You'll be surprised - the rod and knobs above are manually sanded/polished (in the sense that it's just wet and dry paper held against the spinning metal on the lathe).
You can make a simple support (block of wood with a hole in it, clamped to a disc sander's table) to keep a bolt held square to the disc sander face whilst spinning it in a drill. I've used a similar technique to hand clean/polish rods that are too big for my lathe.
I'd be quite happy to make you a few handles if you need though.
Hi, You are really helpful and that's greatly appreciated.
A lathe would make the world of difference to sanding as you well describe. I've got my eye on a Clarke Metalworker CL300M as a first learning step but it is hard to justify at the moment vs the number of handles I would need to make. Not sure the max diameter bar it can take yet either...... website says 20mm but I read that does not run all the way through the head at 20mm... or something like that.
Sadly I don't have a disc sander table either. I have a Makita drill, a Makita angle grinder with cutting and flap discs, a pneumatic belt sander hand held and emery cloth. I'm not yet what you would call "small workshop kitted" !
I might take you up on a few handles as and when I need some and that would be really appreciated.
Thanks so much for your help.