Lathe disk sander with micro adjustment... Take 2.

  • Advertise with us
Project by LittleBlackDuck posted 07-14-2018 02:33 PM 2637 views 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Boys and Girls,
It’s hard to imagine that I posted my Lathe disc sander with micro adjustment nearly 22 months ago. Time seems to fly as you get older… if only taxes and gotchas could drop at the same rate!

Walking through my local shoe shop (that’s man-speak for machinery) last Christmas, I came across the milling table (in gallery picture #1), with an inviting princely price tag of $20.00. Never one to turn down a bargain, I decided to sacrifice a red note (colour of an Australian $20 note… not the boring Yankee green) and maybe decide what to do with it later.
I dragged it over to the counter… yes dragged… the bloody thing weighed 24.35 kg… and don’t forget the “.35kg”… after all, the straw that broke the camel’s back weighed less … only to be informed that someone had played “musical decimal points” with the tag and it should have read $200.
Grimacing at the thought of dragging it back to the shelf, it turned out that the person serving me was the manager and it being Christmas and he’d just celebrated the birth of his first son, he insisted I take it for the marked $20… I objected profusely to paying $20 for a $200 item (the loss of depreciation would be tragic), but after he insisted with the threat of a thorough thrashing, not feeling belligerent I surrendered and conceded to purchase it. They even brought out the forklift to load it into the boot of my car. Practically dragging the back axle on the ground, I drove it home.

After much cussing, I resorted to swear words, closely followed by profanities, I managed to unload it from the boot and managed to wheel it into my workshop and coax it on top of my lathe’s bed.
Even before I made any form of mounting attachment for the lathe bed, I started contemplating the future hassles I will be facing while loading and offloading that 25kg monster… I started wishing I had taken that $180 savings in cash instead (as if)…

First thing I did was make a cabinet, the same height as the lathe bed to rest the milling table on so at least I could slide it onto the lathe bed easier,

with that “support” behind me I felt more complacent and refused to cower from thoughts of my hernia.

Made up a mounting base for it, and used a piece of merbau decking as a “runner” between the lathe bed “tracks”,

Used the same attaching mechanism to the lathe as I did for the other table,

though this was a mute exercise because of its weigh… I was obsessed with the thought that it wasn’t gonna move.

Now for what is becoming a typical LBD deviation

I customised my old tabletop to attach to the new milling table with the use of the mag switches (gallery pictures #2 and #3). Unfortunately in typical fashion I measured once and cut 5 times… By that I mean I screwed up and mounted the mag switch “mounters” in the wrong place. The way it was mounted, I couldn’t move the tabletop far enough to the left (front) to get the track over the disc’s “sweet spot” (towards the edge).
Fortunately I was saved by technology… I could move the track over the “sweet spot” on the right hand side (back) and as my lathe has a reverse. That way I can sand clockwise, thus bearing down rather than trying to rip the work upwards.
End of deviation…

Using SketchUp, I started working on a wooden tabletop design with t-tracks

I had to do some creative manoeuvring to get the table height up over the lathe’s spindle level, through the use of 3 layers of 19mm pine boards,

Next conundrum was attaching the tabletop to the milling table. I initially designed my own mitre tracks…

had difficulty as the knobs hindered mitre slot access… then I thinking there must be an easier way, I remembered my mag-switches. Quickly incorporated the switches into the design and subsequently included in the build,

The large hole through the top 2 layers was to accommodate the mag-switch’s collar and height of the knob

and a cap to cover up the hole so I don’t lose my tools down it,

Mounted onto the table and after aligning the tabletop, secured it with two magnets (gallery picture #4 or two picture up if you are too lazy to scroll all the way up). Now the strength of these magnets continue to surprise me even after all these years of use… I could lift the milling table off the lathe using the mag-switch attached tabletop… still bloody heavy (probably about 1kg more with the tabletop), however, the pine tabletop permitted circumvention of the milling table’s sharp metal edges and corners.

Loaded a job on the tabletop using the sled from my old version and I somehow remembered that for small wheels the sled asis was ok,

however for larger wheels there was too much of an overhang without sufficient support,

and without it the sanpaper would drag the edge sown and break the jigs spindle, let alone gouge the work piece (BTDT).

I temporarily attached the support from my old table under the wheel’s leading edge,

And quickly designed a custom fit one for the new table

Now somewhere in all this too-ing and fro-ing I had a “Tim The Toolman” moment.
That yellow sanding disc was poopsie and I reverberated the mantra… “Argh, Argh, Argh… I needed a bigga disc!!!

SOOoo, I made a new one… I did have to curb my enthusiasm due to the limited ranges in sizes and the 20” was just a tad too big for my lathe’s swing, so I compromised,

A slightly beefier 320mm diameter job. This time I used my cordless trimmer circle cutter and considering I was going through 18mm MDF with a ¼” router bit, I was again amazed at the absence of sawdust… I can only emphasise that this has taken me totally off guard… for once in a good way.

