Adding a Disk Sander to a Wood Lathe

Man working with a wood lathe
  • 1-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Laminate disk
Abrasive sandpaper tape
Face plate or saucepan lid

If you are keen on lathe turning, then you may want to install a disk sander onto your wood lathe. The sander is used to assist the lathe working in getting a good, smooth piece of wood, and can also help in sanding down wood in preparation for cutting. Disk sanders work by turning around on a central base, so you should be able to join the sander onto the wood lathe simply by attaching the fitting to the spindle wheel. This is a project which can be done in a day, if you have the right home improvement skills, and can follow some guidelines on how to fit the sander to the blade.

Step 1 - Make You Disk Sander

Rather than purchasing a sander, it is possible to make one from a couple of old pieces of laminate and a face plate. The face plate should not be more than six inches in radius, so if you want something larger, then use an old saucepan lid. The latter has the advantage that there is already a hole in the middle of the circle.

Cut out two laminate disks from your sheet, and take your sandpaper tape, and wrap this around the two disks, so it is holding them together. Cover the surface of the disks with more sandpaper tape. You should then drill a small hole through the laminate, and push a bolt through the center. Screw a nut onto the bolt, leaving a small amount of the end of the bolt sticking out, like a screw.

Step 2 - Attach the Sander

Take your lathe, and make sure it is turned off from all power sources. Once this is done, remove the tip of the lathe, so you have the hole remaining. This gap should be large enough to make enough space for the end of the bolt to fit. Completely screw the bolt into the hole in the lathe, so it will turn when the lathe is powered up.

Step 3 - Add a Table

It is also a good idea to add a table to your sander, so you can press down on the wood without it dropping to the floor. Do this by using a large piece of cutoff wood, around 1 1/2 foot square. You can place this over the mechanism of the lathe, if you have a large cutter, or make a folding leg attachment. The table should be high enough to cover the lower quarter of the disk.

Step 4 - Use the Sander

You can now plug the lathe in, and use the sander on an experimental piece of wood. It is important to remember when sanding that you should only put the wood on the nearest half of the disk (the part in downward motion), otherwise it may be lifted up and could fly into the air.