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Project by EMVarona posted 08-28-2011 02:32 PM 7886 views 39 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Not too long ago, I got a low cost entry level lathe. It’s a simple machine just right for a beginner and yet with some easy to make attachments it expands its capability. I have here a thickness and disk sanders.

For the thickness sander I used a 14×3.25 inch pvc pipe attached to faceplate and an adjustable platform that sets up and comes off very easily. Maximum sanding width is 12 in. while the maximum wood thickness is 2.5 inches.

The 12×3/4 in. plywood disk is screwed to the faceplate. Similarly the platform comes on and off very easily.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

19 comments so far

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4516 days

#1 posted 08-28-2011 02:56 PM

simplicity, functionality, cost effective, and makes a whole lot of sense. Like it a lot. I’d like to build a router gantry for my lathe that can be attached to rails off the lathe for use as a router planer. Your project gives me a little more umpf to just get to it, rather than lament over the fact that I really want a 22/44 drum sander ;)

Thanks for posting.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View rmac's profile


236 posts in 4145 days

#2 posted 08-28-2011 03:13 PM

Super ideas!

For the thickness sander, it seems like it would be very difficult (and critical) to get the pipe exactly centered on the faceplate. How did you do that?


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4772 days

#3 posted 08-28-2011 03:39 PM

Nice projects : )
Should we assume that your lathe has reverse , or do you feed your wood from behind the lathe,into the thickness sander ? Do you use an outfeed table so you don’t have to reach over the spinning sander to “catch” your pieces ?
Can’t tell from the pix,but are you using self adhesive paper or velcro style and what are you using for dust collection ?
Thanks : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View ChadR's profile


80 posts in 3561 days

#4 posted 08-28-2011 04:08 PM

I just posted a product review of this same lathe. I got it in the mail recently and was very surprised at the low cost for such a large lathe. Looks like you are enjoying it as well.

-- Some people have a way with words... some people... not... have way.

View kiefer's profile


5846 posts in 3751 days

#5 posted 08-28-2011 05:00 PM

Great job Ed !
My kind of innovative thinking .
I don’t have a lathe but use my table saw for a disc sander and a drum sander sure would be nice .


-- Kiefer

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26200 posts in 4190 days

#6 posted 08-28-2011 05:21 PM

Very ingenious, Ed. You can make a machine do much more than the maker ever thought of. That is an excellent idea which I may borrow. I have needed a thickness planer but did not want to add another machine to my little workshop. But, this way I only have to add a drum and platform. I have a suggestion that I thought of as soon as I saw it. On my jointer, there is a parallelogram table height adjustment. I was thinking that it would also work on this with pivots at the edges and one adjustment screw in the center. Or you could use two sliding triangles and a horizontal screw to raise and lower the table.But, your setup looks pretty good the way it is. How did you hold the paper on the drum?

GREAT IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are always thinking, my friend!!.................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4354 days

#7 posted 08-28-2011 05:21 PM

Very innovative…..I have used mandrills and sanding wheels on my lathe….but had not considered making it a thickness sander. Great concept and way to make your lathe do other tasks.

I use my lathe fo drilling deep holes, sanding, polishing and turning (of course). Basic idea is to use the lathe like a power take off (PTO) on a tractor…just connect the accessory and wallah.

I was thinking about making a large belt type sander from an old treadmill….but this is more food for thought…great job!

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View jim1953's profile


2744 posts in 4926 days

#8 posted 08-28-2011 05:36 PM

Great Idea

-- Jim, Kentucky

View JamesVavra's profile


305 posts in 4400 days

#9 posted 08-28-2011 08:08 PM

@Russ – As long as you get the pipe pretty close to centered, you can just turn it down to perfectly centered. PVC cuts very easily with regular wood turning tools.

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 4897 days

#10 posted 08-29-2011 08:22 AM

Good idea.

-- Jiri

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 3920 days

#11 posted 08-29-2011 03:09 PM

Thank you Guys for your comments.

I prepared a diagram to show how it was done.

The set up does not have a reverse. I intend to use the device for not so large pieces. I feed the workpiece from the rear. I stand on the exit side of the sander facing the headstock of the lathe and feed the piece with my right hand and catch it with my left as exits in front. It is not really that difficult and reasonably safe I think since I don’t reach over the spinning drum. The danger is when I fail to grip the incoming piece well enough as it tends to fly off the machine. The sandpaper is held to the drum with double sided tape. The dust collection problem will be dealt with later. My projects are small ones and my shop is almost totally open air.

Jim Jakosh,
You are right about adding another elevating screw. I had thought of that except that I was excited to try out the system.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View rmac's profile


236 posts in 4145 days

#12 posted 08-29-2011 05:20 PM

Thanks, Ed. That picture makes it all clear.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 4203 days

#13 posted 08-29-2011 10:32 PM

Very ingenious set up, making the most of the tools on hand will expand Your capabilities and keep some of Your money in the bank, great work, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4772 days

#14 posted 08-29-2011 10:40 PM

Thank you ,Ed, and the diagram of your invention is awesome as well : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Armand's profile


235 posts in 3995 days

#15 posted 08-30-2011 04:57 AM

Nice set up Ed. Now that you have a thicknesser, I can see a lot of box projects ahead. Just yesterday i tuned up my drum sander thicknesser for more accurate board flattening.

Wow!!..this comment will be the 15th and your post is already favorited 15 times too.

-- My Master is Mankind's Greatest Carpenter.

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