from: Eugene L. Larson
I first learned of the practicality of the Thickness Sander concept from Kent Wade of the Hampton Roads Ship Model Society. He provided a demonstration of his unit during the annual, two-day workshop in 1981 when the Tri-Societies (Washington, Richmond and Hampton Roads) met at Windmill Point, Virginia to "let the wood chips fly". Two of us in the Washington Ship Model Society were so impressed with the sander's simplicity and performance that we built our own. I constructed mine as an attachment to my Shopsmith multi-purpose tool, utilizing the lathe feature to turn the sanding drum, whereas Ken Dorr constructed his as a stand-alone unit. The performance of both sanders was outstanding, but the inconvenience of set-up and tear-down on the Shopsmith drove me to build the self-contained unit described in this paper. I used my memory, the photos of Kent Wade's sander at the workshop, reference to the Ship Modeler's Shop Notes of the Nautical Research Guild, and ideas from the sander Ken Dorr built to construct this Thickness Sander.