Spindle Sander Rebuild Homemade Machines & Jigs

The spindle sander I have has served me well in the 10+ years I’ve owned it. And other than wanting to experiment with making one from scratch in the future and figuring out the easiest way to make sanding drums, it would probably last at least another 10+ years as it is. It does have some features that I never use and can easily do without, though. And it would be great if it could accept drums bigger than 2″.

Here’s the motor assembly, a one piece unit that has the sanding drums mounted directly on the shaft:

The mechanism that makes it oscillate is in the black housing at the bottom. I took it apart in this video to have a look at it.

The first step was to add a piece of 1/4″ plywood to the top of the motor:

Fastened with two 1/4″ bolts and reinforced on the underside with pieces of 1/2″ plywood the fit snugly around the top of the motor:

With that done I sidetracked onto experimenting with different methods for making sanding drums. The first was this “pinwheel” design inspired by my recent low speed grinder project:

However, that didn’t work as well as expected and I eventually settled on my current design. This video shows the details:

With that out of the way, I went back to the sander build and made a basic enclosure from 1/2″ MDF:

Since I want to build one from scratch in the future, I didn’t see the need to put a lot of time and money into this rebuild to improve the appearance. I has the MDF – scrap, really – and it gets the job done.

I reused the switch from the original and just mounted on the case near the top:

Then added dividers to form an area below the sanding drum for dust collection. I also drilled a hole at the back for the vacuum hose:

I used an offcut of my expensive plastic for the top and carefully routed a recessed hole for the inserts:

And I made those inserts from 1/4″ clear acrylic. Here I’m fine tuning the size for a perfect fit on my belt / disk sander:

I made four inserts for the six sizes of sanding drums:

Added a simple holder to the front panel for the inserts that are not being used:

And made a simple rack for the drums:

Here’s how it looks finished and fastened to the cart I made for the original:

I made a video showing how to make the sanding drums: