Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Bow Sander

A bow sander is a fantastic tool for sanding rounded contours, irregular surfaces, or radiused corners.

This design is very simple and easy to make, it uses a belt sander so you can quickly switch in and out the different belts when needed. Nice to hang on your tool wall and be ready for use  for a variety of sanding jobs

It is bow-shaped and has a long stroke which helps for fast sanding and comfortable to use. The narrow width strips lets you sand in tight areas.

To get started all you need is a piece of 2x4 and sanding belts. You don't need glue or screws or any other parts, you just have to make a few cuts on the table saw and band saw.

A slot was cut 1 inch deep in the 2x4. This will be for the belt to fit in. The 2x4 was long enough to make to bow sanders.

Here I roughly marked the bow and handle. The bow should be marked slightly larger than the length of the sanding belt. Later the ends will be sanded to fit the belt.

First I cut it on the bandsaw then hand sanded the piece smooth. I also sanded the handle and the ends round to get the right fit for the belt.

3"x21" belts are used. Of course larger belts can be used for a larger bow sanders. I would like to make larger ones and see how they work.

The sanding belt is cut  into roughly 1 inch wide  strips.  To do that the sandpaper is clamped down between a few blocks of scrap wood. Doing it this way will help so the belt won't kink or crease. 

 The belt is now ready to be put on the bow. There is a little flex on the bow but still needs to be worked on to get it in place. This is good because it will have good tension on the belt.

These sanders are so easy to make so  I made a second one. This is a good project for beginner woodworkers so I kept it simple. It would be nicer if hardwood was used. 

I tested my sanders out and they work great. One had more tension than the other so remember to cut the bow larger than the belt and slowly test the belt, sand a little and test again. Keep doing this until you get the perfect fit.

See Also:

             Moisture meter                                                   Make a Bevel Gauge