Building a spindle sander for your drill press can be a very handy accessory around the shop when it comes to shaping a piece of material. Building a spindle sander is easy to build and requires very little material which is mainly scraps from the shop.
Building a spindle sander will require small pieces of 3/4″ plywood approximately 6″ square. You will need a 1/4″ bolt about 3″ long with washer and nut. Some wood glue along with some sandpaper will get the job done.
The first step is to select the size of the drum you want to make. I suggest while you build one spindle sander drum, you should build about 3 different sizes. This will give you more flexibility when it comes to sanding inside curves. A 2″-3″ and 4″ drums will give you a good selection to choose from.
To cut out the drums, select a cup bit the size you want. Put the cup bit in the drill press and cut out 2 discs from 3/4″plywood. By selecting a different size cup bit and cutting out 2 discs of that size will give you the different size spindle drum.
Take the 2 pieces of 3/4″ plywood that you cut out and glue them together. Drill a hole through the centre of the double-disc the size of the bolt you will install as the spindle. Insert the bolt in the hole and secure with washer and nut.
Install the drum sander into the drill press and turn the drill press on rotating the spindle. Place one end of a wood file against the post of the drill press and proceed to file the drum smooth as it turns. Finish the drum off with sandpaper.
Drill a small hole in the drum about 1/4″ inboard of the outer edge. Cut a slot to allow the ends of the sandpaper to fit into. Cut sandpaper the height of the drum and wrap it around so as the 2 ends fit into the slot. Lock the sandpaper in place by inserting a small dowel into the small hole.