1' width by 18" table sander

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Forum topic by gkellop posted 12-10-2012 02:44 AM 1513 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 2022 days

12-10-2012 02:44 AM

Hi All,

I need to make a 1’ width by 18” table sander. Those are the minimum dimensions, but it can be larger. I was wondering if anyone has any insight into how to do something like this.

All it needs to be is a sanding belt traveling over a flat surface. I don’t need it to flip around or do anything fancy like Grizzly table sanders do. I don’t even care about dust collection ports, or anything like that. Just a simple, bear bones machine that will get the job done.

I was reading this forum and some ideas were brought up:

If I could just go out and buy a treadmill and purchase a sanding belt that was 1’ wide by whatever the necessary length was, I’d do it. But I don’t think they make sanding belts that size. And I don’t want to have to spend more than 400 dollars on a belt.

So, I was just wondering if anyone has any insight in making this type of a machine, or if there’s some shop somewhere that’s flying under the radar that makes machines like this.


14 replies so far

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4120 days

#1 posted 12-10-2012 10:11 PM

May I suggest a bit more information. From reading your post you say you need 1’ width by 18” table sander.

You also referenced a finewoodworking blog entry where they mentioned a wide-belt sander, like the one used by Norm on the New Yankee workshop similar to this one . The blog entry also mentioned a drum sander , and example is found at .

What type of machine are you looking for?

Many LJs have build the drum sanders, some with powerfeed, others with a manual feed. I’ve build mine with a manual feed. My point here is many examples exist of this type on this site. You can build a width that is suitable to the work you do. For machines like this, you purchase rolls of sandpaper that adhere to the sanding drum

What are you looking to do? Is this one time only? What are you trying to sand (rough lumber, veneers, etc…)? Their may be other alternatives that could be suggested as this is a very knowledgeable forum.

-- Nicky

View AandCstyle's profile


3075 posts in 2285 days

#2 posted 12-11-2012 12:20 AM

Would a Sand-Flee work for you? If you search, you can also find instructions for making one yourself.

-- Art

View gkellop's profile


10 posts in 2022 days

#3 posted 12-12-2012 11:38 AM

Hi AandC,

I wonder if the SandFlee might actually work for what I need. I am a violin maker, So what happens is, I am continually needing to make the bottom of glued-up boards for the top and back of the violin perfectly flat, and I also have the rib garland (a mould with the ribs of the violin) perfectly flat.

So, what I have been doing is taping sandpaper to a perfectly flat board with double sided tape, and spending hours moving it back and forth on the paper to get it perfectly flat (with inconsistent results… not to mention, a LOT of labor). So I need a way to speed up this process. I wonder if the Sand Flee would suit my purposes. The thing I wonder about is if after moving a work over the Sand Flee, if it comes out perfectly flat.

Thanks All! Will check back soon!

View gkellop's profile


10 posts in 2022 days

#4 posted 12-12-2012 11:40 AM

View gkellop's profile


10 posts in 2022 days

#5 posted 12-12-2012 11:44 AM

These aren’t mine, but just to give you an idea of what I need to do. So one side of the top (spruce) and maple (back) need to be perfectly flat. Many luthiers use a hand plane but that doesn’t work for me. I always end up catching the grain of the wood. And, also, you go over one part of the wood with the hand plane, and then another part, and you don’t know if the two parts you just swiped over, are actually at a consistent level still. I find it to be a messy process.

And the edges of the ribs on the mould need to be sanded down perfectly flat so that the top (spruce) and back (maple) pieces can be glued to it.

I think the Sand Flee could be a viable option, as long as the work comes out perfectly flat after running it through. What I would be concerned about is if the Flee lifts up one side of the wood as it’s running through and therefore rounds it slightly, instead of making it perfectly flat. (Not sure if I’m describing what I mean there well).

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3783 days

#6 posted 12-12-2012 01:03 PM

I made one of these-

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View gkellop's profile


10 posts in 2022 days

#7 posted 12-12-2012 03:34 PM


I read up a bit more on the Sand Flee, and I think I need one! :)

Is there a particular brand that you’d recommend, or a particular place that would be good to purchase one from?

I read up that there’s a new model out, and one person seems to not like the new model, and prefers the older model. He said that he had two different engines for the newer model and they both broke, and tech support was not too helpful. SO maybe it’s better to go with the older model. Not sure.


View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3676 days

#8 posted 12-12-2012 04:59 PM

Guitar builders build custom 24” disc sanders for this
application, sanding the rim of a guitar before the
back is glued on. Usually the disc is dished because
guitar backs are domed a little.

View gkellop's profile


10 posts in 2022 days

#9 posted 12-12-2012 07:52 PM

Whoops. I think it might be back to the drawing board for me. I was just reading this post, and it says that the Flee Sander is intended for finish work, but does not make the work even (or level):

So, I might need to go back to my original tread mill type design. Bummer.

View a1Jim's profile


117127 posts in 3605 days

#10 posted 12-12-2012 09:48 PM

In todays projects

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View gkellop's profile


10 posts in 2022 days

#11 posted 12-12-2012 10:09 PM

Cool machine!

Ya, but for what I need, I would have to stay away from the top roller, because the roller would crush the delicate violin ribs. It needs to only be a bottom sander, and you’d have to be able to hold the work down to the plate.

I drew up a very poor design (please excuse my artwork!). This is sort of what I’d need, because I could hold the ribs down to a belt that is rolling over a piece of marble or something (marble because it’s perfectly flat). That way, the area that you’re sanding would come away perfectly flat and level because it was sanded against a perfectly flat surface.

View AandCstyle's profile


3075 posts in 2285 days

#12 posted 12-13-2012 12:33 AM

Here is another option. HTH

-- Art

View gkellop's profile


10 posts in 2022 days

#13 posted 12-13-2012 03:33 AM

Ah ha! Found it. This is exactly what I need:

View Henry6's profile


36 posts in 2055 days

#14 posted 12-13-2012 06:34 AM

12” Baby Drum Sander is really a good option.

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