Bench sander/trimmer

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WriteON

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Giving some thought but only daydreaming for now.... comments on this set up. Thanks, Frank



 
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MPVic

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Thanks for the info. But I would strongly recommend Rick Herrell's squaring jig to use on your lathe. Much more versatile and very well made. Wished I had bought this years ago instead of barrell trimmers.
 

montmill

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The first issue I see is the shaft you put the blank on is most likely 7mm. Unless you make only 7 mm pens you'll find you'll have to make up sleeves or purchase some so the blank runs true. The second issue I'd question is how secure the table is. I've found on cheaper sanders the table is held by only one contact point and has a lot of slop. I agree the Rick Herrell squaring jig is the most stable and you can use your own shafts from a transfer punch set for a tighter fit.
 

WriteON

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I have Ricks jigs... can't beat them. Also Rick made a jig for the Sorby ProEdge. As for the PSI bench sander I'd use it for certain applications. The size/weight does make me nervous. I need it like a snail needs airbrakes but it had my attention. Will most likely pass unless someone buys and says it's a must have.
 

Tim R

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I use a Ryobi combination disc sander/belt sander along with the PSI sliding jig. The shaft is 7mm, so unless you're real careful (I discovered that I'm not), you will need a set of sleeves. I've been happy with the setup. It beats barrel trimmers in my view.
 

wouldentu2?

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If you don't have a sander and you only want to use it for small stuff it should do the job. You can make your own sleeves on your lathe with a 7mm tube.
 

RGVPens

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I have Ricks jigs... can't beat them. Also Rick made a jig for the Sorby ProEdge. As for the PSI bench sander I'd use it for certain applications. The size/weight does make me nervous. I need it like a snail needs airbrakes but it had my attention. Will most likely pass unless someone buys and says it's a must have.
Is there a site to see/purchase Rick's jig?
 

hooked

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Is there a site to see/purchase Rick's jig?
 

egnald

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I use something similar to the PSI sander/jig, but I was not satisfied with how tight my miter gauge (with their jig clamped in it) fit in the miter slot on my Craftsman belt/disc sander, so I built my own using their concept. I used "D" drill rod (0.246 inches). I already have pretty much a full set of sleeves for it along with a few that I made myself by turning down a blank on a 7mm tube, so I included a storage spot for them.

If I had it all to do over again, instead of using a fixed "D" drill rod, I would have made the jig with a "V" notch and clamp arrangement to accommodate various sizes of transfer punches instead of the drill rod. By choosing an appropriately sized transfer punch for each tube I would not have needed the sleeves. I am sure that my jig version 3.0 will be designed that way. After all, I will still be able to clamp a piece of "D" drill rod in the "V" notch it and use the sleeves instead of transfer punches if I should want to.

Anyhow, here are a couple of pictures of my sander and squaring jig 2.0. For the most part the whole thing was made by gluing pieces of 1/2-inch Baltic birch plywood together and the sleeves are stored on 1/4-inch shelf pins.

Dave
 

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RGVPens

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Thanks! He's got some really cool stuff there.
 

JohnU

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Just know… when you get to using clear cast tube on blanks, some of them don’t respond well to the mills and can be a little too aggressive, causing the resin to separate from the tube on material… like with snakeskin blanks. It can be an expensive lesson. Having a sanding jig of some sort is a great backup plan for those type of blanks.
 

dogcatcher

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I use a pen mill, reverse the milling head and add sandpaper to the flat spot. The many bushings needed were included, a 1" sandpaper disc works perfectly. Hand drill with variable speed.
 

RGVPens

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Just know… when you get to using clear cast tube on blanks, some of them don’t respond well to the mills and can be a little too aggressive, causing the resin to separate from the tube on material… like with snakeskin blanks. It can be an expensive lesson. Having a sanding jig of some sort is a great backup plan for those type of blanks.
I have a benchtop 4" belt sander w/disc on the side. I intend to use that with a jig to square the blanks. Unless you've got a better idea...?
What's a "pen mill" ?
 

