Luthier's Friend Sanding Station

mzuch

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I have one. I use it to shape bridges. It works fine.
 

Timbuck

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I just use an angle plate on the spindle sander ... almost the same idea.
 

Allen

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The very handy and relatively inexpensive disk and belt sander combo that many people have in the shed can be outfitted with a cantilevered table at the end of the belt sander to achieve the same effect. And much more versatile in my opinion. A great many guitar builders have used this set up for all kinds of tasks for years. I used this set up for several years before I upgraded my equipment to some industrial size items.....though I do still have that same disk / belt sander combo. And I still use it nearly every day.
 

Michael Smith

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I agree with Beau, save your money for a spindle sander. I use the jet, a really great tool for this type of work.
 

Beau Hannam Ukuleles

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Im the cheapest Aussie you will ever meet so i got the Harbour freight one and used a 20% coupon! I think it was about $90. It works fine. The only problem i had was on cold days the sanding sleeve would slip if i pushed to hard but i just wicked in some CA glue to fix it.

The travel (up and down motion) of the sanding pole is long enough for uke heels and mold making 4"-5" or 5"-6" i cant remember. I think the Rigid version has more travel (which is a good thing) but it costs $200. I didn't look at the specs of the Grizzy one- if you are only uke stuff, these smaller ones are fine.

Also, the travel on the sleeve pole is about 1" which is better then sanding drums on drill presses as it doesn't sand just in one place.

A pack of new sleeves is only $8

Ive used $1200 JET one and they are fantastic, but they should be for that.

Im a full time luthier and i try to only buy what i need and be honest and realistic about it. If I had alot more money id buy a better machine....but i wouldn't actually need it over the one i have.
 

resoman

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I bought one of the Grizzly models. I think it was like $149.99 but has a cast iron table. This machine really helped speed up the process
 

Beau Hannam Ukuleles

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I bought one of the Grizzly models. I think it was like $149.99 but has a cast iron table. This machine really helped speed up the process

That is identical to the harbour freight one, which is normally that price.

It is one of the better $150 one can spend in a workshop
 

aaronckeim

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I used to have one of those Grizzly ones and used it for a million random jobs in the shop. When I moved to Oregon, I sold it because Gordon and Char's shop had everything I would need. Well, I just made a custom rosewood pickguard for a customer and I went looking around the shop for the right tool for the job. All I could think was, "Damn, I wish I still had that $100 spindle sander!"
 

afreiki

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After reading this, I went to Harbor Freight, and bought one, and it is SOOOO much better than the drums on the drill press! I had to rummage through the recycling to get my 25% coupon from last Sunday's paper, but I ended up spending about $90 for it. And it has an updated base to hold all the rings and drums and washers. :)
Anne
 

resoman

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Anne, Next time I go to town I'm gonna get one of the curling irons you talked about in the side bending thread. Gotta give it a try

th
 

Doug

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I recently got the Grizzly one. It was $149 and on sale for $109. The thing that differentiates it from the Harbor Freight one is that the Grizzly has a 1/2 horsepower motor and the Harbor Freight has a 1/3 or 1/4.
 

Ken W

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My spindle sander is a Sears model that I picked up on sale a few years ago. I think it was around $100. Like others have mentioned in this thread, it gets a lot of use. These pictures show the set up for shaping the heal to the body. The base is clamped to the table of the sander and the neck is held in the sled. The sled has a follower beneath it that follows the guide on the base. Everything (neck, sled, base) is aligned with the center of the spindle. It's then a simple matter of sliding the follower against the guide until the radius is sanded into the heal. It took me a while to get the follower and guide right, but this set up saves me a lot of time and assures consistently accurate results.
 

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rudy

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Here's a variation of the spindle sander jig that is seen a lot. Here it is set up for doing the heel cut on a banjo neck but you can set it up to do a much larger radius cut to match your uke body if you're using a contoured upper body shape.
MountainBanjo005.jpg