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Thickness Sander


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Here are some pictures of the thickness sander I built last year for my Triton cross section build. It is powered by a drill and takes a half sheet of standard size sandpaper. The metal shaft is fitted through two bearings recessed into the sides, then several wooden discs fixed to the shaft. There is a couple if holes drilled in the shaft and a small nail through each fixed to a couple of the wooden discs so they wouldnt spin. I then glued a sheet of sandpaper to a flat board and set this on the bed, turned on the drill and raised the bed to sand the surface flat to the table. The hole on top was put in later an is is to fit the vacuum hose and makes this unit virtually dust free. The drill is fixed in place but can be removed by a single screw at the handle end. I have a couple of drills so havent had to remove this yet. Being variable speed I can adjust for the fine sanding or for the first thicknessing.

 

Can open up to about 60mm deep and is 120mm wide. I have sanded down to 1mm succesfully and the thickness is set by the bolt at the rear of the table. Sandpaper is fixed a wooden shaft with a slot to fit the flat bar to hold the sheet in place. The only parts I paid for were the split pins that hold the shaft in place, the rest I had lying around the shed. It has now had a tidy up and a bit of paint on the top. 

 

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I like it. Clever design.

I may have to do something like this. Perhaps I can addapt it to my old Shopsmith.

I made a small table saw for that tool so I can cut thin strips of lumber. But sanding afterwards would be a good addition.

 

Do you have any problems of the sandpaper grabbing the work piece and throwing it out the end? Do you simply hold the part at both ends as it goes through?

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Yes, Davis is correct. The timber is fed in against the rotation of the sandpaper. I make sure the pieces are longer than 200mm so I have a hand hold at each end. Or finger hold for the smaller sizes! Also I stand to the side so when a length get away it goes across the shed rather than into me.

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The axle is about 10mm and had the two bearings. I cut 6 (I think) pieces of an old fence paling into a circle. The first disc at each end has a small slot across the centre hole, which lines up with a hole through the axle. when the first and second discs were glued together a small nail was put in the hole. I used epoxy glue so once this died there is no way the discs could turn on the axle. Each disc was glued with the grain at 90 degrees to the last for strength. Once everything was fixed and sanded a coat of thinned epoxy was wiped over an left to soak in.  

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