Pat Hawley's Thickness Sander

Several years ago I almost completed making a shopmade thickness sander that was going to be a copy of Grit Laskin's sander (which you can find in Fine Woodworking's Shop Accessories You Can Build). I bought every thing I needed, pulleys, flange bearings, etc., and I made the drum and was ready to mount it in the stand that I built for it. The only problem was finding a 2 hp motor for under $300 (even used they were way over priced!) and the 1/8 inch thick rubber sheet to cover the drum. Not to mention finding a sheet of sand paper wide enough for a 16x18 inch drum. Then we got ready to move to Yosemite National Park, I threw most of it on a burn pile and sold the bearings, etc., to a neighbor and swore that I'd do everything by hand!

Now I'm in need of a thickness sander because I want to laminate the sides, a la Ramirez and Friedrich, of the guitars that I want to build this winter. Again, I was going to use Laskin's plans, but was running into the same problems, finding a 2 hp motor, rubber backing and sand paper, etc. Then I came across this website for Pat Hawley's Thickness Sander! I think I have found what it is that I want! Don't forget to check out Pat's website!

Thanks to Matthias Wandel for posting this great plan on his website!

Expect future posts on this project!


  1. Great post. The link/website for the sander is incredible. I have no need for a thickness sander but I'm thinking of building one.

  2. If I remember correctly, either "Shopnotes" or "Wood" magazine featured a home made thickness sander in the last 5 years. Granted, it was constructed of mdf, but used a tablesaw (whole, in working order) as the power, and used 3 or 4" wide sandpaper wrapped spirally around the drum.

    The spiral wrapping of sandpaper paper works well. I am too cheap to buy a drum sander, so I take 30" x4" sanding belts, rip them into 1" strips, and wrap them around a 1" or 2'' dowel, mount the dowel into my lathe, and use this to shape or sand what I need.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts