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Thread: Using a lathe as a disk sander?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    3,798

    Using a lathe as a disk sander?

    Harbor Freight has their 12" disk sander on sale. It is tempting, but I can't justify it. But then it occurred to me that my lathe sits idle much of the time. Attaching a piece of corian to a face plate would effectively give me a disk sander. Building a table for the front should be pretty simple.

    Presumably I am not the first to think of this. Anyone tried it? What do you think?

  2. #2
    I had a Shopsmith in the shop for a few years. I stored if for a friend while he was away. The disc sander was a nice feature for certain projects. I have a belt / disc sander that is missing its disc. I have thought about making a disc for it but have decided to find a used one made from alloy or steel. I have a little antique lathe that has a small rubber sanding disc attachment. I have used it a few times and will likely use it again.
    .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
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    4,738
    It's been done thousands of times. Some abrasives stay sharp longer because the particles shatter and then you have a fresh cutting edge. That means you get abrasive particles all around the place. I don't want my lathe bed covered with abrasive particles.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    271
    Made a 20 inch disc sander for my PM lathe, works great

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    696
    I made one with a piece of MDF and a "stick-on" abrasive disk. However, I have never used it and it has sat on the shelf for years, BTW, I do have a stationery disk sander so it isn't surprising. I think my intent was to setup a sanding method for truing glue surfaces of segmented turnings but I never pursued it.
    Richard, has a point about the abrasives on the bed, but I don't see that as a showstopper.
    This is something that is easy to try and to make your decision. If you lathe is variable-speed that could be a nice feature.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    N of DFW
    Posts
    59
    this is an great idea! I have two lathes! lol! one would be Precision Sander!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
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    4,738
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Howatt View Post
    I made one with a piece of MDF and a "stick-on" abrasive disk. However, I have never used it and it has sat on the shelf for years, BTW, I do have a stationery disk sander so it isn't surprising. I think my intent was to setup a sanding method for truing glue surfaces of segmented turnings but I never pursued it.
    Richard, has a point about the abrasives on the bed, but I don't see that as a showstopper.
    This is something that is easy to try and to make your decision. If you lathe is variable-speed that could be a nice feature.
    The issue is forgetting to wipe down the lathe bed, slide the banjo back into position, and you get a horrible scratch pattern.

  8. #8
    Sanding bowls and spindles on the lathe - any real difference from a sanding disk?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Stephan View Post
    Sanding bowls and spindles on the lathe - any real difference from a sanding disk?
    I have been pondering the same thing and decided it was down to the type of grit used for discs. I have no data to support that idea other than the previous posts.

  10. #10
    I did that on my lathe. But the setup and teardown is a problem. When you want to use a disk sander, you want to walk over to it and use it. If you use your lathe for lathe work, you'll have to set it up and tear it down to switch between the functions.

    I usually find other ways to do what I need to do rather than set up the lathe as a disk sander.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  11. #11
    You can easily build one but there are things to consider, some have already been mentioned but here are a couple.
    Dust collection
    Adjustment, table tilt, miter slot
    Setup and tear down
    No lathe use during sanding opertaion
    Flatness and disc removal

    One or all of these can become a pain in the
    make sure it's worth it.

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