Finnishing up

A couple of coats of paint soon turned this collection of MDF into something vaguely resembling a Disc Sander.

I thought long and hard about if I should me the table adjustable. In the end I decided that an strong accurate fixed table was all I required. I built the table and added a guide for a mitre gauge (coming soon). The table also serves as a guard for the bottom half of the sander. It bolts on to the sander with two bolts each side.

The sanding disk is held on to the platter by a Velcro pad. This makes changing sanding sheets a very quick and easy process – unbolt the table, replace the disk, bolt the table back on. I can probably change the disk within a couple of minutes without breaking into a sweat.

I also added a dust port which connect up to my shop vac. I decided to try my first test run on a scrap of MDF without the vac connected. Big Mistake! The sander eat through the wood sanding plumes of dust all over the workshop.

Power Switch

I wanted the power switch nice and accessible so I decided to mount it above the disc. I Built a long thin box, and cut holes in it for the switch, power in and motor out.

The column was simply glued and screwed on. The switch is very accessible and means I don’t have to fumble around the side of the sander to find it.

Constructing the Frame

I went with a very simple frame to hold the motor and disc assembly. First I cut out some semi-circles from 18 mm  MDF using my hand router and a compass jig.


I also cut out the main back plate using the same jig. The result was once the three arc sections were glued together onto the back plate they formed  a protective cowl around the disc. The rest of the body was straight forward. with glue and nails used to build the rest of the motor housing.

The block that holds the motor is just glued and nailed together. The motor then sits on the block and is bolted into place by four screws around the shaft.



The Disc

I thought I’d post some pics and a brief description of a new project I’ve been working on, a homemade disc sander. I was fed up with the very poor performance of my old belt / disc sander combo so I decided a bigger and much more powerful disc sander was needed.

The key to the project was an old motor and switch salvaged from a cheap table saw. (This was the saw I used to cut blocks for my Pizza Oven.

I started out by making the disc itself. The Disc assembly comprises a 300mm dia Disc of MDF for the main face A second disc (this time ply) is glued and screwed on to the first, Finally I drilled then screwed on one half of the old blade holder. This piece added abit more support to the rest of the assembly, it also helped ensure the disc remains balanced.

IMG_0417  IMG_0418The disc is held onto the shaft by a M12 Nut and washer from the front, this was the easiest way for me to mount the disc securely to the motor shaft.

Initial testing proved very successful. With the motor clamped to my bench and the disc bolted on I fired it up and waited for the motor to try and shake loose of the clamps. It ran much better than I hoped with just a small vibration noted. The disc was perfectly concentric with the shaft however the disc was not perfectly perpendiculat to the shaft. I measured a 2-3mm wobble as the disc span. I re-tightened the disc abit more, this seemed to cure the wobble to less than .5mm at  the edge of the disc. I could happily run the motor with the disc on my bench without any clamping and it would stay put. For me it was balanced enough to proceed with the rest of the build. and so far it had cost me nothing.



Assembling the frame

Well I cut a load of threaded rod and began to test assemble a frame. I cut the threaded rod into 330mm lengths with my angle grinder. This seems to be quite a usable size for all the key structural components, also since I purchased the threaded rod in 1M lengths it made for no wastage.

I settled on an measurement of 240mm between blocks and then went around the frame tweaking each joint.


Building Blocks

The main chassis of the printer is made from M8 threaded rod, M8 nuts and washers, and drilled wooden blocks.

I started by making the standard joining blocks out of some scrap MDF. If the design works I’ll probably re-make them ply or solid wood. First of all I cut the MDF into 38x35mm mm blocks, then drilled out each block.

I also made some double blocks for the base, These will be for the base.



Here are some photo’s of some test fits.



For a while now I’ve been wanting a 3D printer. I have 3 options

1) But a complete ready built 3D printer (where’s the fun in that?)

2) Buy a set of plascic Prusa from ebay and build a fully working machine. Tempting, however on many kits on sale it was difficult to determine the quality of the parts and the exact version and variant on offer.

3) Build a Repstrap. A Repstrap is a 3D printer often built from wood with the sole aim of printing a set of parts for another 3D printer, it ‘bootstraps’ the reprap process of machines building machines- hence the name ‘RepStrap’.

So What type of RepStrap to build? The RepRap RepStrap website lists many options, the one that caught my eye was the ‘1X2‘ and it’s siblings the ‘1X2 TallCat‘ and the ‘1×2 ShortCat‘.

My reasons:-

1) Can be built from scraps of wood, threaded rod, nut’s, washers and a good rummage in the junk box. I believe I should be able to build the structural elements of the Printer for under £30.

2) I like the flexibility of the design. If I want to add or change anything I can easily, rather than having to re-cut / re-make parts.



First Firing…

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for….

Holiday Souvenirs!

Just got back from my Hols to Italy, a 3600 mile round trip in the car. My wife’s parents have a house about 25 minutes East of Naples (Real Pizza Terrotory). So while some people go to Italy to enjoy the sun and sea, my first stop was the Local DIY shop (called Progress). I struck gold! they had an whole isle full of Pizza tools! Well whats a man to do?

My wife told me that it was either her or the tools as their wouldn’t be enough room in the car for both on the way home. It was a tough call – I was going to miss her! 😉

In the end a comprimise was found, I had to hacksaw off about 12″ of each pole to get the tools, the two kids and my wife back home safely.

Was very pleased with what I got and the prices! the large peel was only 12 Euro’s about £10, the 9″ and 6″ turners were 10 euros each. All the tools are steel, mounted on Aliminium poles with wooden handles.

In the end I purchased the following:-

Large metal pizza peel
9″ and 6″ turning peels.
Large wooden peel.
Oven brush.
and a curved fire rake.

I also picked up a rack with legs that will sit in the oven above the coals if I want to cook any steak etc. barbeque style. 7 euros. Bargin!

Overall a really happy bunny! I’ll take some photo’s of the tools and post them soon. For now here’s a photo of a very happy man knocking a fairly decent sized hole in his Barclaycard!