Used my threader to tap a spindle thread. To align the job as accurately as I could, I mounted a plumbob into a Jacobs chuck in my tail stock (as a plumbob is supposed to give a perfect vertical, I thought if it wasn’t plum it was worth a bob),

And used that to centre the job,

(the above picture was taken off a highly paid stunt double as the original picture was out of focus…).

Another reason for making the cabinet stand for the milling table was to permit moving it to the drill press. Fortunately I could lower the drill table to the level of the cabinet and use this cradle to support the “runner”,

As always, if you found this ho-hum, don’t read any further and ensure you miss the follow up article about the dust collector I have designed for this ridiculously messy contraption… the disc that is… not the table…

to replace,

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

16 comments so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7161 posts in 1387 days

#1 posted 07-14-2018 02:59 PM

:<(( NO VIDEO :<((

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Dutchy's profile


3611 posts in 2843 days

#2 posted 07-14-2018 03:54 PM

I enjoyed it. Looking great ALex.


View Ivan's profile


15723 posts in 3542 days

#3 posted 07-14-2018 04:27 PM

I like that stuff!! So cool engineering work. Great details and wel thought.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6061 posts in 3083 days

#4 posted 07-14-2018 10:37 PM

Garage engineering at its finest!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)


3799 posts in 1495 days

#5 posted 07-14-2018 11:30 PM

:<(( NO VIDEO :<((


Funny you should mention that GR8. I bought the milling table 7 months ago, but left it sitting in the corner as it was too problematic to put to use due to its awkward shape (sharp corners when lifting) and weight.
In the past few weeks I bit the bullet (broke a tooth) and made the “stand” for it which permitted it’s use less cumbersome.
After making the larger disc I contemplated a dust collector for it as the mess from the smaller disc was already an issue.

After building the dusty I decided to make a video of its maiden voyage (use), hoping it wasn’t a Titanic replay (pun intended).
So this long winded answer to your short question… during the video I made some reference to this tabletop. Unfortunately (for viewers) it’s quite lengthy as I hate to waste (hence large scrap bins) and I was hesitant to waste footage on the cutting room floor. I am drafting a blog about the dusty build and will post the YouTube video with it…
Fortunately for you”, being laid up, you have the time to waste watching it (when posted) and your incapacity will limit you from ”running away”.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Pjonesy's profile


346 posts in 1500 days

#6 posted 07-15-2018 12:58 AM

Hi Alex, I didn’t find this ho hum at all and I read on. Well done with this little project. I’m looking forward to the video.

-- Don't tell me it can't be done.

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2324 days

#7 posted 07-15-2018 06:13 AM

very useful and inovative

-- bambi

View pottz's profile (online now)


8329 posts in 1659 days

#8 posted 07-15-2018 07:10 AM

dang duckie leave it to you to make somethjing simple as usual! you know this is gonna make RC go nuts with questions. hey nice work though ill leave you too deal with him-ha!!!

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3541 days

#9 posted 07-15-2018 12:24 PM

This is a beautiful piece of equipment and with all of the accessories that you have made for it it’s a great addition to your shop. Congratulations!

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View bushmaster's profile


3868 posts in 2957 days

#10 posted 07-15-2018 02:06 PM

Wow, great deal. and adaption for the lathe. Thanks for all the great pictures.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View splintergroup's profile


3426 posts in 1897 days

#11 posted 07-15-2018 02:08 PM

Very cool retrofit!

I have one of those X/Y tables for my DP, now I just need a lathe 8^)

The cool feature (to me) is your ability to creep up on dimensions for a perfect fit in whatever project requires it.

View robscastle's profile


6774 posts in 2879 days

#12 posted 07-18-2018 01:12 AM

Only couple of questions this time,
1. when is it OK for a courier to pick it up?
2. Can you address it for me.
Payment is attached!

Otherwise the usual two words apply!!

-- Regards Rob

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)


3799 posts in 1495 days

#13 posted 07-18-2018 02:56 AM

1. when is it OK for a courier to pick it up?
- robscastle

Unfortunately due to the weight, the $20 table will cost $250 to send. Noting against free enterprise, however, I think Lindsay Fox is rich enough already.

As for the payment, would you accept 49 of these as change,

PS. Just had a thought looking at that $1… If Donald had a metal plate put in his head, he could use a mag switch to hold his hair down….

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View robscastle's profile


6774 posts in 2879 days

#14 posted 07-18-2018 08:43 PM

Oh I forgot about the freight charges can I withdraw my offer please.

You may keep the $50 bucks too! as a sign of goodwill

-- Regards Rob

View LittleBlackDuck's profile (online now)


3799 posts in 1495 days

#15 posted 07-19-2018 12:21 AM

Sorry rc, it’s already in the post… right next to that recalcitrant wallet. Hope I got the delivery address right… Mr. Rob’s Castle, Queensland, Corner of Smiths Chips…. just sit and wait for it… sit… wait… don’t move…

PS. I put the $50 in the wallet. Always found it hard to cash a one sided note printed in greyscale.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics