Sunday, 13 May 2012

Homemade spindle sander ... ...

This is a bit of a cheat really, but one of my recent projects required the use of a spindle sander, however I don't have one, so I made one, well it's more of a router table kind of thing.

Spindle sanders are very expensive and as I'll probably only use it now and then I can't really justify the expense (especially not at over £100 a throw) so I decided to turn my old router into a spindle sander, which did mean I had to buy a set of drum sanders and a few washers, but at £15 this is a lot cheaper.

Basically I found the centre of the plywood sheet and then cut out a hole the right size to fit the sanding drum into, I then used the plastic cover from the bottom of the router as a template and marked out a series of holes on a piece of plywood so I could fix the router to the wood and use it upside down.

The plastic template -

Worked quite well as a guide.

Hole saw, these come in very handy - 

Not the best picture.

I counter sunk the fixing holes to make sure that the fixing bolts wouldn't get in the way of what ever I was trying to sand, I used a Forstner bit to make the counter sinks, I made the holes big enough to fit the washers in as well.

Forstner bit (some people call them hinge cutters) - 

You can usually get these in sets.

The plywood plate with holes ready for fixing - 

Ready for the router.

The next thing to do was fix the router to the plywood, this was easy enough, as it was just a case of bolting the two bits together, I did take the router apart to make it easier to fix things together.

The routers plunge assembly - 

I had to find some longer bolts for fixing.

All fixed together - 

Ready to be fixed back on the router.

Once the plunge attachment was fixed to the wood it was just a case of fitting it back on the router and then fitting a sanding drum, I got a set with 5 different sized sanding drums, at the moment I'm using the largest, but as there are different sizes I have a fair bit of choice as to what I can do with the sander / router in terms of shaping wood.

Drum fitted - 

All done.

From a different angle - 

Ready for testing.

One of the other sanding drums from the set I have - 

It's just a big chunk of rubber with a bolt through it.

With sand paper tube attached - 

Smaller versions of this normally come with multi tools.

To use the sander I just fixed a piece of wood to one end of the plywood sheet so that I could grip it in the large vice I have in my shed, it also makes it easy to store as well, and as space is currently at a premium in my shed easily storing things is handy.

Mounted in vice - 

It's more secure than it looks.

It works ! - 

No it's not a loo seat.

Its not perfect, a proper spindle sander oscillates (goes up and down while spinning) and this doesn't,but for what I want it for it's pretty good, I guess if you had a router table you could do the same thing, mine does vibrate a fair bit, and it makes a lot of noise, but it does the job, and it means I can finish the lathe steady I'm making (that's what the thing that looks like a loo seat is) it also means I didn't have to spend a shed load of money.

Thanks for reading.

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