Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thickness sander

I made it all by myself!

It became painfully obvious that I was going to need a way to get really thin boards for my miniature accessories. My planer, even with the auxiliary table to raise the bed and do thinner work was not adequate.
I knew I needed a thickness sander. I have been wanting to build one for about 25 years now, ever since I saw plans in one of my woodworking books. The time was not right back then but it is now!! I searched the internet for plans, copied a bunch and settled on this one. The exploded view scared the crap out of me and the instructions were like reading Japanese at first. But I stuck with it, and soon everything made sense. Well...sorta....

Here is the frame constructed and in the clamps.

I added 2 casters to the back figuring I'd not have room for a permanent home for him and he's be getting wheeled about. 
I've got the table in place with the elevation control and the drum assembly with the pillow block bearings. I had to cut 18 plywood discs for the drum. 

Here I've got the motor wired and installed. I was so scared!! Was it going to work or explode???  I cut a cord off a power strip that died to use for the power cord. The wires in the motor come coded but they assume you know what the numbers mean and what goes where.Well after phone calls to Harbor Freight and some internet research I learned that black was hot, and turns out, the numbers are kinda standard! So I figured out how to wire it, BUT, not only did the switch on the motor not work (typical) but I needed to mount a switch on the tool. I've mounted switches before, not rocket science, but this motor had all those coded wires and I didn't know what went where... Enter dear friend Catherine who found a schematic online and BINGO there was the answer! That's why I surmised that the code  numbers were standard. The first time I flipped the switch I was literally shaking ...success!

I've got the switch mounted, the drum trued up and wrapped in velcro then sandpaper. (not fun)
Here's a close up of the dust shield.
Well there you have it, a home made thickness sander.....finally!!!


  1. HURRAY LINDA!!! I am so impressed. It looks GREAT too. Can you hear me clapping? :-)))

  2. Nice !!!!!! Here's a tip ........ Mark an arrow to show the direction the drum turns just for reference so you will know the feed side and also if anyone else uses it they will know the feed side . all the sanding equipment I own the direction of the drum is marked on it for safety .


  3. Oh, wow, Linda, I am very impressed that you build it all by yourself. My hubby is the one that normally makes these kinds of things for me. Enjoy making all your lumber for yourself, it is nice to be able to make one's own wood and in the right thickness.

  4. Wonderful Linda! There's absolutely NO end to your talent! :-))

  5. vaya, es increible que te hayas montado tu una lijadora casi industrial en casa , es una maravilla, estoy segura de que la utilizaras continuamente



  6. Hello Linda,
    That is awsome. I don't think I'd have the guts to take on such a real life project. Godd for you! You never sees to amaze!
    Big hug,

  7. Good Lord, Linda. What an amazing project to take on. You are one ballsy chick.

    Can't wait to see the work that comes out of it.


  8. That is one kick-ASS thickness sander, Miss Gurl!

  9. that sander ought to be able to take on a whole apple tree at once!

    Good project, nothing holding you back from making your fine miniature antiques now. You are all tooled up for it!

  10. Hey, Mom and I are stalking your website , sander is amazing, you will be building tools for me too , right?

  11. I've been so busy making little boards that I forgot to say thank you for the comments of support! Means so much---

  12. I am truly impressed by your initiative in researching and building this machine - way to go!

  13. You haven't been quiet! And to make matters worse; this is the type of tool that will get you going even faster! Essential when you reach this stage in building miniatures. For the past 2 year or so i've been studying home build planers and (imho) this sander looked like the best option to do so . So I know what it takes, very impressed you took this on! And this beauty is Tha Bomb :) Pad on the back, or two, or three :D wow

  14. I don't even know you, but I am so proud of you for accomplishing the construction of this wonderful sander! I found your blog through kilmouskiandme blog. You both make such wonderful things. You have encouraged me to tackle some projects I have been only thinking of! Thank-you, thank-you!