Making a homemade 12" disc sander

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Forum topic by BrianC87 posted 12-27-2013 03:48 AM 4801 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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38 posts in 1609 days

12-27-2013 03:48 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question sander

I’m looking into building a 12” disc sander and was wondering what size hp motor would be the best to use for it. It looks like I would have a 1/6, 1/3, or 1/2 hp available.

14 replies so far

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7115 posts in 1995 days

#1 posted 12-27-2013 03:53 AM

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2219 posts in 1865 days

#2 posted 12-27-2013 04:06 AM

I tried building one(12” disk sander) using the following link :

The main problem for me was to cut a well balanced 12” disk out of MDF and attaching it to a 2” pulley.
I soon realized I would have a better chance of success finding a 12” aluminum disk like what you might find as Shopsmith accessory.
I ended up buying a ready made one and never looked back.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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847 posts in 1055 days

#3 posted 12-27-2013 05:06 AM

If you decide to do it post some pics

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

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933 posts in 2111 days

#4 posted 12-27-2013 12:54 PM

I’ve done it with a 1/3 but a 1/2 would be better. When doing this – 12” disk out of MDF and attaching it to a 2” pulley – make the disk over sized by a bit then when attached to the motor you can take a chisel and cut it down like on a lathe.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

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3979 posts in 2389 days

#5 posted 12-27-2013 01:19 PM

Use the biggest motor you have, at least the 1/2 hp; 3/4 or 1 hp would be better.
I’d put it on a bearing mounted shaft and drive it with a belt so I could modify the speed.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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221 posts in 1988 days

#6 posted 12-27-2013 05:46 PM

I made 2MDF discs, mounted them to faceplates. Put them on the lathe to true up. Added the abrasive discs. I made a table from ply with a mitre guide groove, with a plate and bar that fits into the tool rest. Add a dust hose nozzle and grind away.

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7360 posts in 1425 days

#7 posted 12-27-2013 09:49 PM

Here’s what I made…

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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5590 posts in 2650 days

#8 posted 12-27-2013 09:51 PM

Do you have a lathe with at least 12” swing? If so you just need a sanding disk and platform. Most of your work is already done for you…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

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Rick M.

7683 posts in 1798 days

#9 posted 12-27-2013 10:58 PM

I drive a 9” disc with a 1HP variable speed motor and it takes a lot to bog it down at low speeds, at higher speeds (1250 or higher) it doesn’t bog. I would build it then test with the 1/3HP but you’ll probably end using the 1/2HP.


View BrianC87's profile


38 posts in 1609 days

#10 posted 12-28-2013 04:34 AM

Thanks everyone for the replies. I do not have a lathe at this time, but I have seen people go that route and would have been the ideal way to do it.

I’ll have to check in the morning to see what the largest available motor is that we have and go from there. I’m planning to build it based on a couple of models I have seen done here. Unfortunately I do not have a heated shop and will not be able to actually work on it until spring, but I will try to post updates at that time.

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78 posts in 994 days

#11 posted 04-26-2014 08:10 PM

1/2hp or more xD

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78 posts in 994 days

#12 posted 04-26-2014 08:19 PM

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3891 posts in 2662 days

#13 posted 04-26-2014 10:33 PM

I built one using a 12” disk from a Shopsmith and direct drive it with a 1/4 hp motor. The motor is not big enough. 3/4 or 1 hp would be better.

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Rick M.

7683 posts in 1798 days

#14 posted 04-27-2014 02:20 AM

Ron, you could set up a pulley system and gain more torque at the expense of speed.


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