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Benchtop Sanding Table

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Benchtop Sander Table CompletedI hate sawdust! It is by far my biggest nemesis when I’m woodworking.  I hate it!  I’ve installed some VERY basic sawdust removal tubes in some of my power tools.  It’s great for the big dust, but the kind I HATE the most is the really fine powdery sawdust.  It coats everything.  This sawdust is the sawdust that gets kicked up when you’re doing some heavy-duty sanding.  Alas, I have finally decided to make a benchtop sanding table to help reduce this.  The basic design is just a box.  It measures:  5″ in height x 23-1/2″ long x 17-1/2″ wide.

As always I will put links to some of the things I used at the end of post.  Also check out “my attempt” at putting a video together on how to make this.

 

Materials

For the lumber I used 3/4″ Plywood.  I had enough scrap pieces to put the whole thing together.  If you were buying new it would require nothing more than a 2′ x 4′ piece of plywood.  For the top I used a 1/4″ tempered pegboard that I picked up at Lowe’s.  The top will be cut down to 17-1/2 x 23″ and placed into the top of the box that will have a 1/4″ rabbit cut into it.  Although I lucky enough to use scrap for most of my lumber, I still could have easily built this entire project for under $30.

Milling & Assembly

Benchtop Sander Table Rough Cut PegboardI started by cutting the top of the sanding table.  I used 3/16″ thick pegboard.  In hindsight I think I would have preferred 1/4″ thick pegboard.  The table has just a little bit of give to it.  I think that extra 1/16″ would have shored it up.  I cut the pegboard 17-1/2″ x 23″ using my tablesaw.
 Benchtop Sander Table Rough Cut SidesNext up was the sides of the box.  I was lucky enough to have scrap plywood to finish this project.  I cut all of the sides to a width of 5″ first so it would be consistent.  Then I cut the sides to a finished length of 5″ x 23-1/2″ and the front and back to a finished length of 5″ x 17-1/2″
Benchtop Sander Table Rabbit SidesFor the joints of the boards I cut a rabbit joint on the two side boards.  I cut a 1/2″ wide x 3/16″ (the width of the pegboard) deep rabbit.  After I finished the top of the boards, I then went back and cut another rabbit joint that was 3/4″ wide and x 1/2″ deep.  This will allow the front and back boards to fit into the sides to make a solid joint.  I used my router table to cut the deep end of the rabbit and finished the width on my table saw.

Benchtop Sander Table Drill PressAfter I had all of my sides cut, I then cut a hole for the dust collector port to be attached too.  The width of the port I’m using is 2″.  I could have simply used a jigsaw to cut this opening.  I had a 1-1/2″ Forstner bit and I figured that was big enough.
Benchtop Sander Table Glue upTo hold the box together I used wood glue along all of the joints.
Benchtop Sander Table AssemblyTo help make the joints even stronger I used (3) 1-1/4″ screws on all the sides of the box.
Benchtop Sander Table BaffleAfter the box was together, I then cut a baffle.  The baffle is really important to the air flow of the table.  First it reduces the amount of space that has to be suctioned in half thus creating a higher suction.  Secondly it helps to distribute the air flow across the top of the table evenly.
Benchtop Sander Table Assembly Glue SealTo make the baffle I custom cut the length and width to box.  I went from the top of back to the bottom of the front to get my length.  You’ll want to make this a little snug as you need to get this as air tight as possible from the bottom and sides.To help make this more air tight I ran a thick bead of glue along the sides of the baffle.  If I had some caulking it would have been better, but this seems to work pretty well too.
Benchtop Sander Table Assembly Top I attached the top of the table by pre-drilling all of my holes into the top.  I then slightly countersunk a 1″ screw in all four sides of the table.
Benchtop Sander Table Rubber Bumpers To help reduce the table from sliding around I installed a 3/4” Universal Rubber Bumpers on all four sides of the table.
Benchtop Sander Table Port I installed the Universal Dust Port over the hole that I cut previously.
Bench Top Sander Table Completed Here is the completed table.  I tested it out and it seems pretty solid.

Finishing

Not a lot to finishing this one.  I did attach rubber bumpers to the bottom of the box.  That’s really a must as any sander is going to vibrate this box like crazy.

Benchtop Sander Table Cleat

Bench Cleat made out of scrap plywood and dowels

Also I made a bench dog cleat hybrid that I could insert into the table.  I can use this to help keep objects steady as their being sanded.

 

 

 

 

 

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Items used to complete this project

 

  

Benchtop Sanding Table, 3.7 out of 4 based on 6 ratings

5 comments

  1. Great posting! I believe that my husband will definitely follow this easy step by step guide on making sanding table. I will have to show him this right now. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Thanks this was a great post. I’m definitely going to make one of these..

  3. Nice presentation for this useful project. You really should change a picture under the “Milling” section. You are showing the sides being cut to length using the table saw fence rather than the miter fence. That is an invite to a kickback party you or someone doesn’t want to attend ! Basic shop safety violation if ever there was one.

    Cheers
    kt

  4. would love to see a video showing use of the benchtop sander

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