How to Build Your Own Thickness Sander

Build your own thickness sander so that you can make turnings that are segmented on a lathe. Although the making process is challenging, it is going to be worth it. Making your own thickness sander can even save you thousands of bucks. To make it you only need around $500 and to buy one you may need to spend around $2500. Here are the steps to make it:

#1 Build the Rollers and the Sanding Drum

They can be made using MDF disks that are cut on a ShopBot. Once finished, frame them by cutting the plywood.

#2 Glue the Platten

Put the glue to ¾” MDF large sections to make the platen. Use a cauls and lots of clamps to do this step.

#3 Make the Acme Nuts Holder

Make it by raising and lowering the platen and by running the screws of the Acme through the nuts.

#4 Modify the Screws of the Acme to Accept Bushings

Modify it using a metal lather to turn down the lead screws so that it can accommodate the brash bushings and can allow the screws to make a turn.

#5 Cut the Plywood to make the Main Supports

Use furniture grade plywood to make the shelves, sides, and top. Then give them a finish with polyurethane before you assemble them.

#6 Mill the Drum Supports

Follow the sanders plan to get the right measurements. Use oak to make the little parts so that you can provide enough support for the bearings, conveyor rollers and the sanding drum.

#7 Assemble the Drum Supports and Grind the Bearings

Make sure that the bearing can move freely and that you are not using springs that are too strong for the sanding drum.

#8 Complete the Assembly of the Pressure Roller/Drum

Make sure that the bearings can move down and move up smoothly. Otherwise, you may need to a machine to fix it.

#9 Make the Platen Assembly

Affix the holders of the nut to the sides, then place the big sanding belt or the conveyor over the platen, then screw those sides to the MDF, and add the bearings and the rollers.

#10 Insert the Cross Members and Acme Screws

To insert the bushing into the cross supports from the oak, use an arbor press. Meanwhile, to hold everything temporarily together, use a plastic moving film.

#11 Install the Chain to the Sprockets

Do this by lowering and raising the platen a walk in the park.

#12 Install the Sides

Do this step along with the testing fit the top by using the fork lift.

#13 Install the Sanding Drum by Tightening the Chains

Do this step by elevating the platen and by installing the sanding drums.

#14 Wire then Install the Motor

Do this step by using a 1725 2HP motor.

#15 Construct the Dust Port

Build it by using laser cut acrylic and a heat gun. When you use the sander, you have to use the dust collector.

#16 Install the Drive Chain, Motor, and the Control Panel

Install the drive chain, motor, and the control panel. Don’t forget to adjust the conveyor belt tension. You are almost done!

#17 Install the Sandpaper and the Velcro

If you think you need to take off the Velcro, you will need to cover the drum using painters tape. Wrap the drum and then put on the sandpaper. Then, hook it up to a vacuum of dust. Finally, you are now ready to sand.