Turn your drill press into a bobbin/spindle sander

drillHere is my bench-top drill press. It’s one of my favorite tools and is now even more versatile. If you’ve got one of these in your workshop, then this guide will help you to make it even more useful.

One piece of equipment I always wanted was a bobbin sander (some people call them spindle or drum sanders). Due to lack of funds and space at the time, I had to improvise.

A quick visit to the Axminster website led me to this rather nice little drum sander kit.

drumsandersIt comes with five different sized bobbins as well as a selection of different grades of sandpaper. I also bought a few extra sandpaper refills while ordering.



Once it arrived, it was just a case of fitting the sandpaper around the bobbin and fitting the whole thing into the drill press.


sanderLovely isn’t it, perfect for tidying up the edges of your freshly cut wood.

…… Or is it?

As it turns out, this isn’t actually as useful as you might think. The main problem is trying to hold the work piece still while working it against the sander. Not an easy task.

There was only one thing for it, I had to make a solution.

Now, please bear in mind that I built this several years ago and it’s had quite a lot of use since so it probably doesn’t look very smart…. then again, it still performs it’s function perfectly so I really don’t care how it looks.


boxI knew that I had to make a platform for the work piece to sit on but I also wanted a way to collect all the dust that get’s created while sanding. This was very important to me because I tend to work quite a lot with MDF and that creates an obscene amount of dust which really isn’t good for the lungs. I ended up with the box to the right. It’s designed to fit over the plate of the drill press so that it doesn’t fall off. The hole in the top is slightly larger than the largest of the drum sander attachments. The hole in the side is the same size as my vacuum cleaner pipe.

I made the box out of some spare pieces of MDF I had lying around at the time. If I were to re-make this thing now, I’d probably use thick plywood or something equally hard wearing.



baseThis image shows the underside of the box with the sides made to surround the drills bed. I know it’s not a great photo but it should allow you to see what I mean.

I also ran some silicone sealant around the joints to help reduce air leakage but it was probably un-necessary. If you look at one side, you’ll see that I had to hack away at the edge of the box. This was to allow the handle of the drill press to turn freely.


fittedThe image to the right shows the box installed onto the drill press and the vacuum cleaner pipe inserted into the side.



This design works surprisingly well. When the vacuum cleaner is turned on, it collects all the dust. I didn’t really expect it to work as well as it does.

Below I have added a couple of photos with the vacuum turned on and then off.

This is a nice, simple hack and hopefully someone out there will find it useful.



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One thought on “Turn your drill press into a bobbin/spindle sander

  1. Nice idea with the dust extraction. I guess that you can lift up and down the drill if you have to sand internal edges too (e.g. a circle cut into the centre)

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