Quick, Cheap Thickness Sander for ShopSmith or Lathe #2: Structurally Complete - down to details

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 12-01-2011 02:34 AM 29456 reads 22 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: How little can I get away with building? Part 2 of Quick, Cheap Thickness Sander for ShopSmith or Lathe series Part 3: Finishing up the build »

OK, I’m about 10 hours in now ( maybe 8 productive and two wasted on one bad measurement….don’t ask) and I have the structure built and mounted. Everything fits and it is very stable. The drum spins almost perfectly true and the dust collection assembly went more easily than I had expected. I haven’t completely decided on the type of elevator I will use but I really like the positive locks at the sides. I plan to sand thin marquetry and a little tilt could cause a disaster.

This photo shows the clamping mechanism to the ShopSmith but a similar arrangement could be worked out for any lathe. It also shows a little stroke of luck I had. My arbitrarily chosen clearance above the tubes was made without thinking about the carriage being there. I cleared it by less than 1/8”. Fortunately a miss is as good as a mile.

Dust collector sitting in place. It can point either way and I may well use it pointing out over the powerhead to better support the hose. I still need to make a couple of little skirt pieces that will contain the dust and also chock the pipe in place. Don’t be too concerned about the apparent misalignment (gap under the drum) it’s an illusion, I checked.

This one shows the feed side with the hinge assembly. The piano hinge / torsion box combination should keep the alignment once I get it all trued up but I still like the locks. She doesn’t look like much but that’s the way my prototypes are. A little putty and paint and I think I will be able to live with this one and not have to do it all again just to be prettier. It is a tool after all.

Next up is to install the DC skirt / chocks and to make some elevators. I’m leaning towards two as I can fine tune by locking one side and advancing the other a hair before locking it in the case that I encounter a little twist.

My velcro and sandpaper arrives Friday as do a bunch of golfing buddies from Victoria so I may or may not post a test drive in the next few days. We’ll see.

Thanks for dropping in. I hope this will inspire some ideas and maybe spawn a few more home-builts.

That’s it for now.

Questions, comments, critiques….always welcome.


-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

17 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4262 days

#1 posted 12-01-2011 03:59 AM

This looks rather promising and I may even consider making one to use with my Powermatic lathe. Thanks for posting and helping others, you are a true friend to all of us.

I am adding this to my favorites.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View SnowFrog's profile


102 posts in 3791 days

#2 posted 12-01-2011 04:16 AM

Nice diy tool build. I have put this on my fav

-- One can dream, about a passion not yet fully fulfilled!

View Dez's profile


1176 posts in 5322 days

#3 posted 12-01-2011 04:20 AM

Looking great!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Dez's profile


1176 posts in 5322 days

#4 posted 12-01-2011 04:21 AM

Looking great!
Almost makes want to start looking for a Shopsmith

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5126 days

#5 posted 12-01-2011 05:04 AM

The SS seems perfect for this. I like it.

The dual adjusters are a good idea. You one clever dude.

Does the SS have a reversible motor?


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4548 days

#6 posted 12-01-2011 05:45 AM

i think i like the having just a shopsmith, it seems my shop just gets dirtier and more scrapes of wood in there, that im loosing ground, i think i need a 12×12 room , a shopsmith, and that be that, im really impressed with your new tool…i hope it works great for what you need and want, now as to your golfing buddies…you have a great time…we dont want to hear of any golf cart crashes,,,or having to be pulled out of the pond…or sand trap…forrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View shipwright's profile


8751 posts in 4042 days

#7 posted 12-01-2011 06:27 AM

No Steve, it only goes one way.
Grizz, I am totally impressed with it. For years I used to laugh at people with ShopSmiths. I always had all the commercial production equipment and I considered it sort of a toy. Like most of the SS naysayers, I had never actually experienced one myself.
I may do a post on my Az shop setup yet.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4488 days

#8 posted 12-01-2011 06:52 AM

You machine guys! Is there nothing you can’t build? It all flies over my head, but I do know enough to be incredibly impressed by your agile creativity. Cheers….

-- cathyb, Hawaii

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4067 days

#9 posted 12-01-2011 07:43 AM

Come on Paul, you have to start making a mess soon, not going to show you my shop, anyway if I was to tidy up I’d never find a damm thing.
Mate you realy seem to have this one all sown up, realy great looking addition to your existing dual w/shop fleet

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View sedcokid's profile


2738 posts in 4843 days

#10 posted 12-01-2011 02:32 PM

This is a great project Paul! I am putting this in my favorites as I have a SS as well. You are a clever fellow my friend!!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12399 posts in 4673 days

#11 posted 12-01-2011 02:57 PM

Elevator? Hmmmmm.
Two acme screws, two small sprockets, a larger drive sprocket and a bicycle chain?
Shades of Bill Hylton.
Tucson boasts several used bike shops.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View sras's profile


6348 posts in 4374 days

#12 posted 12-01-2011 05:26 PM

Looking good Paul! I am at the step of truing up my cylinder. Thanks for the inspiration!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5491 days

#13 posted 12-01-2011 08:42 PM

Great idea, ain’t it great when an idea works. Kudos.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View westerndf's profile


20 posts in 4365 days

#14 posted 12-13-2011 07:12 PM

I love the sander and would like to know where you got the velcro and paper for the drum

-- My wife says I have to many tools. I say there is always more to add.

View shipwright's profile


8751 posts in 4042 days

#15 posted 12-13-2011 08:14 PM

Here’s the link to Grizzly for the Hook and Loop. I’ll add it to the post as well.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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