TL;DR - The thickness sander is almost fixed. First training session for it will be next Saturday at 11am. Don’t use it until then.
So the day has finally come. I have (almost) revived our thickness sander back to an fully operational state. The thickness sander has gone through two main repairs but took so long as we were trying to source replacement parts. Two main problems have been addressed to bring this machine back to an operational state.
- The drive belt for the main motor and the sanding drum had broken. It took 3-4 weeks for a replacement belt to be shipped from the US.
- the lift mechanism had stripped gears. These particular gears are made from nylon or some other hard plastic and were pretty easy to break. A replacement gear was ordered but was sent back to the retailer for some unknown reason. I blame USPS. A replacement gear for the initial replacement gear was ordered and arrived safely in my hands. This replacement replacement (r2) gear was received and installed. However r2 had the same fault as the initial gear and broke during initial testing. After some additional research i discovered this is a common fault with this model of sander (which fwiw is now discontinued) and found a company that fabricates a matching part that is made from steel. The replacement-replacement-replacement (r3) gear is now installed. HOWEVER in swapping out r2 with r3 the roll pin that held one of the beveled gears broke. Thankfully i found a nail in the woodshop that was a similar size. It was put in place as a substitute. If it needs to be replace you’ll have to take an angle grinder to the nail to cut off the bent end. #hackspacefix
There are currently 3 minor issues that are lingering.
- The power cable is missing it’s ground prong. Should be an easy 5-10 minute fix and i’m certain there are parts around the hack space to fix this. - Fixed May 18th/22
- The sand paper on the sanding drum needs to be replaced and a Sanding Crepe should be available before we put this back into operation. I though we had a Sanding Crepe around but i have not seen it for a while. There may be some sand paper laying around the shop as well.
- The motor that drives the conveyor belt sounds like it may die at any point in time. It still drives the conveyor belt but it does make some unhealthy sounds and it’s started to do a bit of a dance when powered on. It also gets pretty hot to touch. So operator be aware. This part will eventually need to be replaced but for now it’s working. I personally have no intention to try and fix this motor until it dies.
With all that said - i’ll run a training session on the 21st pending replacement of the sand paper and fixing of the electrical plug. Please RSVP here in this thread. Please be reminded that this is a tool that does require training as it’s probably one of the most fragile tools in the woodshop.
Finally a huge Thank you to the following people (in no particular order) for getting the machine back and running by way of donations to parts, troubleshooting, suggestions, or even listening to all my venting about shipping delays. This was a community repair and impossible without the help of our members.