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  1. #1
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    Home made Drum Sander

    So I've been kicking around the idea of building a drum sander as I need one, and they are expensive...

    Have been looking at ideas on line and came across a few nice ones.. Most interesting was a guy who built a jig that mounts on his wood lathe and uses the lathe to turn the drum..

    But I think the nicest 'simple' DIY sander is THIS ONE...


    Ideally, I'd like to make one sometime down the road that has a second drum so that two grits of sand paper can be used at once, and also has a powered feed (conveyor), and calibrated adjustment system..

    But I think this guys table would be a nice little addition that would get me going.. Trouble is, I'd really like something that could handle cabinet doors, which means this should be in the neighborhood of 25 1/2" wide instead of 13 1/2" like the one shown..

    I know 'nothing' about what sand papers are available and what not.. So my first question is this.. Is such a design 'feasible' with a drum twice as wide? Is sand paper readily available for the wider width? Or does it work that way.. Basically I need some education on how the sand paper comes and what my options are... So I'm having a little trouble forming the questions...

    Or should I just build it narrow like this and save for a jet sander?

    I've heard that the belt versions are better then the drum.. But I haven't found any plans or examples on line, and also don't really know anything about available sanding belts.. So input there is appreciated as well..

    Also, I have a lot of 1" Hot Rolled Steel bar stock.. There are a few motors laying around here and there from old shop equipment, burnt up water pressure pumps, etc.. I have plenty of scrap wood, even some scrap formica and contact cement... I'm sure I can find some old entry door hinges laying around..

    So I would need pulleys, pillow blocks, velcro, and the sandpaper.. as well as the hardware to make the adjusters underneath...

    Was looking on line for pillow blocks and it looks like [ame="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bearing+block&x=0&y=0#/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=1%22+pillow+block+bearing&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck% 3A1%22+pillow+block+bearing"]amazon has a decent selection[/ame] of them, but they vary widely in price, and I have no idea what is adequate, and what is not gonna cut it...

    Is something [ame="http://www.amazon.com/1-Pillow-Block-Bearings-UCP205-16/dp/B0045JMMXK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314969965&sr=8-1"]like this[/ame] adequate?


    Finally, I'm not going to be able to afford a 4" dust collector for a while, so will using a 2" shop vac be worth the trouble, or should I just try and fashion some sort of gravity collection bin and accept the fact that there's gonna be dust flying and set it up somewhere accordingly?

    Anyways, in the planning stages, but want to get going soon... Any and all input from those of you with experience in such machines and/or DIY versions, would be much appreciated..

    Thanks,
    Mark
    :cheers:

  2. #2
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Typically you use sandpaper about 3-4" wide and spiral wrap it around the drum.

    The wider you make it, the more powerful the motor needs to be. I have a bunch of DIY drum sander links at home. I'll post a few later tonight.

    A drum sander is pretty high on my list as well.
    Gerry

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    Typically you use sandpaper about 3-4" wide and spiral wrap it around the drum.
    Does it just come in a 'roll' and you cut it to length, or does it come in specific lengths for specific diameter x width drums?


    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    The wider you make it, the more powerful the motor needs to be. I have a bunch of DIY drum sander links at home. I'll post a few later tonight.

    A drum sander is pretty high on my list as well.
    Awesome! Looking forward to it...

  4. #4
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Yes, it comes in rolls.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  5. #5
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    You can find hook and loop rolls of sandpaper at the Klingspor Woodworking Shop page the link goes to. It comes in 3", 4-1/2", and 6" widths.

    If you have a woodturning lathe or metal lathe you can use schedule 40 PVC pipe for the drum, as I did. Use the solid PVC, not the foamed PVC pipe. Turn off just enough to make it round. It's guaranteed to be out of round a little. I think mine required removing about 0.035". Even if you found an aluminum cylinder or pipe of a suitable diameter they will also need turning to roundness to prevent "bumping" as it rotates.

