Odds are you probably don’t exactly have a spindle sander lying around in your workshop, but if you’re looking to sand curves and other unique shapes it’s time to pick one up. Sanders are better suited for a wide array of projects, but those unique DIY projects you’ll need something, well, a bit more creative.
This is where spindle sanders come in as they have their specialized functions that add the perfect complement to any woodworking project. Simply put, spindle sanders consists of a base, tabletop which is the platform, and a sanding drum which is seen coming through a centered hole within the platform itself.
Spindle sanders are extremely fun to operate, and are one of the most creative power tools you will find. Perfect for those looking for a bit more creativity and can be used to sand any shape including curved or straight lines, as long as it’s flat.
Below, we take a close look at how to use a spindle sander in this step by step guide:
Gather Equipment, Prep the Area, and Be Safe
You’ll always want to gather equipment before you get into the project itself. Make sure you have more than enough spindles with a varying degree of grit.
Mark the Wood
It’s not recommended to sand without first marking the wood. There are times when it would seem that the naked eye will allow you to self-gauge the desired circumference or depth, but more times than not you’ll regret you did. Make your measurements and mark the wood and simply sand to the line, and not over the line. An eraser can remove the line itself, but sanding over the line may prove to be too much.
Choose the Right Drum Diameter
Spindle sanders operate by circulating a drum with sandpaper attached which gives it purpose. The drums themselves come in different diameters which allow you to choose your desired curve. It’s always good practice to sand with a drum that looks slightly smaller than slightly larger as it’s easy to sand more, and impossible to take it back.
Sand in a Long, Smooth Motion
The art of a spindle sander isn’t any different than any other. The sandpaper and sander itself exerts all the necessary force as you want to sand in a long, smooth motion. When holding the wood, move it slowly to the drum, allow the drum to do all the work, and move the wood in a continual pattern. Be sure not to hold the wood in one location as it will result in uneven and undesirable blemishes.
Make as many passes as it takes to reach the line as it’s better to take your time with more, then to ruin your project with less.