how to spindle sand without spindle sander?

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Forum topic by bues0022 posted 01-30-2012 02:24 AM 7288 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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249 posts in 3123 days

01-30-2012 02:24 AM

The project I’m on needs extensive work with a spindle sander, but I don’t have one or have access to one. I have several tools that rotate rapidly (router, angle grinder) and am trying to figure out if there’s a way to easily modify the output of one of these to make it work.

I was first thinking there must be some kind of accessory for an angle grinder that has a sanding sleeve on it, but can’t seem to find something that wouldn’t force me to make my own coupling.

Any ideas?

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

19 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1786 posts in 2280 days

#1 posted 01-30-2012 02:28 AM

A drill press is the most logical alternative but I didn’t see you mention having one.

If the router is variable speed it might work with a 1/4” spindle sanding drum but you’d have to make sure the drum is rated for the rpm of the router. I doubt there is a router that will go low enough for a drum and be considered safe.

-- See my work at and

View MrsN's profile


985 posts in 3489 days

#2 posted 01-30-2012 02:31 AM

Can you explain the project? I have lots of creative sanding ideas..

View bues0022's profile


249 posts in 3123 days

#3 posted 01-30-2012 03:24 AM

I do not have a drill press unfortunately.

I’m working on a Maloof-inspired rocking chair – using Hal Taylor’s plans.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3443 days

#4 posted 01-30-2012 03:37 AM

You could get a drum sanding kit that has various drum sanding sizes that fits into a drill press and install it in your electric drill. Clamp the drill in a vice or to your bench and turn it on. You might have to use a rag or foam around the drill to hold it tight. Of course you will have to hold the piece horizontal so the sanding is square to the wood. Kind of crude, but this would get the job done.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3158 days

#5 posted 01-30-2012 03:37 AM


Take a look at the Ridgid oscillating spindle / belt sander. You will finish your project but find many uses for it in the future. I use mine several times a week.

Find a Harbor Freight 20% discount coupon and don’t give up until you find a Home Depot that accepts it. Some do and some don’t , talk to the manager on duty.

Good luck.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2934 days

#6 posted 01-30-2012 05:17 AM

Get a Wood Magazine and look at the Harbor Freight add in the back. There is a spindle sander they sell in this ad for $89. You might also might get them to accept the 20% off on one item at the same time. That’ll get you down to around $71, plus tax. I have seen this same sander, with various brand names on it, for as much as $300 at other suppliers.

The Ridgid edge/spindle sander is a great unit also. Never heard of anyone who got this machine that didn’t really like it. It’s normally $199, and like Viking said, you can find a Home Depot that wil accept the HF coupon if you look long enough.

View bues0022's profile


249 posts in 3123 days

#7 posted 01-30-2012 06:35 PM

It looks like I found myself a drill press to use.

Any recommendations on a set of drums that will work well?
I saw some drums that are “split” so you can load in your own sandpaper – do those actually work well?

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3038 days

#8 posted 01-30-2012 06:42 PM

PLease be advised that the chuck in a drill press (Jacob’s chuck) is not designed to take much sideways pressure. People, including myself, have been using drill presses for drum sanding purposes for a long time. It is an established practice. Even Norm did it in his earlier shows.

Still, gentle pressure is advised.

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

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3612 days

#9 posted 01-30-2012 06:42 PM

I used the ‘delta’ brand set of drum sanders for the drill press. it works ‘ok’. nothing to brag about, but with enough patience it does sand concave surfaces. make sure you get a sanding paper cleaner bar though, cause those get packed with sawdust real fast making them useless unless you keep cleaning them after every couple of passes.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Bill White's profile (online now)

Bill White

4901 posts in 3923 days

#10 posted 01-30-2012 06:50 PM

The split drums do work well. I’ve used one on the DP until I got the Ridgid OSS.
What Rich said abt. the DP sanding is real.


View bues0022's profile


249 posts in 3123 days

#11 posted 01-30-2012 06:51 PM

Thanks for the tips. Agreed on the sideways pressure idea on the drill presses – they’re made take go up/down forces, not sideways!

Anyway, I’m trying to figure out if there’s really a difference between the $12 set and the $35 set. It sounds like fro PurpLev, the Delta brand isn’t any special.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View bues0022's profile


249 posts in 3123 days

#12 posted 01-30-2012 07:05 PM

Another thought – couldn’t I make something out of a chunk of round wood/plastic/aluminum, a bolt….but how to attach the sandpaper to the wood…...

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 2950 days

#13 posted 01-30-2012 08:58 PM

Here is a link to making your own spindles.
It uses hook and loop sandpaper.
I would think you could run a bolt through it and chuck it in a DP.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View pintodeluxe's profile


5620 posts in 2776 days

#14 posted 01-30-2012 09:08 PM

I tried the spindle sander on the drill press, but it kept throwing sanding sleeves.
I went with the Ridgid oscillating spindle / belt sander instead. It is great for sanding inside curves, but the oscillating belt is what I use most. It is very useful for sanding sweeping curves. Also the tilting table lets you easily create chamfers.
If you think future projects will have curves or chamfers, it is worth a look.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View bues0022's profile


249 posts in 3123 days

#15 posted 01-30-2012 09:15 PM

grrrr. You guys are really talking me into that Rigid tool. I just don’t know if I can swing it right now though.

Maybe I’ll give making one a try. Maybe I’ll be able to limp through this project. We’ll see how much I end up cussing at myself for not getting the new tool, and attempt to talk my wife into it.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

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