How to Use a Spindle Sander for the Best Results

Ay, wish I had gotten to writing this post earlier, and I know some of you have been waiting for it. In my woodworking classes, I have learnt to love and respect this power tool. I’m going to share some of this here with you. Let’s go.
jet jbos 5 oscillating spindle sander

People who have seen a spindle sander for the first time will most likely think that it is very hard to use. Well, there might be some truth to that, but everything always comes down to practice. If you have acquired enough experience on doing something, chances are you will become really good at it. The same applies to using a spindle sander. You just need to get used to it. So, to anyone who want to start learning how to use a spindle sander, here are a couple of basic steps which will serve as your guide.

Get the right oscillating spindle sander for the job

There are many spindle sander manufacturers out there, including Jet, Ridgid, Wen, Grizzly and Craftsman, some of the best ones are covered in this article. They come in benchtop forms and stationary floor sander forms. Also, note that due to the oscillating motion of the spindle (it goes up and down), they are also known as oscillating spindle sanders.

Collect all the necessary equipment and materials

Of course, the first thing to do on any activity or task is to gather all the needed materials on one place. You don’t want to end up going to a hardware store while you are in the middle of creating your woodwork. You will lose focus if you’ll cut in the middle. However, it is also good to take some rest if needed.

Plan your work

After gathering all the necessary materials, it is now time to make your own plan. What is the design that you are going to create? This step is very important since once you have already run the spindle sander on the wood, it is impossible to take it back to its original form. Start measuring everything and put some marks if needed. Just make sure that everything is done according to the plan that you’ve made.

Get the appropriate drum diameter

rotating spindles

Now, that you have the measurement and the marks for the design that you are going to make, you can now pick the right drum diameter for it. The drums have a sandpaper on them which will get the job done. Depending on the curve that you are going to create, the right drum diameter should be chosen. If you are not sure on what drum diameter that you should use, you can start with drums that has smaller diameter, then you can increase the diameter if necessary.

Start sanding you pieces

So, you already have a plan on what to do, and you have the right drum diameter at your disposal, there is nothing much left to do, but to start creating your craft. Put your plan into action. Remember that there will no erasures, once you have changed the shape of the wood, that will be it. Do the sanding motion in a continuous pattern and avoid stopping on one area.

Here’s a great intro into using these devices: