Learn How to Make Your Very Own Disc Sander
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If you like nothing more than tinkering with things in your workshop, you might want to "go all-in" and start making your own DIY tools and machines. How about, for example, a basic disc sander?
If this sounds of interest, then follow this simple guide to making one.
As you can imagine, like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- 775 DC motor
- B12 clamp
- Disc sander bit
- Speed controller
- Box clasps
- DC 12V power connector
- Power adaptor
- Flex tubing
- Soldering kit
- Electrical wires, resistors, and soldering gear
Step 1: Prepare your wooden components
The first step is to prepare the wooden components of your DIY disc sander. You will need several pieces of the following dimensions:
- 1 no wooden sheet 15 and 23/64ths of an inch (39 cm) by 7 and 3/32ths of an inch (18 cm) — this will form the base
- 2 no wooden sheet 3 and 47/64ths of an inch (9.5cm) by 4 and 21/64ths of an inch (11 cm)
- 2 no wooden sheet and 21/64ths of an inch (11 cm) by and 21/64ths of an inch (11 cm)
- 2 no wooden sheet 7 and 3/32ths of an inch (18cm) by 6.5 m
- 2 no wooden sheet 6 and a 1/2 inch (16.5cm) by 6 and a 1/2 inch (16.5cm)
Step 2: Mock-up the basic design
Next, take the largest piece of wood and lay it flat on your worktop. This will form the base of the piece.
Next, assemble two open toped boxes using the other pieces of wood. One of the boxes will be built using the longer pieces of wood, and the other taller box will be assembled using the remaining pieces.
Take the longer box and drill the pieces of wood together as needed. Use two screws per edge.
Once one box is completed, fully secure it to the base of your DIY disc sander. Sink drill holes, and add screws from the bottom side of the base.
Step 3: Refine the sander motor boxing
With the taller box, take your DC motor and mark out the position where the drill axle will penetrate the box. Take a boring tool, and drill out a hole sufficiently large to fit the axle and housing through the box.
With that complete, mount the DC motor into the hole, and affix the drill bit chuck to the axle of the motor. Ensure it can freely rotate and adjust as needed if not.
Remove the motor and drill chuck and continue to assemble the main box. Screw the pieces together using two screws per edge as needed.
With three sides of the motor housing complete, mark out the positions of the motor mounting points, and drill corresponding holes through the wood.
Next, take your DC motor and mount it to its wooden housing using suitably sized screws or bolts. Ensure it is firmly attached.
Next, reattach the drill bit chuck and the disc sander bit.
Step 4: Refine the disc sander work table and complete the basic assembly
With that complete, match the motor housing box to the longer platform box on the base. Push it up so that the sanding disc sits flush with the edge of the platform.
Then mark out the curvature of the sanding disc on its corresponding wall of the platform. Cut out the semi-circular shape and then screw the piece to the rest of the box.
With that complete, grab your motor housing and disc sander assembly and position it on the base so that the sanding disc sits inside the hole you just made.
Clamp the motor's housing to the base, turn it over, and screw it into place as needed.
Complete the motor housing by adding a capping piece to close off the box.
Step 5: Begin to add the controls
Before screwing it into place, mark out the position for the knob of your DC motor speed controller.
With that complete, take your DC power adaptor and mark its position on one of the walls of the motor housing. Drill a suitably sized hole.
Step 6: Wire up the electronics
With that complete, you can now begin to wire up the main electronic components. Partially disassemble the motor boxing, and wire up the DC motor.
Connect the other end of the motor wires to the motor controller as required.
Next, add the power supply wiring to the controller, and twist the wires together to make them more manageable.
Connect the other end of the power supply wires to the power adaptor, as needed.
With that complete, add the knob to the speed controller, and connect the power supply to the power adaptor. Test the speed controller by adjusting the position of the knob and adjust the wiring accordingly.
Once happy, remove the power supply, and affix the speed controller and power adaptor to their corresponding wooden pieces. You can use a hot glue gun for this purpose.
Do the same for the power adaptor. Once the glue has cooled, replace the wooden panels into their respective position on the motor housing, and resecure using screws.
Step 7: Finish the piece
Next, add the capping/lid piece to the work table but do not secure it and clamp it into place. With that done, take your clasps and line up to the side of the boxing.
Mark the mounting holes, and drill holes accordingly. Then screw the clasp mounts to the side of the work table and lid.
With that complete, core a hole into the side of the work table to accept the extract tubing.
With that complete, feed some ribbed flexi plastic tubing into the hole.
With that complete, replace the work table lid, and add a piece of L-shaped metal bar. Ensure it is perfectly square with the edges of the table and then screw it into place.
Connect the other end of the flexi-tubing to a vacuum cleaner or similar device to remove any dust and debris from the disc sanding process.
With that complete, you can now remove the bar, fire up the disc sander, and give it a test run using pieces of scrap wood and metal.
With that, your DIY disc sander is now complete. Now all you need to do is find somewhere to place it in your workshop and sand away.
If you enjoyed this project, you might want to consider making some other DIY work tools. Like, for example, a DIY bench saw.