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Thickness Sander


Similar in use to a thickness planer, a thickness sander allows you to achieve a consistent thickness across the length of a piece of wood.

Status Operational
Training Wiki Training REQUIRED - Easy to Damage
Hackable NO
Brand Delta
Usage Restrictions Members in good standing only, No Guests, WOOD ONLY
Owner Michael Kessler
If it Breaks Unplug, Place Broken Sign on Tool, Contact Owner
Loan Status Semi-Permanent
Arrival Date 2018
Location Workshop
Value $$$
Champion See Compendium of Champions

Repair Action Items

ALL of these must be completed before the machine can go back in service:

  • Replace or mitigate feed belt issue.
  • Place notice on machine directing users to this wiki for training as MANDATORY.
  • Update this wiki to help with onboarding usage.


WOOD ONLY No metal, not even once!

The thickness sander is a rotating power tool that can generate large quantities of wood dust. All precautions for power tools, rotating power tools, and sanding should be followed, including, but not limited to: Eye protection, Breathing Protection, Environmental Dust Collection, Ear Protection, Skin Protection, No baggy/dangling clothing, long hair tied, etc.

Use push-sticks and take care for kickback.

Take special care not to raise the bed into the sanding drum, which will cause permanent damage.


Sandpaper is currently 120 grit, but 80 grit is probably more suitable if buying replacements.


Currently, seek Michael K. for training.

Some tips:

  • Watch some videos on Youtube about how to use a thickness sander
  • Start with a pass where you aren't sanding anything so that you know you aren't cutting too deep and progress it no more than a 16th of a turn.
  • Don't stand directly behind the piece similar to a planer or table saw
  • Before using, make sure the drum has the sandpaper securely attached and the sandpaper is clean, if the sandpaper isn't clean, use the crepe block.
  • Even if you are removing only a couple of mm, expect to take several passes. This isn't a lot of material, but at the same time, it is sandpaper.
  • Keep the belt feed slow enough that the machine isn't loaded down, but fast enough that you aren't burning the piece.
  • You should use *always* use the dust extractor. There's a 4“ port on the top. Just like a planer, if you don't use a dust extractor on the thickness sander, it can create a bad situation. It would create a buildup of dust on the surface which can cause burning, clogging the sandpaper, and potentially even a kickback/damage. Our mobile dust extractor works quite nicely with it; you'll actually find that the airborne dust is not as bad as you'd expect. Make sure the dust extractor bag is emptied so you get the most flow out of it though that being said, you are still making tiny dust particles, keep the shop door closed and like any sanding operation, wear eye and nose/mouth protection.
  • Also wear ear protection, the dust extractor+thickness sander are loud together.
  • Lastly, plug the dust extractor and thickness sander into different circuits the HP combined on each will exceed 15amps if one of them gets bogged down.
  • If sanding multiple pieces that should have the same thickness, make sure that you do both pieces one after the other on the same setting. That way you can be sure they will be a consistent thickness, and you don’t have to redo the entire calibration for the other pieces. In fact, you can feed them in together. You'll get most accurate if you feed them in at the same spot (one right after each other).
  • You do want to vary up the feeding location slightly for each pass so you aren't dulling one spot on the paper though.

An alternative tool to consider is the planer. For 3mm on the thickness sander, expect 20 passes or more; the thickness sander excels against the planer on thin pieces, so if the final dimension of your piece is pretty thin, it is better to use the sander over the planer. If you are worried about tearout on the knots, you can go thickness sander

Note that the above is not an exhaustive list.


Maintenance Log

Any maintenance, repairs, relocations, changes, etc to the tool should be logged below with a note, date and who!

Note Date Who
Wiki entry created 25 Nov, 2016 Michael K.
Dismandled 2017 Michael K. and Mike Taylor
Replaced with Delta 2018 Michael K.
Out of service for repair 6 Jan, 2021 Michael K.
Planned Removal 30 Aug, 2021 Michael K.
Planer Tuneup and trainers trained (phillip_m and yeungx) January 2022 Phillip M
Drive belt for sanding Drum replaced since it broke, Beveled gears controlling lift mechanism replaced with steel gears. The original plastic gears were stripping regularly. May 2022 Phillip M
Motor for the conveyor belt repaired. Magnet in the motor was loose causing the noise and ultimately seizing the motor, Reported belt tracking may still be a bit off. December 2022 AndroidLx
Motor for the conveyor belt seized again shortly after it was reinstalled. The motor was stripped down and a wire leading to the electromagnet was sodered into place January 2023 John C and Shane M.
tool/thickness_sander.txt · Last modified: 2023/02/02 15:34 by phillip_ma

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