Any serious shop should have a big stationary disc sander. All special-effects shops I know have one. Mine is a Max 16″ diameter, three-phase, 220-volt pedestal stand disc sander. I’ve had a succession of little disc sanders and drum sanders from all the different manufacturers, but they don’t compare. This is more than a sander; it’s a cutter and shaper, too.
You can remove such fine degrees of material with great precision, and so fast, that it’s almost like cutting. You can’t do this on your belt sander. I have an electronic three-phase converter on mine, so I can’t run it for more than 15 minutes, but I’ve never ever run it for a total of 15 minutes because it does everything I need it to do in about 30 seconds. You can do huge amounts of rapid shaping with it. Often, I’ll cut something rough to an eight of an inch from the line on the band saw, and then do all of the finishing on this one.The sanding discs are attached with stickum. It’s pretty much always one grit — 80 grit. These generally run in the several thousands of dollars; however, I picked this one up on Craigslist for $600. That’s about as good a deal as you would find on one. I love this thing.