Spindle Sander Safety
Spindle sanders are dangerous. January 15, 2008
I teach a beginning woodworking class as well as working in a custom shop. I personally have had no accidents using an oscillating spindle sander, but students have. I tell them the feed direction of the wood is right to left, and don't press hard into the spindle. However, when the spindle grabs, there is no reaction time, and the last student had her thumb dislocated. Have others found anything to make the tool safer to use?
From contributor L:
Put a metal guard around it that can go up and down to accommodate the thickness of the wood. Then adjust it so it can be 1/4" above the thickness of the wood. You could use Plexiglas in place of the metal for better visibility.
From contributor P:
I unfortunately had an accident on an oscillating spindle sander a year or so ago. I had a piece of plywood 3/4" x 5" x 5" which I had drilled a 2 1/4" hole in the center of. I placed it over a 2" diameter spindle as it was moving. It instantaneously grabbed the plywood piece and thrashed just about all my fingers at once. I felt as if my fingers had been slammed in a car door. Thankfully nothing was broken. The lesson here is that in a case like this, have the spindle size considerably smaller than the diameter of the hole. If in doubt about whether a spindle will grab your work in this way, leave the machine off and place the work over the spindle when the machine is off. Then turn the machine on and poke the work into the spindle with a long stick. My lesson is that this quiet, simple machine can be deadly. Be careful!
Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?
Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base
KnowledgeBase: Dust Collection, Safety, Plant Management
KnowledgeBase: Dust Collection, Safety, Plant Management: General
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in
any manner without permission of the Editor.
Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.
The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices.
What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe
for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use
of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation,
and at their own risk.
335 Bedell Road
Montrose, PA 18801
Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.