Sanding disk for the lathe

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Project by Acelectric posted 09-11-2013 01:52 AM 7938 views 17 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This past weekend I took a woodturning class in which we made a complete chess set in 2 days. The knights were carved on the lathe using a sanding disk. I decided I needed one to put on my lathe, so I made 2. As I only had 1 faceplate I integrated one into the sanding disk.

I cut a 2 1/2” disk out of some 5/4 maple I had. Mounted it onto my faceplate and turned it true and faced it off. Then I drilled an 11/16” hole through the blank. I removed the blank from the lathe and ran a tap through the faceplate and into the blank. This made sure the tap was lined up correctly with the blank so the threads would be straight.

After cutting threads into the blank I removed the faceplate and mounted it onto the lathe. I turned it true and faced it off. I used a little CA glue inside the threaded hole to give the threads a little more strength. Once it was cleaned I removed a little extra material and moved on to the plate.

I cut the plate out of some scrap cypress I had laying around. Marked it using a piece of the sandpaper I am using and cut it out on the bandsaw. Glued it onto the faceplate I made and turned it true and faced it off. Chamfered the backside and mounted a piece of sandpaper.

It works well and is a lot cheaper than buying a disk sander. I hope you like it.

-- Thank goodness I don’t do this for a living, because I would surely starve.

10 comments so far

View lew's profile


13412 posts in 4968 days

#1 posted 09-11-2013 01:54 AM

Now that’s a cool idea!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Acelectric's profile


31 posts in 3109 days

#2 posted 09-11-2013 02:02 AM


Also the class is I took is taught by Alan Dewey, It was a really fun but intense class. I learned a lot during the 2 day class. I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about getting into turning.

-- Thank goodness I don’t do this for a living, because I would surely starve.

View doubleDD's profile


10635 posts in 3256 days

#3 posted 09-11-2013 02:35 AM

That is a very good idea. Will be copying this one. Keep going to those classes. Thanks for sharing

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Belg1960's profile


1151 posts in 4278 days

#4 posted 09-11-2013 10:46 AM

great build and pics really bring it home. I think the big thing is if someone has a tap that large. I notice a loose screw on the head of the lathe, don’t know if its critical but give it a quick look.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Spur's profile


87 posts in 3240 days

#5 posted 09-11-2013 12:39 PM

Where are the pics of the chess set??! Love the idea btw!

-- Henryk, South Carolina

View HerbC's profile


1820 posts in 4072 days

#6 posted 09-11-2013 03:09 PM

I’ve been planning to build a sanding disk setup for my lathe, using similar techniques.

Good job.

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View LesB's profile


3060 posts in 4656 days

#7 posted 09-11-2013 04:21 PM

Looks great!
I use a chuck most of the time so I would put a spigot or recess on the bottom of disk and avoid needing to change out the chuck every time I used the sanding disk. It would also be great to make several for different grades of sand paper.

-- Les B, Oregon

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4216 days

#8 posted 09-11-2013 07:24 PM

Great idea

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

View Dave G's profile

Dave G

337 posts in 3261 days

#9 posted 09-11-2013 11:12 PM

Great idea! The 2 -1/2” disk looks like radius, right? Diameter is 5”?

I wonder if my large wood tap (for leg vise) is the same as my lathe screw. Again, well done! I never thought of that.

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

View Acelectric's profile


31 posts in 3109 days

#10 posted 09-12-2013 12:20 AM

Thanks everyone for the kind comments.

@ Belg1960 – I bought the tap at Napa, was about 13 bucks. Also the loose screw just holds a plastic cover on that I removed.

@ Spur – Here is a link to a page with pictures of the class and completed sets.

@ Dave G – The 2 1/2” piece is what I made the faceplate part of the sanding disk out of. Then I glued a 6” disk onto it to put the sandpaper on.

-- Thank goodness I don’t do this for a living, because I would surely starve.

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