Molding Sander for Shopsmith

I have a lot of trim to sand and put up in my home in the next few months and fell in love with the idea of a Moulding Sander, but not the price ;0). Especially since you still needed to add your own motor.  

But wait, I already have a variable speed motor.  It’s called a Shopsmith.  The final design still needs some tweaking, dust collection and an adjustable platform, but with a little more work I think I’m really going to enjoy this addition to my shop.  You can see my improvements in Part II.


What you need: 

  • 3/8″ rod
  • two 3/8 collars that lock with Allen screws
  • 3/8″ inner diameter washers for ends
  • sandpaper, I bought mine from the Wood Working Shop you can choose from multiple grits
  • spacers to make the mop more fluffy.  I both a few when I bought my sandpaper, then added regular washers later to make it even fluffier.
  • Morse taper 2 live center for your tailstock attachment for Shopsmith
  • drill chuck attachment for Shopsmith
  • small scrap of hardwood to make adapter for live center
  • nail

Let’s get started!!!

First I attached one of my collars to the 3/8″ rod about 6-7″ from one end.  I will probably adjust everything to center once I have all my extra washers in place.  Then slip on one of your end washers.

IMG_8979 IMG_8981

I secured mine in the vice at this point to make it easier to add the sandpaper.

Start stacking your sand paper in a star fashion, wrong sided together in pairs of 2 adding spacers as you go.  I initially did a spacer every 4 stacks, but will probably go back and add on every other stack to spread the paper even further apart.


I had 5 packs of 48 sheets and ended up at just about 5 3/8″ tall/wide.

Now comes the fun part where I wish I had man sized hands and were a little taller than 5’4″ ;0). First slip on your second outside washer, then the other lock collar.  I had to file the end of my rod with a bastard file in order for these to easily slip on.     I resorted to using a 36″ clamp and some scrap wood to build a lever I could also reach into with an Allen wrench to tighten the collar.


Everything is still clamped in the bench vice, I stacked two pieces of wood on top of the washer, but not the collar, added a cross piece, clamped this with the 36″ clamp and then pushed down as hard as I could then tightened the set screw in the collar.  At this point, cut down your rod if it is too long.  I used a metal cutting blade on a jigsaw.

For the end that sits on your live center rummage around for a scrap of hardwood, or go beg one from someone else scrap bin.  I found a piece of mahogany left over from my vice faces and cut a block off about 1 1/2″ long. IMG_8994

The block of wood just needs to be thick enough for the rod to fit inside without splitting, and long enough you can secure it to the end while leaving some wood for the live center to rest in.  Mark each end at the center, use a punch to indent for drilling and riding on the lathe.  Chamfer the edges with a block plane.

I used a 3/8 brad point drill bit to drill down about 1″ (sorry, no picture of this part) then turned it on the side and drilled a smaller hold about 1/2 and inch from the end with a drill bit the same size as my nail.


Back to the rod.  I switched to a metal vice, filed one end a little to create a little bit of a flat spot and then drilled a hole with the same small drill bit I used on the wood.


Finally fit the wood over the rod, line up the holes, put your nail through, bend if over and cut off the end.  I used a coping saw to do this.

Now you are ready to chuck it up on the shop smith with your live center MT2 in the tailstock.  Happy sanding!  Stay tuned for the improvements I had in mind, including dust collection and an adjustable platform for molding.   Finally, don’t forget to break in your sand paper with a scrap piece of wood to loosen the strips up a bit!.  Wear a dust mask, and open the doors ;0)IMG_9009

2 thoughts on “Molding Sander for Shopsmith

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s