Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sanding Station with Dust Collection

Yeah, I know.  I haven’t been posting much recently.  There seems to be a lot of “stuff” going on that reduces the amount of my available Blog writing time.  It is time to finally get back at it.

A couple of weeks ago I implemented an idea that has been bouncing around in my head since the beginning of my workshop renovations and that is: “A good place to do my hand power sanding while keeping dust to a minimum.” 

I was -- as hard as that may seem – actually starting to run out of available bench space and I didn’t want to add yet another port to the dust collection manifold.  So where to do my sanding??

As I was installing the dust/shavings bin under the lathe it suddenly struck me.  If I could come up with a nifty platform that would sit flat on the lathe, I could use the lathe’s dust horn to route the dust into the collector.

(Unfortunately, for reasons known only to the 'Blogspot Pholks', I wasn't able to insert my photos this time.  So check out Top View photo in the Picasa Photo Album to the right.  You need to do this a couple more times so look for the links in the lighter colored font.)
Look here for a shot of the top of the platform.  

So, I built a small (about 12” x 18”) frame that I can fasten down to the lathe that holds a chunk of peg board.  The dimensions of the deck were chosen so that it the headstock base and the dust collector hood edges would help “capture” it and prevent it from sliding around.  I chose the pegboard so that dust would tend not to accumulate under the piece being sanded and yet still get sucked up.

Look here for a shot of the bottom of the platform.  

You can see that I added an additional cross-piece under the deck.  This was partially to add additional support under the deck but mostly to provide a point to attach a mechanism to grip the ways of the lathe.  It had to be off-center a bit to clear the end of the motor.
I inserted a long ¼ -20 bolt into a counter-bored hole in the cross support.  I used a couple of washers and a split lock washer to ensure that the bolt can’t twist when the lower wingnut is tightened against the bottoms of the lathe rails.
When the deck is in position, the bolt extends down between the two rails of the lathe.  A short wooden clamping bar (narrow enough to slip between the rails) is slipped onto the bolt.  The bar drops down between the two rails and is tightened up with a wingnut. 

Look here for a shot of the clamping bar.

You can see in this shot how the bar grips the bottom of the rails to lock the deck into position.  I stuck a nut on the end of the bolt with a drop of “Lock-tite” to prevent the wingnut from inadvertently spinning off and getting lost.  I plan to replace the wingnut with one of those over-sized, off-the-shelf plastic knobs at my first opportunity because trying to tighten this tiny one “blindly” while reaching under the deck is kind of a pain.

Look here for a shot of the sanding deck in use.

I didn’t bother with including dimensions, materials, etc. because every situation is different and you are in the best position to decide what will work for you.  Having said that, if you want to reduce your dust and you are looking for a quickie project, this idea is really simple and works very well.

'Til next time...Keep makin' Chips!