Bicycle Powered Sander

sanding

[Andy] does a lot of framing and needed a way to sand down pieces at proper angles. He goes by the moniker [Organikmechanic] on YouTube, and as such is trying to rely less and less on electricity — so he’s created this hand-powered sander using components from a bicycle.

His first iteration just used the spindle off of a bicycle wheel as the main axle, but he quickly found it wasn’t rigid enough for the sanding disk. Instead he decided to make use of the entire crankshaft assembly off of an old bicycle. He cut the frame down to size, removed one of the pedals, and shortened the other one to a more useful hand cranking length. The main gear of the bicycle provides a large and sturdy mounting surface for his home-made sanding disk which consists of a large piece of rounded chipboard.

It’s a pretty clever use of recycled parts — but what do you think? Are you environmentally inclined enough to give up your power tools? A full video explanation of the project is after the break.

23 thoughts on “Bicycle Powered Sander

    1. Being that it is human powered, how would you sand your part while you are peddling the thing?
      Of course, mounting a motor would solve that problem but then it would not be hand or foot powered.

  1. >Are you environmentally inclined enough to give up your power tools?

    Hand tools have other advantages over power tools :
    -Less noise
    -Cheaper
    -Easier to fix
    -Faster to install if they don’t have a dedicated place on the workbench or if you need to carry them

    Of course not all of my tools are hand toosl, but once you learned how to sharpen and use a good $50 hand plane, you’ll never want a sub $300 electric plane.

    1. Same here. I love nature, but this just makes so much financial sense. It’s now on my must-build list. Great idea.

      Also fully agree: you can’t beat the control and nuance afforded by good hand tools for some jobs.

  2. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great hack but …
    You just needed two ball bearings and a shaft to make this sander?
    - And to get that you destroyed, what looks like a fully functionally bike that needed a little love and care to be running again?

    1. Not every bicycle is worth fixing.

      I’ve done projects like this before taking a kids bike from a local tip, one that’s horribly battered and never going to be fixed. and turning it into something new.

      the parts that are not used can go back to the same scrap metal section at the same dump to be melted, – exactly as would have happened before taking a bit out of it.

      1. Hi dan,
        I’ve only just come across the Hackaday.com post about my hand-powered sander. I’ve recently put two blog posts up on my site which go into more detail explaining the background to the project and the reasoning behind the design.
        The links are :

        http://thegreenlever.blogspot.fr/2014/05/home-made-tools-hand-powered-sander.html#.U4d_lXJDu5k

        and

        http://thegreenlever.blogspot.fr/2014/05/home-made-tools-hand-powered-sander.html#.U4d_3nJDu5k

        You’re so right about the scrap bicycles, they normally have useful components despite the neglect. If you’re interested check out my pedal-powered washing machine

        and

        Both the bicycle and the washing machine were destined for the tip but 2 years on they are still regularly used.

        Thanks for commenting on Hackaday.com and if you want any more clarification just contact me through ‘The Green Lever .com’.

        Best Wishes from France,
        Andy.

  3. Give me a decent electric disc sander any day, but this is pretty neat. Very tidy job. I feel like it’s something I’d use if I lived in the middle of nowhere with plenty of spare time on my hands.

  4. If you’re doing this for a business you should invest in a lion miter trimmer or one of the many clones. If you are interested in avoiding powered tools, invest in a few hollows and rounds and a clone of the Stanley 51 from Lee Valley or Lie-Nielsen. These few tools will let you make really nice mouldings without the noise of a router.

    Get a copy of MS Bickford’s book “Mouldings In Practice” to see how easy it is. The model 51 clone will replace your sander and give you a much better finish with much less work. And no sawdust – important if you have asthma as I do.

  5. I would have considered a treadle powered rather than hand powered solution. Add a link to a pedal on the floor and that frees your other hand for work.

    1. Hi,
      I’ve only just come across the Hackaday.com post about my hand-powered sander. I’ve recently put two blog posts up on my site which go into more detail explaining the background to the project and the reasoning behind the design.
      The links are :

      http://thegreenlever.blogspot.fr/2014/05/home-made-tools-hand-powered-sander.html#.U4d_lXJDu5k

      and

      http://thegreenlever.blogspot.fr/2014/05/home-made-tools-hand-powered-sander.html#.U4d_3nJDu5k

      Thanks for commenting on Hackaday.com and if you want any more clarification just contact me through ‘The Green Lever .com’.

      Best Wishes from France,
      Andy.

  6. When I read “bicycle powered”, I thought it was powered by pedaling an actual bicycle, or at least would make use of leg power using bike pedals.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s a neat project, but I’d have gone about it differently. Using your legs means you have both hands with which to control the piece you’re working on.

  7. Not being Amish, I have no need for reinventing stuff that is already a cheap commodity item at every Walmart, HomeDepot, Lowes, True Value, Ace, Harbor Freight, etc. etc. I’ll worry about the Zombie Apocalypse when it actually arrives, and not a minute sooner.

  8. This is quite an ‘inorganic’ way of going about this compared to the traditional way – a hand plane and shooting board. Tool steel (for a plane blade) will probably be around for longer than sandpaper come the zombie apocalypse!

    1. Hi,
      I’ve only just come across the Hackaday.com post about my hand-powered sander. I’ve recently put two blog posts up on my site which go into more detail explaining the background to the project and the reasoning behind the design.
      The links are :

      http://thegreenlever.blogspot.fr/2014/05/home-made-tools-hand-powered-sander.html#.U4d_lXJDu5k

      and

      http://thegreenlever.blogspot.fr/2014/05/home-made-tools-hand-powered-sander.html#.U4d_3nJDu5k

      Yeah you’re right about the traditional way but I wanted to show an alternative and accurate method that works – prior to the shops being closed on zombie apocalypse day!

      Thanks for commenting on Hackaday.com and if you want any more clarification just contact me through ‘The Green Lever .com’.

      Best Wishes from France,
      Andy.

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