20-Inch Disk Sander

This high-end, custom20-Inch Disk Sander pays big dividends in your workshop. All it takes is a small investment in shop time and common materials.

Top-of-the-line tools exert a strong attraction to woodworkers. Especially when combined in equal parts with can-do enthusiasm, and a sense of thriftiness. For evidence, take a look at any of the “old-iron” restorations you can find online. A few years ago, ShopNotes featured a floorstanding 12" disc sander that proved pretty popular. Chris Fitch offered an upgrade: How about a 20" model? Other than one-upmanship, the reason to feature this project is that 12" commercial sanders are easier (and cheaper) to come by. But building your own 20" model allows you to maximize the savings potential. This sander offers a study of contrasts: a 20" disc is larger than you can typically find, but doesn’t take up much more space than a common 12" machine. Modestly priced building materials work together to create a sander that runs like vintage cast-iron brutes. Perhaps the biggest contrast is that while the big disc is capable of removing a lot of wood in a hurry, this tool excels at fine details and finessing project parts. The rigid disc allows you to adjust a miter for a perfect fit. You can also create a flat, square edge on a workpiece or even flatten the bottom of boxes and other assemblies. In the spirit of full disclosure, we splurged on a 220V motor to provide the oomph to keep the disc from bogging down. It’s the priciest part of the project, but you’re still coming out ahead over an industrial machine. If you’re ready to build a hot-rod of a power tool, let’s dive in.

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What You Get:

  • 10 pages of step-by-step instructions
  • Over 40 full-color photos and illustrations and exploded views
  • Hardware sources and materials list

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