Thickness sander plans

These plans are based on Pat Hawley's thickness sander. Please note that I have not built this sander myself, but I know the design works from Pat's sander. Unlike some of my other woodworking machine plans, I didn't actually build this sander myself, so it wouldn't be right to charge for them.

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The whole frame is just screwed together from 2x4's. Four 8' 2x4's should be enough, but it may be better to buy two 8' 2x8's to get better quality lumber.

Motor mount

The motor tilts on a hinged piece of plywood to set the belt tension. It's best to make sure the motor can't move once the desired belt tension is set, as the running v-belt will cause the motor to move up and down and shake the whole machine.

Making the wooden pulley

Although you could buy the right size of pulley for this sander, pulleys that attach to 1" thick shafts are in a higher price class, so it's best to just make one out of wood.

Table construction

The table is made of two pieces of 3/4" plywood sandwiched and glued together. It's important that the layers are glued together throughout to give the table torsional stiffness. Screwing the layers together would not be sufficient.

Drum construction

Pat's sander has MDF disks on a hollow 5/8" shaft. This makes the drum itself stiffer than the shaft. However, MDF can't be trusted to stay completely straight, and Pat has had to re-true his drum from time to time. So I changed the design so that the drum's stiffness comes from a 1" shaft.

Dust hood

You may want to construct the dust hood before truing up the drum.

Truing up the drum

It's best to use the thickness sander itself to true up the drum. Instead of sandpaper on the drum, a piece of sandpaper attached to a piece of plywood is slid under the drum to sand the drum into true roundness.

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