    If you use a 3450 rpm motor you will need to slow it down to 1725 rpm with 2:1 pulley ratio to prevent charring of the wood. Woods like purple heart burn easily and turn black. I used a 1750 rpm 1/3 hp washing machine motor with a 3" x 24" drum. It needs a 1/2 hp motor but I haven't been sanding full width of the drum anyway. You don't to use much pressure on your part, just make more passes with a lighter applied pressure.

    CarveOne
    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com

  6. #6
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    And do be aware that a drum sander is not a planer. If you need a planer, a drum sander will nut get the job done.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ger21 View Post
    And do be aware that a drum sander is not a planer. If you need a planer, a drum sander will nut get the job done.

    I'm gonna need both.. and a resaw of some sort... would love a small lumber mill.. but for right now, I need the drum sander the most......

    C1, what is wrong with using the wooden discs method laminated together? Is that an unwise way to go? Seems like such a drum would have more mass than a pipe, and thus harder to 'stall'...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountaincraft View Post
    I'm gonna need both.. and a resaw of some sort... would love a small lumber mill.. but for right now, I need the drum sander the most......

    C1, what is wrong with using the wooden discs method laminated together? Is that an unwise way to go? Seems like such a drum would have more mass than a pipe, and thus harder to 'stall'...
    I don't see anything at all wrong with it. It was just more work than three 3/8" thick aluminum disks and a PVC pipe. Maybe I should have filled my pipe drum with concrete/pebble aggregate. :idea:

    You'll need to make the disks a little oversize and turn the completed drum with embedded axle on a wood or metal lathe. I'm not even sure it can be done adequately on a wood lathe. It must be true round and very parallel all the way across. That requires a carriage with tool holder, and preferably a power feed.

    CarveOne
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarveOne View Post
    I don't see anything at all wrong with it. It was just more work than three 3/8" thick aluminum disks and a PVC pipe. Maybe I should have filled my pipe drum with concrete/pebble aggregate. :idea:

    You'll need to make the disks a little oversize and turn the completed drum with embedded axle on a wood or metal lathe. I'm not even sure it can be done adequately on a wood lathe. It must be true round and very parallel all the way across. That requires a carriage with tool holder, and preferably a power feed.

    CarveOne
    I think if I cut it on the CNC table, it will be pretty close, and then I can do what others have done and glue a piece of coarse sandpaper to a piece of plywood and then stick it between the drum and the table (in the same way the table will eventually be used) with it running, and let the thing true itself...

    But MDF would probably be more consistent and balanced than plywood, and also heavier IMO...


  10. #10
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    What is the difference between a thickness sander and a drum sander.. They seem to be using the term interchangeably on line here and there, yet yourself and Ger imply that there is a difference... In fact, the pdf plans this guy has on line, calls this contraption a thickness sander...

    The only exposure I've had to a drum sander was when I had a bunch of 3/4" oak cabinet doors sanded that I had glued up.. He used it the same way someone would use a surface plane.. But it was a huge beast... Had two drums in it, each a good 18" or more in diameter, could handle material a good 3-4 foot wide, and would pretty much be the only piece of equipment in your single car garage... It had a conveyor belt driven table that was probably12' or more long by the time you figures infeed and outfeed...

    Obviously, I'm not gonna be affording anything that size any time soon,but it would be nice to be able to do what that thing did on a smaller scale...

  11. #11

  12. #12
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    They are both drum sanders, but a power feed conveyer turns it into something akin to a thickness planer with a sanding drum instead of knives.

    The one I made is also called a face sander. Though mine will sand your fingers flat if you get careless, I prefer it to the thought of exposed knives spinning at horrific speeds.

    If you need precisely controlled sanding then build or buy a good thickness sander. If you just want to clean up the edges of your projects, the type I built will do that if you add a fence to keep it at 90 degrees or some other angle.

    CarveOne
    CarveOne
    http://www.carveonecncwoodcraft.com

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