Here we go, the 'hughie sander’, something I have been meaning to build for a while.

Started out hunting through my steel scrap box looking for some 20mm round bar. All I could find was some 20mm sq stainless, it’ll have to do. Although it does not need stainless or sq, both only add to the cost and complexity of manufacturer.

Machined 12mm spigots/tangs with the idea of making wooden handles but have since changed my mind and will make handles from stainless tube I had lying around. Lighter and stronger and allows me to do alterations if need later. More so than a wooden handle.

I also drilled the heads out to take a dual position of the sanding heads, at right angles or in line with the handle. The sanding heads are held in place by m6 [1/4”] grub or set screws, with m8 [3/8”] cap screw to hold the angle adjustment. The handle shown is about 300mm or 12" long, this will allow me to sand hollow vessels with ease, to a reasonable depth and get under the lip of most.

The 12mm [1/2”] tang will fit allot of propriety handles such as Vermec, Peebles etc. I thought of giving the tang extra length to make the whole thing somewhat telescopic. I suspect 12mm [1/2”] might be a tad flexible, might need to go to 16mm or 5/8".

Have been giving the handle idea some more thought and wondered if there was much in the idea of a dual sander set up. That is, to have a sander head at both ends of a longish handle, sort of a coarse and fine set up all in one.

On this one, the handle grip is dishwasher drain hose from local hardware. It makes a good grip but the sizing of the tube is a bit loose when I slide the hose on so I will have to fix the hose on with CA. Ideally it needs something a little more flexible but as this is a prototype and I am not worried, the CA works just fine.


Dunno if I will go with the dual set up. As I do like the single set up with the hose grip and I have enough to make two sanders. Next step to make up the sanding heads




 Using cam followers, I needed to turn up a couple of bearing cups to press the bearings into. The final shot is the assembled cam follower and cup. There two sizes 25mm or 1" and 50mm or 2". Using cam followers is a bit of deviation from the norm, but it does allow for more flexibility in usage, as shown in the following images.

The grip, as stated, is from sullage piping and it fits fairly well over the stainless tube. I turned a piece of what they call high tensile Aluminum for the handle reducer; locking screw is m6 grub screw, 3mm[1/8”] Allen key. Mild steel would do, even brass at a pinch, I have been using what’s lying around. My idea is to make it out of what’s lying around, so anybody can make one.

The full assembly handle pics show the various configurations. All I have to do now is cut and glue the foam on and make a plug up for the end of the handles. Remember to use denser foam at the base or foam with a higher ‘Shore’ number or greater ‘Duro’ number. This is how the hardness of rubber is measured.

The cam followers are rated to 20,000rpm so they should be ok. I cannot remember their side thrust loadings but I doubt if I will ever exceed them. Cam followers are 19mm [3/4”] with m8 [3/8”] threads to the shafts, held in the universal joint by m6 grub screws.

Materials used: Stainless and Aluminum, Allen screw for all fasteners. 20mm [¾” bore] plastic sullage pipe for washing machines for the grip.

Idea behind using this that we can make good tools from what is at hand; we don’t necessarily have to an expert machinist or a toolmaker. It’s just a bit of lateral thinking and away you go. I have seen a very good version of this made from skate board wheels.

Finished with 40mm approx dia pad with Velcro, plugged the end with a bit of nylon. Made the nylon plugs different lengths so as to I.D. them quickly by the handle end. Seeing both are identical, no need to show both. Handle is about 300mm long gets me into bowls and vases better than the short Vermec one I have.

In reflection, I greased the cam followers before assembly and it looks like I was a bit zealous with the greasing. Have been getting a little spatting from grease coming out of the bearing during use, other than that they work well and the length is fine.

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Monday the 19th. Thanks for visiting Woodturners Unlimited.