Conical sanding disk usefulness

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gac5ss
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Conical sanding disk usefulness

Post by gac5ss »

One of the used Shopsmiths I bought in past years came with a conical sanding disk. It had a worn out sand paper on it so I have not used it as the sand paper for it is fairly expensive. I have since removed the worn out paper and cleaned it up.

Today I have been scanning through eBay and see one being bid to $42+ and shipping adds another $20.

My question to the forum is what advantage is the conical disk over the flat disk? Why not just run the edge of my board over the jointer? Or use my random orbit sander to clean up saw marks? Not sure if i want to invest $22 plus shipping in the sandpaper.

I may put this one on eBay and put the procedes to other uses.

Thanks,
Jerry
Harrison, AR
Shopsmith Mk V 500, 520
SPT's: 6x48 sander, Strip sander, jointer, band saw, speed increaser
RFGuy
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Re: Conical sanding disk usefulness

Post by RFGuy »

I don't own a conical sanding disc and never really saw the point myself. Yes, I know it can be useful for alternatively jointing figured woods like birdseye maple, etc. Of course with a helical cutter head and proper direction and feed rate you can do the same thing on a jointer. They're just an alternative (and cheaper) method to joint (IMHO). I would also be interested to know if anyone uses the conical sanding disc on a regular basis and what tasks you use it for...maybe I am missing something.
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stew
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Re: Conical sanding disk usefulness

Post by stew »

It is very useful if you want to sharpen your jointer or planer knives. I suspect not the helical cutters.
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JPG
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Re: Conical sanding disk usefulness

Post by JPG »

One advantage is no swirls.

I would get a new one from SS rather than a used one on E-bay for > $40.

I would also NOT get disks for it until I had a need!
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algale
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Re: Conical sanding disk usefulness

Post by algale »

There are times that I go a long time between uses of my conical disk.

But in a nutshell it does do an amazing job of "jointing" stuff with crazy grain. Maybe a jointer with a helical head would do as good a job without tear-out but I would not know since I don't own a helical jointer. Even if I did own a jointer with a helical head, there are some wood products (plywood/melamine) that I use that I would not want to run through a jointer for fear of dulling/ruining jointer blades. I think sandpaper, even for the conical disk, is a lot less expensive than jointer blades.

Beyond jointing, the conical disk does a superior job of sanding to width than the flat disk because, unlike the flat disk, you don't have to screw up your fence alignment to do so (I gather the 500 fence has an offset feature that doesn't screw up your alignment but the 510 & 520 fences do not as far as I know) and it leaves the edge sanded parallel to the grain, without the characteristic cross-grain swirls left behind by the flat disk.

On the down side in addition to cost of the conical disk and the consumable sandpaper, set up can be a little finicky because you need to get the table tilt to an exact 90 degrees relative to the slope of the conical disc. Even with a good square, that can be frustrating as tightening the table tilt lock can cause a small amount of creep. A Wixey or other digital angle gauge can help with the process. Attach it to the slope of the conical disk, zero it, and then put it on the table and adjust the tilt until you get that perfect 90 degree alignment.

Is it an absolutely necessary accessory? Nope. And it's hard to appreciate its capabilities if you haven't tried one. But it's a good tool to have in the bag along with all the other tools.
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JPG
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Re: Conical sanding disk usefulness

Post by JPG »

Yes the 500 fence has the SINGLE off set screw for that purpose.
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Goldie(Bought New SN 377425)/4" jointer/6" beltsander/12" planer/stripsander/bandsaw/powerstation /Scroll saw/Jig saw /Craftsman 10" ras/Craftsman 6" thicknessplaner/ Dayton10"tablesaw(restoredfromneighborstrashpile)/ Mark VII restoration in 'progress'/ 10
E[/size](SN E3779) restoration in progress, a 510 on the back burner and a growing pile of items to be eventually returned to useful life. - aka Red Grange
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gac5ss
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Re: Conical sanding disk usefulness

Post by gac5ss »

Appreciate the information. I had not considered the sharpening aspect, yet I have set up an 8" SLOW speed grinder for that. I would trade someone a flat disk for the conical disk if we lived close enough to do so.

Probably better to put on eBay.
Jerry
Harrison, AR
Shopsmith Mk V 500, 520
SPT's: 6x48 sander, Strip sander, jointer, band saw, speed increaser
stew
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Re: Conical sanding disk usefulness

Post by stew »

I will trade a flat for your conical. Just send me a Private message and we can work out the details
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chapmanruss
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Re: Conical sanding disk usefulness

Post by chapmanruss »

I have and have used the Conical Sanding Disk, as mentioned above, for sharpening my Planer and Jointer blades. It does an excellent job of sharpening the blades and the Jointer 4" and the old Jointer Head 2-1/2" blades can be done as a set. This is especially important for keeping the sets equal on the 2-1/2" blades. I have sharpened quite a few Jointer blade sets doing restorations as well as my own Jointer and Planer blades. I wouldn't sharpen them any other way.

As for edge sanding on wood, since only a narrow section comes in contact with the wood it makes easy work on finishing edges. Since you use the fence as a guide the stock comes out to the width set for the entire length of the board. As mentioned before great for plywood and pressboard/composite stock. If used on a Model 510, 520 or Mark 7 you can add floating tables and the legs to handle even wider stock safer by having it flat on the tables than by holding the edge over the Jointer against it's fence.

The current Conical Sanding Disk is not the first one made for a Shopsmith. The Mark VII came with a 10" dual sided Sanding Disk with one side flat and the other side (where the hub is) conical back in the 1960's.
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Re: Conical sanding disk usefulness

Post by sehast »

Best use for me is sanding highly figured woods flat and to width. Something you wouldn't want to use a jointer or planer on. Here is a good overview.

https://www.shopsmith.com/ssacademy/SS_ ... Sander.htm
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