Building the jig
The jig shown at right allows you to smooth the edges of a circular workpiece with a belt sander. The dimensions of the jig will depend on the size of your sander. Make the base and table with %-inch plywood and add solid wood support posts to fit in the handles of the sander. Set the tool on its side on the table and slip the posts in place, then screw them to the table and screw the table to the base. Cut the pivot bar and support boards from l-by-2 stock, making the boards longer than the diameter of your workpiece and the bar longer than the boards. Screw the support boards to the base so they will support the workpiece near its edge. Next, drive a screw through the middle of the pivot bar and fasten it to the underside of the workpiece. Flip the assembly over and screw one end of the pivot bar to the base midway between the support boards, leaving the screw loose enough to allow you to pivot the bar’s other end.
2 Sanding a circular workpiece
Clamp the jig base to a work surface and set the sander in place on the table, fitting the tool’s handles over the support posts. Turn on the sander and, if necessary, adjust the tool’s tracking mechanism to move the belt down to the jig table. Lock the On/off trigger in the on position and move the free end of the pivot bar toward the sander until the workpiece edge touches the belt. Clamp the free end of the bar to the base, then rotate the piece against the direction of belt rotation (above) until the edge is smooth. Keep the workpiece in motion and periodically shift the pivot arm toward the sander to maintain pressure against the sanding belt.
Drill press sanding drums
If you need a special off-size sanding drum for your drill press, you can make your own from a dowel. Find the right size dowel, then cut a strip of sandpaper as long as its circumference. Apply a thin coat of glue to the wood and fasten the paper to it (right, top). For a flexible sander that can smooth irregularly shaped workpieces or enlarge holes, cut a slot in a dowel and slip a strip of abrasive paper into it (right, bottom).