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Thread: Built myself a 12" disc sander from a furnace motor and shop scraps. (video)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    London, Ontario
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    Built myself a 12" disc sander from a furnace motor and shop scraps. (video)

    Video Link Is At The Bottom:

    So one of my Christmas projects was to build myself a 12” disc sander. I’ve been wanting to do so for a while. This is kind of an experiment, due to the motor.

    I’ve had this motor for a few years. I salvaged it from a furnace — the motor was only a couple years old, so I kept it. The problem is that it is only a 1/3HP motor.

    As I looked around various websites and forums and so on, I found several examples of people making 12" disc sanders. But in all of that searching, I only found one person who had uses a 1/3HP motor. All the other DIY disc sander projects that I found were built using 1HP motors.

    But in the end, I decided to just go ahead and give it a try. I had nothing to lose, as I was not going to go out and buy a motor or parts. As well, I thought it would be a fun exercise.




    My motor came with a split pulley -- the pulley was made up of two parts that screwed together so that you could adjust it for wider or narrower belts. I took it completely apart and reversed the one side, which gave me a flat surface to mount to a mounting block.

    Before going further, I then temporarily wired up a cord and tested the motor. The motor ran smooth and quiet. More importantly, the mounting block did not wobble at all.



    So I moved on and made a 12” disc out of 3/4” Baltic Birch Plywood.

    I fastened it to the mounting plate and the motor nearly threw itself off the bench when I turned it on. It was a little off center, which I fixed, but that did not help.

    (Later on I’ve found that plywood can really vary in density. I expected better of Baltic birch.)



    So I next built a 12” disc out of some MDF shelving that was absolutely flat, and it ran much better/smoother.




    I then built a rough platform for the motor to elevate it, some legs, and then I wanted to build a dust shroud (also a safety shroud) that went over and behind the disc. This required that I dust off my highschool math+geometry to figure out the angle to rip pieces at to put them on the arch.

    I didn’t get it totally perfect — there were gaps on the inside — but I filled those with epoxy and they’re hidden anyways…



    I built a basic sanding plaform. Since this is still a bit of an experiment, I just made a fixed non-tiliting platform.



    I closed in the bottom and back, and added a hole for my shop vac to do dust collection.



    And wired up a switch.

    One thing of note is that this motor is reversible. I am tempted to add another switch so that I can reverse direction. That may be more effort than it is worth. Though I did see one comment online from someone who claimed that his sandpaper lasted longer by being able to spin either way.



    And here it is in action. It’s not 100% flat, but close, and it does seem to remove stock quickly and without burning. (I mounted a 60 grit paper)

    Ask me again in a month or two. I plan to report back on how well it has been performing. The dust collection, simple as it was to set up, seems to be nearly 100%, which is great.



    I’m very happy with how it turned out. It went together pretty quickly, and I’ve got a functional disc sander. And best of all it cost me all of $5 plus tax, and that was for the sanding disc. Everything else was shop scraps.


    There are a few more photos and details on my website, if you’re interested.
    Or you can watch me build it on youtube.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
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    5,172
    I have a shop built disk sander as well. Its plate is a ShopSmith plate (which I had) so flat and balanced. It slips on the 5/8" motor shaft into which I filed a sloping detent that the set screw mates into. Sloping is clever, in that the disk could come loose but you'd catch that before it spins off the shaft. Common ShopSmith feature.
    I did add the reversing switch. Use it often. Very much worth the few extra dollars for the switch.My table is about your size and I wish it were about 30% bigger. Some day. Enjoy. You will wonder how you got by without it!
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  3. #3
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    Jul 2009
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    That is really cool !!!!!!!!!!!

    I've got a 1/3 and a 1/2 hp motor kicking around that I wasn't sure what to do with and I've been searching craigs list for a used 12" sander.
    A new project

    Thanks Art
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Very cool project, Art. Thanks for the pics and the description.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    DSM, IA
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    That looks great!

    I have 5 motors laying around....and I just bought a 6" disk 4" belt sander combo. You did give me an idea to improve the dust collection on mine though!
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  6. #6
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    Jul 2011
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    Very nicely done Art.

    What was the RPM on that motor?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    Very nicely done Art.

    What was the RPM on that motor?
    1725 RPM, 1/3HP

    Also the motor label lists FLA as 6.1 (Full Load Amps)

    (that was in the first photo ... )
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    1725 RPM, 1/3HP

    Also the motor label lists FLA as 6.1 (Full Load Amps)

    (that was in the first photo ... )
    The eyes passed to easily over your nicely done inset on that picture!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
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    13,452
    Nice! That makes a nice addition to the shop.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
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    Having a disc sander or belt sander is one of the things I'd like to have, however my past experiences with them at school was that I could not get a square angle at all, they always kept grinding more one the top edge than on the bottom one, or the opposite despite cheking that the rest surface and the disc where at 90º. Maybe my technique was poor, but no matter how different ways I tried it never worked for me. I could only manage with very,very light touches and check each time.

    So if anyone could give me a hint I would appreciate it a lot.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

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