, it was too aggressive. There are better options, investigate those first. Ask a manufacturer what they think. There was a table saw blade available a few years ago that had an adhesive back piece of sandpaper stuck to it. Didn’t last long on the market. Couldn’t find out if it was dangerous or the sandpaper wore out too fast. Don’t do it. That’s all I can contribute.

-- Jack Keefe Shediac NB Canada

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 2456 days

#13 posted 10-02-2010 12:25 AM

I have an 8 inch sanding disk that is made for a table saw. I have had it for fifty years. It has a 5/8” arbor hole. One side is tapeted 3 degrees from arbor hole to the outside rim. You tilt your arbor to 3 degrees and it puts the sanding surface at 90 degrees to the table surface. Since the sanding surface is a shallow cone shape you are sanding on a fine line across the face of the paper perpendicular to the table saw table. the result is smooth sanded surfase, no chattering, and the paper lasts a long time. Used with the rip fence it is great for edge jointing. There are no sweerl marks. I know it came from Sears, but I don’t know if you can still get them there.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2476 days

#14 posted 10-02-2010 01:03 AM

There is an attachment you can get for a table saw to convert it into a disc sander. I don’t know any way to make a belt sander in some way. The disc sander attachment simply attaches the same way as the blade normally would. The attachment is nothing more than a 10” diameter steel plate (about 3/16” thick, a little thicker than a normal blade for sure) with a 5/8” hole to attach to the saw arbor. You then purchase adhesive backed sanding discs that attach to the steel disc. I have one and it works well. The draw back, since I only have one table saw is having to remove the blade to install the disc (I have since purchased a separate disc sander machine), but that would not be a problem in your case if you purchase another saw. The big advantage to me would be that you could have 2 different grits (one on each side of the disc) that would prevent you from having to change discs as often. Also, you would have the convenience of being able to tilt the disc for some applications. Don’t forget that you can also use the miter gauge as well. I could even conceive of using various types of jigs that run in the miter slots to help to true up, square up and at the same time, sand and smooth a piece. You can use it to trim just the correct amount for a perfect fit. The potential applications are virtually unlimited with a little creativity.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2476 days

#15 posted 10-02-2010 01:04 AM

BTW, the disc that I have that fits my saw was purchased from Sears. I don’t know if they still carry it anymore though.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

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