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~ Ben Conover
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I'd advise you consider what you actually will use the machine for, compare the length of the spindles (or the availability of longer spindles), how much power you'll need (so you don't dog the machine, especially with longer spindles) and if the adjustable table is important for you.

 

Also, it's probably worth asking about bearings (etc.) on the cheaper machines.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Jet arrived last week, it's pretty good but the dust extraction is rubbish so I clamp the vacuum to the table top, 
works much better. The machine is great otherwise and I did a Cello scroll outline very quickly, the abrasive sleeves don't seem to last as long as I'd have thought. 

Not wanting to start another topic on Sanders even though I'd vote for him, I'm looking at 
getting a disc sander now. Does anyone use them for blocks, f/b ends, neck root angles etc ? 
I thought the bigger ones better but they have velcro backing which may not give as flat a finish 
as the smaller size machines (Proxxon) with adhesive disc backings. 

Here's one I was looking at :
http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-trade-series-ss-12vs-disc-sander-501188

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 I'm looking at getting a disc sander now. Does anyone use them for blocks, f/b ends, neck root angles etc ? 

 

I have a homemade set-up that works well for homemade chinrest shaping and smoothing blocks after rough cutting.  I also used it for shaping thumb buttons of tuning pegs because I lack tools for correctly making them but good enough for me.  Excess dust is an unfortunate by-product. 

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I have never seen a variable speed disc sander available on this side of the pond.  Nice... but pricey.

 

If I didn't already have other ways to do the jobs, I might shape endblocks (on the mold), trim fingerboard ends, and soundposts.  Not a huge array of tasks, so I never could justify getting a disc sander for them.  However, that didn't stop me from making one, primarily for soundpost trimming: http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/329145-don-noons-bench/?p=722793

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I made a disc sander out of an old GE utility motor, 3/4 horse, and attached a wooden disc to the mandrel. I use the 5" sticky discs for it. The nice part about mine is that the mandrel kind of "floats". By that I mean if you push on the disc a little, it will float in and out as if on a shock absorber. Keeps from pushing too hard when doing work that requires finesse. It all cost me $0.

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I made a disc sander years ago, machined an aluminum backing disc 3/8" thick and about 6 inches diameter. I installed it directly onto the shaft of a series wound motor and built an scr phase control speed controller. This worked great until one day I overloaded it too much and the scr shorted which caused it to run full speed, probably in the neighborhood of 30,000 RPM

 

Before I could yank the plug from the wall socket, the shaft snapped and the disc flew away, almost into orbit. Fortunately it missed me. I guess the scr was a little on the light side.

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 A well designed machine with proper safety gear is an asset to a workshop, 
that's what I'd pay for. I had seen a number of videos about making your own sanders and didn't watch them. 

Feel the Bern. 

The mid size Proxxon seems a good one for fine work, has a negative rack of minus 15 deg too. 
http://www.axminster.co.uk/proxxon-tsg-250-e-disc-sander-474235

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I made a disc sander out of an old GE utility motor, 3/4 horse, and attached a wooden disc to the mandrel. I use the 5" sticky discs for it. The nice part about mine is that the mandrel kind of "floats". By that I mean if you push on the disc a little, it will float in and out as if on a shock absorber. Keeps from pushing too hard when doing work that requires finesse. It all cost me $0.

I like the way the 5" sticky disc works too.  I think I trimmed the disk down slightly to fit 5" sticky paper or trimmed the disk down to sand inner bouts better until I learned to use the gouge and scraper better.

 

My homemade disc sander is a 1/3 hp, 1725 rpm from the 1960's?, with an ancient smaller double mandrel belt driven.  One side of the mandrel bar has reverse threads 1/2" and the side I use has regular 1/2" threads with a 1/2" slide hammer attachment one the end.  

  Forgive me if I misquoted 1/2" threads, not sure how to tell.  On the other end of the slide hammer extension is a 3/8 or 1/4" stud JB Weld-ed into the end.  I may of had to use a tap to cut threads on that end.

  Then, I disassembled a 1940's-50's electric drill for the chuck end that had the matching female threads for the stud.  It wasn't easy but it finally came loose from the drill- took a while.   The mandrel set-up has it own guards for protection and the face of the sanding disc is 5 3/4" - 6" away from the sealed bearing/mandrel case.  Motor is separated from mandrel assembly by a foot long or so belt and both are bolted to the top of a homemade router table. 

 

What Ben shows what he wants to get would be worthless to me presently.  The shield or guard would be in the way of shaping a chinrest or pegs,  don't see any use for one with violins excepting if the table tilts for sanding an exacting heel angle.

 

May as well spill the rest of the beans.......... a $40.00 3m brand of respirator will/must be used while sanding or you'll simply pay the price afterwards- if you sand a bunch at one time.  Using a small $40.00 drill press and an angle chuck from HF I set the sander side arbor in-line with the drill press enabling me to turn and shape {file and sand} approx. 23 violin peg blanks.  Power came from sander motor with the drill press belt removed- free spinning.  1725 rpm was too fast for the turning tools but worked good using 36 grit, files and smoother paper.      

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sorry for the giant picture , I've been using this one for several years , it does takes longer than a power sander, but for how much it's used in any given build it will never add up to much time .  I don't have to worry about any burning or fingers   ,  I like the infinite  speed control , I fitted mine with a larger plywood surface for support. 

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I have a belt/disc combination sander (not home made, but not good quality either), and made up a 90-degree table to be able to use the belt as an edge sander.

I used it a few times, but that's it... I don't expect to use it for anything in the future.  

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sorry for the giant picture , I've been using this one for several years , it does takes longer than a power sander, but for how much it's used in any given build it will never add up to much time .  I don't have to worry about any burning or fingers   ,  I like the infinite  speed control , I fitted mine with a larger plywood surface for support. 

James,

What is it, where is it, and how can I find this?

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Thanks guys.

I love the Alberti sander and used it for years, but lost it in the move.

Alberti doesn't currently have one, I think they are redesigning/improving it.

 

Dang ...had one but lost it...ouch! Not sure how they could improve it ....more expensive than I can afford , larger disk , magnetic quick change disks for different grits ,

 

Mine I have to disassemble to change paper..... all in all though it's very nice tool , I  clamp simple guide blocks to the retrofit plywood platen for neck heal angles , squaring ribs , making nuts, saddles,   "squaring" fingerboard ends, all kinds of jobs , one distinct advantage is the low speed doesn't throw dust everywhere, and if the power grid goes out ...I'm still in "business" LOL ,  

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