Hand Held Spindle Sander

I purchased a small machine lathe for my shop and decided that I should put it to good use one day. Not long ago I found my self waiting for either lacquer to dry or glue to set...when an idea came to me...I decided to build a hand-held sander for shaping guitar necks. I thought it could also utilize the sleeves of my Ryobi oscillating spindle sander. I thought to myself that it had to be inexpensive and made from parts that I could buy locally. (When I said inexpensive it meant without the lathe cost, of course.)

After driving all over Dallas looking for a 6» long piece of 1/2» round steel stock I finally had to buy three feet of cold rolled for $3.89 (that's outrageous!)
Next I bought 2 1/2» and 1 3/16» well washers, 1 3/4» x #10-24 Allen head screw and an E clip for about 2 bucks (can you believe the price of screws?) and of course an ultra cheap bearing with 1/2» ID and a 1 1/4» OD with a lip (I think it is really called a flange bearing)...that baby cost $2.49. Now I needed a handle...in my scrap wood bin I found a piece of mahogany 2 1/2»x 2 1/2»x 3»...cost was zero.
Shaft Parts Handle
Machine the shaft
Step 1 - Hacksaw off a 6» long piece of the 1/2» diameter steel stock and make sure to square up the ends by chucking the rod and machine cut or grind them.
Step 2 - Center drill a 7/16» deep pilot hole with a 1/4» drill bit into the axis by chucking the bit at one end and line boring the hole. Step 2
Step 3 - Now drill 3/4» deep with a #24 drill bit in the pilot hole. It is to be tapped to #10-24. (I know the books say it should be a #22 bit, but it is too tight for this application) Be sure to tap this hole as deep as possible. Step 4 - Remove the spindle stock and make a mark 5 in. from the threaded end. Re- chuck in reverse. With a 3/32» parting tool or hack saw cut a groove approx. 1/8»deep to accommodate the E clip.
Step 5 - from the groove measure and mark approx. 1/4» and turn down the remaining shaft to 1/4»diameter. This should allow it to fit into a die grinder's chuck. Step 5
Making the handle
Step 1 - square the handle stock to 2 1/2» x 2 1/2» x 3». The handle should be approx. 3» long so drill accordingly. Drill a 1 1/8» hole 3/8» deep or to accommodate the bearings outer race. Next drill a 1/4» in. hole completely through. This is to change sanding sleeves with out removing the handle from the bearing.
Step 2 - Although it isn't necessary to round the handle, you could from this point just make 2 jam chucks and turn the handle on a wood lathe. Finish handle and assemble. Step 2 Making the Handle
PS: Don't despair if you don't have access to metal turning equipment, a good machine shop would probably turn the spindle for about $15.00.
Dan Fobert Using the New Spindle Sander

Dan Fobert using his new hand held spindle sander.