Slap Sander??

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Forum topic by DustyGuy53 posted 08-16-2018 06:48 PM 721 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 371 days

08-16-2018 06:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sander

Hi Guys! Several years ago, I was noodling around in Gatlinburg, TN And saw an old workshop, maybe 1000 sq.ft. with all the doors wide open, so I decided to pay a visit. The craftsman welcomed me as a fellow woodworker and showed me around. In the back the was a youngster, his son, around 12 or 13 running a machine I’d never seen before or since. It consisted of a wide belt, 12 feet or so between the wheels, with a single motor turning the contraption. The other thing was that there was a plywood table on rollers under it that enabled it to be moved front to back 3 or so feet. The kid had a small block of wood that he was using to put pressure on the table top to be that he was sanding. When asked what the heck this was, he called it a slap sander, and I thought it was on of the coolest things I’d ever seen. Low tech, simple design, and due to the low rpms that it was moving, pretty safe to operate! The only reason I never built one myself is that it took up a fair amount of space. Earlier this week I met with a fellow that mills and builds tables from live edge slabs, up to 52” wide, and has to either use a sled and router, or use a variety of sanders to flatten them. That’s when I remembered that contraption I’d seen years back. A brief search led nowhere.

Anyone ever seen or used one of these? My new friend with the slabs has a huge barn as his shop and more than enough room.

7 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


5492 posts in 2804 days

#1 posted 08-16-2018 07:06 PM

What you describe sounds similar to a stroke sander.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View DustyGuy53's profile


2 posts in 371 days

#2 posted 08-16-2018 07:59 PM

That sounds right, and a quick search led me to a lot of detailed information. It looks like it’s be possible for my friends needs, but building on that would handle slabs up to 50” wide x 10’ long and 2+” thick may be a tad daunting

View DS's profile


3236 posts in 2873 days

#3 posted 08-16-2018 08:03 PM

You can do a lot of damage real fast with a stroke sander… It takes a special skill set IMHO.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Rich's profile


4697 posts in 1042 days

#4 posted 08-16-2018 10:11 PM

Check out the Flatmaster sanders. Probably the most affordable wide sanding solution.

-- My grandfather always said that when one door closes, another one opens. He was a wonderful man, but a lousy cabinet maker

View Tony_S's profile (online now)


996 posts in 3536 days

#5 posted 08-16-2018 10:33 PM

You can do a lot of damage real fast with a stroke sander… It takes a special skill set IMHO.

- DS

A LOT of damage. There’s a definite learning curve to them, but most guys figure it out after they’ve destroyed a few scrap pieces.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View Rayne's profile


1215 posts in 1992 days

#6 posted 08-16-2018 10:48 PM

Check out the Flatmaster sanders. Probably the most affordable wide sanding solution.

- Rich

That looks like something Stumpy Nubs made a while back. Cool piece of equipment.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6602 posts in 3647 days

#7 posted 08-16-2018 11:13 PM

What you’re talking about is a huge, long belt sander that was used by the Shakers and Quakers, and even the Amish colonies back in the 1700’s-1800’s in their wood shops to build beautiful furniture….Look up books or references on the Shakers, and Quakers and you might see one of those belt sanders….

-- " At my age, happy hour is a 2 hour nap".....!!

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