ShopNotes 72 Drill press edge sander

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Project by OregonWoodRat posted 04-18-2014 10:26 PM 19619 views 46 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed an edge sander but in my tiny shop I have no room for a large floor model. In ShopNotes #72 there is a drill press powered edge sander that uses 4×36 inch belts. I had some Baltic Birch plywood left over from another project. I bought the bearings from Amazon. The plans call for flanged bearing but at $14 for the lowest priced ones I decided to use flangeless bearings. I got 10 bearings for $26, 3 belts for $10, and miscellaneous fasteners.

The rollers I rough cut on my bandsaw and after gluing I trued up using the router jig in the plans. Instead of gluing the shaft to the rollers I drilled a hole in the side of the rollers and tapped a hole in the shaft. I used a ¼ inch bolt to secure the roller to the shaft. So far it seems to be working.

All of the knobs I made but some are going to be replaced with nicer looking knobs once I get time.

Since the dimensions are lacking for some of the parts I had no idea how far from the apron to the drive shaft it was, so I decided I would just make it as per the plans. As it turns out I had to make a riser for it due to the table on my drill press prevented it from reaching the chuck. The riser is 10×26x5 inches high. I made a cutout that matches the base of the sander so it sits more centered.

In the picture of the riser, I drilled the pilot holes for the screws through both pieces and then drilled a 5/16 inch hole in the base for a screw driver to reach through to drive the screws in. You can also see the shape I made the top part which matches the base of the sander.

The table moves up and down easy and is square to the platen. The Platen is a piece of stainless steel I had. I plan to put a graphite platen pad on to reduce wear on the platen.

It works very well. Though it looks bulky it does not weigh that much. I used screws to connect it to the riser so it can be removed and used as per the plans.

The plans call for a miter fence slot but I have not decided if I am going to cut that. Right now I am going to use it without.

Lining it up with the drill press chuck is not difficult and I have found it really does not need to be clamped to the table but I do it anyway.

Over all it was easy to build and I have only found two edge sanders using 4×36 belts sold. One by Busybee tools and the other from ShopFox. They look identical. The busybee model is $250 and the ShopFox is $350. I do not regret building it and expect to use it a lot.

If anyone has questions about building one I will try to help.

-- Peter, A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

22 comments so far

View Ryan Haasen's profile

Ryan Haasen

385 posts in 3173 days

#1 posted 04-18-2014 10:52 PM

Great idea! Really well done!

-- Ryan

View MrNorwood's profile


180 posts in 2485 days

#2 posted 04-18-2014 11:29 PM

wow! super cool!!

-- Remember, Jesus was a carpenter.

View kjf48197's profile


27 posts in 3461 days

#3 posted 04-19-2014 01:25 AM

Nice one!! That is my next project.

View RoadHogg's profile


127 posts in 2700 days

#4 posted 04-19-2014 04:41 AM

I really could have used that yesterday! I’ll be building this project before long. Nice work! Thanks!

-- "The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first, and then the lessons" -- Robert Lang,

View Vince's profile


1259 posts in 4202 days

#5 posted 04-19-2014 05:18 AM


-- Vince

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2597 days

#6 posted 04-19-2014 11:06 AM

Excellent build and project, congrats on the top three award. Awesome job and thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 2383 days

#7 posted 04-19-2014 12:22 PM

what a great idea

-- steve, simple and effective

View ken_c's profile


337 posts in 3935 days

#8 posted 04-19-2014 12:34 PM

that is slick.

View a1Jim's profile


118066 posts in 4350 days

#9 posted 04-19-2014 03:29 PM

Great idea and a very good build.


View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2779 days

#10 posted 04-19-2014 04:26 PM

Very cool. I’m trying to see from the pictures but I cant tell is there is a tracking adjustment so if the belt starts to ride hi or lower on the rollers can it be adjusted?
Nice build

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3776 days

#11 posted 04-19-2014 05:14 PM

Congrats, wonder if it 6 inch could be done

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3386 days

#12 posted 04-19-2014 09:45 PM

great build ,very handy use of space you have ,

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9556 posts in 3101 days

#13 posted 04-19-2014 09:57 PM

Nice build. You did a great job.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View OregonWoodRat's profile


173 posts in 3060 days

#14 posted 04-20-2014 03:19 AM

The adjustment for the belt is on the end. It is the knob on the top of the idler roller.

Thanks to all that left comments.

I used it today to build a small end table for Easter. It is a project I need to post.

-- Peter, A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

View oldnovice's profile


7558 posts in 4140 days

#15 posted 04-20-2014 06:20 AM

I like it! Good project!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

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