Wood Turning Blog

Sanders you can make yourself


Here are a few examples of the Self-propelled or inertia type sanders you can make. These are made with a few very basic components. You need a sanding pad. As you can see there are a number of different designs and they range in size from 1" to 3". Some pads are made so that you can remove the shaft and thread in your shaft, so your shaft needs to have approx. 3/4" of 1/4-20 TPI on one end.  If your pads have a shaft that is not removable , you will need to make a short coupling to join the two shafts.  If you purchase your pads from my favorite sand paper supplier (sandpaper.ca) you will get a hi quality pad with a shaft that is removable.

You also need a shaft and a pair of bearings which will fit into a hole you drill in your handle


You can drill the hole in the handle at any angle you like. I use 90° for Spindle sanders and angles like 60° and 45° for bowl sanders. If you start off with your handle stock 1.5"x1.5"x5" you can clamp it in a drill press vise and drill it very easily. Drill the hole approx. 1 1/4 deep, then mark your center and mount it in the lathe and shape it so it fits your hand. Remember not to take off to much material where the hole was drilled. 


If you use a bearing such as a R4, the dimensions of the bearings are what I call a hobby bearing. The OD is 3/4", we all should have a drill bit that is 3/4" to drill the hole in the handle and the bearing fits right in. Then if we use 1/4" shaft material, the bearing ID is 1/4" and can be pressed onto the shaft. Space them approx. 1/2" apart. The length of the shaft is personal choice, I use 2.5-3" for spindle sanders and up to 6" for bowl sanders, it also depends on how deep your bowls are. Put a bit of glue on the OD of the bearings and slip the shaft and bearings into your handle and you are set.


Happy Sanding….

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