JohnU

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I have a benchtop 4" belt sander w/disc on the side. I intend to use that with a jig to square the blanks. Unless you've got a better idea...?
What's a "pen mill" ?
That will work for you. I will turn a blank down close to bushing and then sand the ends to the tube. It works easier with less damage to the sanding surface. A pen mill is the same as a barrel trimmer…. The cutter head on a shaft that you put in the drill. They are fine for the majority of acrylic blanks and wood out there. You just have to make sure it’s sharp enough to cut the wood or blank and not burnish it.
 

sorcerertd

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I'd say I second recommending Rick's squaring jig, but I think we're well past a second. I love mine. Have lost a few blanks to the mill, but not one to the sanding/squaring jig setup. I have an old beast of a Craftsman 8" disc/2x42 belt sander that I use sometimes to knock off excessive material, but always square on the lathe. The sander works great for lawnmower blades, though.
 

jrista

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Just know… when you get to using clear cast tube on blanks, some of them don’t respond well to the mills and can be a little too aggressive, causing the resin to separate from the tube on material… like with snakeskin blanks. It can be an expensive lesson. Having a sanding jig of some sort is a great backup plan for those type of blanks.
Thanks for the tip, John. I recently just purchased a kit to start doing some Sierra tube-in blanks, so this is a useful tidbit.

I am curious, given your depth of experience...how well do say printed labels on tube-in blanks respond to a sanding disc?
 

JohnU

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Thanks for the tip, John. I recently just purchased a kit to start doing some Sierra tube-in blanks, so this is a useful tidbit.

I am curious, given your depth of experience...how well do say printed labels on tube-in blanks respond to a sanding disc?
In my opinion sanding discs are the least aggressive on blanks and will work for any type. The pen mills can put stress and heat on the tubes and resin, but used in a less forceful way can work just fine for label casts and others. The point is not to force them or get them hot. As long as they are sharp and light cuts are made, and clearing the cut area between cuts, they can be useful. I still use them on solid acrylic and wood blanks, along with some of my clear casts. You just have to get used to what your using and find what works for your style.
 

Curly

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...........If I had it all to do over again, instead of using a fixed "D" drill rod, I would have made the jig with a "V" notch and clamp arrangement to accommodate various sizes of transfer punches instead of the drill rod. By choosing an appropriately sized transfer punch for each tube I would not have needed the sleeves..........Dave

Like this eh? :) #16
 

dogcatcher

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For the price of a $100, I would either cheap out and make one, or buy a real bench belt and disc sander.

A sewing machine motor is less than $30 on Amazon, Make a faceplate for a sander, I had one I made out of 1/4" aluminum, The "table" on the PSI one is nothing but a little aluminum. I would use 3/4" inch birch ply and make a sturdy one. Too cheap to buy a sewing machine motor, use your electric drill. A few minutes on Google looking at homemade disc sanders and you have a few ideas.
 

Tim R

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I've been happy with my Ryobi 4-inch x 36-inch belt and 6-inch disc sander. It only came with one adhesive sanding disc, so buy some extras.
 

Aurelius

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I've been happy with my Ryobi 4-inch x 36-inch belt and 6-inch disc sander. It only came with one adhesive sanding disc, so buy some extras.
I'm still getting things set up so I can't comment on it's effectiveness but I got the same thing with the Wen label on it. If you keep an eye out, you can usually find a deal on these.
 

dogcatcher

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My benchtop sander is an antique, an Atlas brand. They were the company that made Sears tools back in the 1840's. If I was looking today, I would go to Grizzly Tools. But if I lived up north, I would check out estate sales and craigslist for used tool sales for an antique.
 

egnald

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I am on my second Craftsman 4-inch x 36 / 6-inch belt / disc sander. The Craftsman brand has worked good by me. To save money I buy my 6-inch discs off of eBay by the 100 disc roll - cost winds up being about 25-28 cents per disc for 120 grit. Sometimes the adhesive on the discs is not that great so I keep a can of 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to give it a little boost. I think the MSRP for my Craftsman was about $150, but I got mine at our local store for right around $120. I think that they might be discontinued though or perhaps just out of stock everywhere. I have seen Sears selling the WEN brand lately.

Rockwell, Grizzly, and Porter Cable all have comparable units and all are in the less than $150 price range, but if I were going to go for quality I think I would lean towards the Bucktool at a little higher price, but still less than $200. Although the 6-inch disc does everything I need, Bucktool also has a 4x36 with an 8-inch disc.

Regards,
Dave
 

RGVPens

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I'm still getting things set up so I can't comment on it's effectiveness but I got the same thing with the Wen label on it. If you keep an eye out, you can usually find a deal on these.
I've got the WEN 4" also. Not a bad unit.
 
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