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Sanding machine

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Noggsy

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The sanding tool that I use most often in my workshop, is my lathe, with a Jacobs chuck and one of several sizes sanding arbours in it. It’s really handy to be able to offer the workpiece up and quickly change the abranet abrasive and/or the speed. I have suction rigged up underneath it and I wear my dust hood when I use it. Very useful and versatile.

Anyway, I’ve thought for ages (a couple of years at least) that I could with a stand-alone machine to do the same thing. I’ve got both a decent bobbin sander and a disc and belt sander (upon which I have removed approximately a square metre of skin), as well as a good ROS, and I use them all, but none of them are as useful as my lathe.

I’ve come to look to buy one this evening and, unless I’m missing something, it isn’t obvious to me that anyone makes what I’m looking for. I probably am missing something because something that useful must be Being made somewhere.

Come on you people of expertise...help me out please. Tell me the name of this mystery variable speed sanding machine. Or, tell me why I’m doing it wrong and correct my technique. Every day is a school day :)
 

AndyT

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Not quite a name, but I remember a magazine article where a feature on someone's workshop showed a sort of freely accessible drum sander. It had a pneumatic arrangement with the sanding drum inflatable to different degrees of stiffness. The workshop owner was complaining that it was old and not made any more... I'll see if I can find it if nobody else knows what it was or something more useful.
 

Noggsy

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Both, Thankyou for that. I think that’s exactly what I’m looking for! I shall look a bit deeper.
 

Noggsy

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Ah, it’s not variable speed though and that’s key I think.
 

AndyT

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I found the article I was thinking of, but it's not much help. The photo showed a home made steel frame with a motor and belt driving a shaft held in pillow blocks. On the shaft was an inflatable sanding head - like the Kirjes one lofthermes linked to. No brand names in the photos or article text.
Perhaps you just need two lathes?
 

Noggsy

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Haha, you could be right Andy. Or persevere with my current method. I’m quite surprised, as I thought this was a fairly obvious tool. Thankyou for looking.
 

heimlaga

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There was at one time in Finland a maker of exactly the machine you want. A freely accessible horizontal bobbin sander on the same shaft as a sanding disc. Belt driven from an ordinary Strömberg three phase motor. All that on a super solid cast iron pedestal.
Theese machines were intended for patternmakers back when there was a foundry or two in every town.
Unfortunately I am not sure who made them and the maker is certainly long gone anyway. Judging by the type of motor I would say they were made in the 1950-ies or 60-ies.
 

sunnybob

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Why do you need variable speed sanding?

You have a bobbin, disc, belt, AND ros, what on earth does variable speed do that they cant?
 

Noggsy

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Well, the disc and belt sander is aggressive and removes wood (and skin) too quickly. The ROS is useful to sand flat things, but not otherwise. The bobbin sander is great for curves and is genteel in its speed, but only offers sanding on one plane.

It may just be my poor technique, but when I want to make something curved, and I’m in a hurry, the Jacobs with a sanding arbour is far and away the best tool to use. I make a fair amount of axe handles and other curved parts for things and being able to change the speed means I can sand different woods, at different grits, and not cause too much heat to build up. Also, I find that changing the speed slightly in between grits, as well as a bit of hand-sanding with the grain, stops a lot of the circular scratch patterns which you can get.

It’s not just for sanding either. I use a couple of felt wheels on a mop, and MDF circles with sandpaper on for cleaning up and sharpening old tools.

I spend waaaay more time at my lathe doing things other than turning. It just seems obvious to me that a variable speed Jacobs chuck pointing at 90 degrees to a drill press is what I need. And now that I’ve decided I need one and can’t find one, I absolutely have to have one ;)

I’m going to end up trying to make this, aren’t I?
 

sunnybob

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I think you have cabin fever. #-o
You can already do every thing you need with what you have. But if you have space, then a linisher is what to spend your money on.
 
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