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Thread: Spindle sanders?

  1. #1
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Honolulu, HI

    Spindle sanders?

    So, what does one do with them? I was wondering whether a spindle sander would be a good tool to shape Western handles or sayas if you don't have a belt system with a slack section. Any thoughts or experiences? I was thinking about it because Woodcraft has a small one on sale right now ( I was thinking about using spindles on my drill press to play around (not really knowing what I am doing,,,), but at that price I would prefer to get the extra sander rather than change tools all the time.


  2. #2
    I don't have a small wheel attachment for my grinder so I'm using spindles in my drill press but I only use it for one task and that's to shape the underside of western handles. I've often thought about getting one of these machines but I'm holding out for a dedicated small wheel machine I'll make up.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Battle Ground, WA
    I have a Harbor Freight sander and it is great for shaping handles. The good thing is it keeps the shop clean if you hook up a shop vac to it. The bad thing is the sanding tubes are relatively expensive.


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I've played with spindle drum sanders a few times, and have sleeves and attachments to run a spindle on my drill press. For both rounding off edges, edge profiling in general, or some light curved shaping (saya profiles, for instance), I think they're pretty useful to have available. If you're daring, you can also clamp a straight edge or jig to the table surface and use it as a guide. (this is a bit dangerous though...lose your grip and your piece can shoot out like a baseball in a ball machine.)

    Given space and budget, i'd keep a dedicated one around and find ways to use it. The drill press as an alternative, in my experience, isn't an ideal option unless you do some hacking to your set up. Specifically, because the drill press itself isn't designed to take lateral forces against the the spindle can wobble a little with use. There's some accuracy/control issues as a result...and also risk of damaging the chuck if you use it this way a lot. The workaround is to put a bearing point under the spindle (veritas makes one at Lee Valley,another called Robosander is more slick and allows you use the sander almost like a pattern trim router bit) ....a second workaround is to build a box top worktable that the spindle recesses into slightly. I've seen these all in action and they do both work well....

  5. #5
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Kerby, OR
    I have a grizzly combo spindle / 12" disc sander.
    Use mine mostly for sanding the inside of bandsaw boxes.
    It can be a really handy tool.
    Mark Farley / Burl Source
    Phone 541-287-1029, Email
    Visit our web store

  6. #6
    I have the Grizzly combo at work and it's a nice unit very robust. I like that little one from Woodcraft tho I might spring for that for home since I'm retiring.

  7. #7
    drum sanders in the drill press and a Delta oscillating sander is another really useful tool in the shop , use it allot.....
    'Never Quit on Improving'

  8. #8
    Had one of these in my shop for years and found it invaluable for certain tasks. Easily converts from a spindle sander to a belt sander.

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