Few woodworkers and makers look forward to the sanding part of a project, which can be slow, repetitive, and tedious. You might think you’ve had it bad, but you don’t know just how trying sanding could be until you have had to sand complex moulding for the first time. Sanding complex moulding sure seems to be the longest and most grueling part of a project — especially if you have to do all that sanding by hand.
But, you’re in luck: there’s a moulding sander kit, from Stockrooom Supply of Canada, that could considerably speed up the moulding sanding process. As I watched their promo video, embedded below, my jaw dropped. The moulding sander does in seconds what would take me minutes to do.
The following video shows you just how it’s done, and I’ve queued the video up to the action shot.
The moulding sander is intended to be the heart of a “build your own” system, where you can get started for around $300 plus the cost of a 1/2 hp motor. Thinking about all the hours I’ve wasted sanding complex profiles, that seems downright reasonable. There are commercial machines available too, but they’re cost prohibitive for independent woodworkers, DIYers, and possibly even smaller production shops.
The sander head is 7″ wide, and is essentially just a stack of sanding mop sheets. Sanding mops are somewhat reminiscent of a spinning carwash mop; they are flexible sheets that, when turning at speed, will conform to the surface you are sanding without removing any of the design contours or details.
There’s no turn-key solution, and so you cannot just buy a machine that’s ready to go, but you do have several options depending on just how DIY you want to get. You can purchase just the sanding heads, the kit which includes the sanding head, bearings, 3′ of link belt, and two balanced pulleys, or the kit plus a fully adjustable bracket assembly that’s ready to mount.
If you want to sand through progressive grits, you can purchase different sanding heads. Stockroom Supply sells the heads in 120 grit, 180 grit, or 220 grit flavors. They also sell an 8″ split head which has 120 grit on one half side and 220 grit on the other.
Stockrooom Supply will ship to the US and Canada, but they’re currently having a little problem if you are viewing their site from the US. You’ll see the prices with a CA after it, but evidently that’s the actual price in US dollars. So bear with me if the following pricing is confusing or incorrect.
Shipping is a flat $15 fee on orders under $200, and there’s also a sales tax of 15%. So for instance, if you want to buy the $300 sanding head kit plus the bracket, you’ll end up paying $326.
Buy Now (Moulding sander kits via Stockroom Supply)
Now, if you don’t want to drop that kind of cash on making a dedicated machine, you can just buy individual sanding mop heads for a lot cheaper. For instance their 6″ sanding mop kit will run you about $62 shipped.
They sell 1″, 4″ and 6″ sanding mops. The 1″ mops are designed to be used with a Dremel or other similar motor that can spin at 12,000 RPM. The larger mops can be used on a drill press or a hand drill. Most woodworkers are going to want the 6″ mops because the 4″ mops need to be run at 4,000 to 10,000 RPM, which is above the speed most drills and drill presses will run.
Here’s a video of their sanding mop in action.
If you want to go for even cheaper sanding mops, Klingspor’s woodworking shop also has parts to build a sanding mop head. There you can buy a starter kit for $45, and sanding mop refill packs for $20.
Compare (Sanding mops via Klingpor’s)