Spindle sander is basically a rotating cylindrical drum covered with a gritted paper sleeve.
Spindle sander is used to smooth saw marks on rounded cuts, smooth rough curved edges and sand the inside surfaces of deep hole cuts. A spindle sander is often used in finishing woodwork and home improvement projects that include rounded wood such as those found in facings, furniture legs and stair treads.
An oscillating spindle sander moves the drum up and down at the same time that it rotates it. This reduces the static friction that causes burning and eliminates band marks.
Spindle sanders can be stand-alone floor machines, bench-top models, or portable hand-held models. Floor models are high-end machines with equally high prices and are commonly found in larger industrial shops. Table-top models and portable models are more affordable and take up less space. This has allowed the spindle sander to become an addition to the home woodwork shop.
The portable spindle sander is a hand-held sander that looks similar to a regular sander with the spindle projecting below it. The flat surface of the tool is held against the flat surface of the wood and the spindle is run along the curved outline to sand it. Oscillating portable sanders are also available.
The home wood worker who does not have a dedicated spindle sander can convert an existing workshop tool, such as a router or drill press, to a type of spindle sander. On a router, the spindle is placed in the collet and tightened with the router table positioned just above the bottom of the spindle. On a drill press, the spindle is placed in the chuck and tightened with the table positioned just below the bottom of the spindle.