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Thread: DIY drum sander plans

  1. #1

    DIY drum sander plans

    I'm thinking about building a drum sander and I came across these plans: http://woodgears.ca/sander/thickness.html

    Looks pretty basic and I think it would work pretty decent. What do you think?

  2. #2
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    There are LOTS of shop built drum sanders out there with similar designs. I am building one of those myself with a 24" drum, a 1.5HP 3450 RPM motor. 1.5" pulley at the motor, 6" pulley at the drum.
    Trying to follow the example of the master...

  3. #3
    what plans are you using?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hostetler View Post
    There are LOTS of shop built drum sanders out there with similar designs. I am building one of those myself with a 24" drum, a 1.5HP 3450 RPM motor. 1.5" pulley at the motor, 6" pulley at the drum.

    Look at similar machines. You are underpowered with 1.5 hp.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Lizek View Post
    Look at similar machines. You are underpowered with 1.5 hp.
    All I'd say to that is, it is pretty easy to switch to a larger motor. If I had a 1.5-HP motor on hand, I'd use that (it isn't as if you're sanding 24" wide panels all the time). If I found I was sanding large panels and wanted more power, then I'd scope-out a good deal on a bigger motor. But this is a bridge I wouldn't cross until I came to it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Lizek View Post
    Look at similar machines. You are underpowered with 1.5 hp.
    I have looked at similar machines. A lot of them. And no, I don't think so... I selected a 1.5HP motor specifically because of the other shop built wide drum sanders out there... I'd post up links to a mind numbing array of these sanders, however I don't think Sawmillcreek rules allow me to cross link to other forums. MOST of the shop built sanders I have seen in the size I am building, are running 1 HP motors. More than a few are using 3/4 HP. Admittedly 3/4 HP is rare, and strikes me as underpowered...

    Yes, more power is better, but this is far from a deal breaker for sure...
    Trying to follow the example of the master...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Aronson View Post
    what plans are you using?
    Just a simple design I whipped up in my head. For once I am not working from a measured drawing. Probably a bad idea but oh well.. Very similar to the one linked to by the OP, but with a 4" dust port, and the pulley is not covered by the drum shroud as it is larger than the drum itself. The drum is hardwood plugs epoxied and screwed into a segment of 4" Schedule 40 PVC, and the sanding roll is held in with hook and loop tape.

    My build is taking forever basically because I have other projects going on, and I am being extremely OCD about turning the plugs. I ended up turning them from pecan sourced out of the firewood pile.
    Trying to follow the example of the master...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by David Hostetler View Post
    I have looked at similar machines. A lot of them. And no, I don't think so... I selected a 1.5HP motor specifically because of the other shop built wide drum sanders out there... I'd post up links to a mind numbing array of these sanders, however I don't think Sawmillcreek rules allow me to cross link to other forums. MOST of the shop built sanders I have seen in the size I am building, are running 1 HP motors. More than a few are using 3/4 HP. Admittedly 3/4 HP is rare, and strikes me as underpowered...

    Yes, more power is better, but this is far from a deal breaker for sure...
    Can you PM me some of the links? I'd like to research this more.

    I'm tempted to find a tablesaw on craigslist and just buy it for the motor.

  9. #9
    i looked at the pvc drum and i am not sure if it will stand up. i think it will heat up and not stay true. i built one of these machines using a plan from shopnotes . it is a very good plan for building the drum from mdf circles, it even shows a jig for cutting al the circles and works just like it says it should. i wraped my drum with velcro for hook and loop paper. i am using a 5hp motor that someone gave me with a dc motor for the conveyor. i can sand 28" pannels of oak with no problems just remember that this is a sander and not a planer( small cuts only)

  10. #10
    Has anyone come across a plan that includes a power feed table? How hard is it to actually push the pieces through the sander by hand? Thanks in advance Jared

  11. #11
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    5 HP seems like quite a lot, but then again... free is a hard price to pass up...

    The first time I had heard of using PVC for the drum I was concerned that it wouldn't work. A member at another forum, I think he's here too. Darren, built the first shop build sander I ever saw, he used PVC / plug layout like I did with good results. Afterwards I started digging into it and found a good number of drum sanders built with PVC drums and no reported problems. I figure it is worth the risk...


    Quote Originally Posted by allan kuntz View Post
    i looked at the pvc drum and i am not sure if it will stand up. i think it will heat up and not stay true. i built one of these machines using a plan from shopnotes . it is a very good plan for building the drum from mdf circles, it even shows a jig for cutting al the circles and works just like it says it should. i wraped my drum with velcro for hook and loop paper. i am using a 5hp motor that someone gave me with a dc motor for the conveyor. i can sand 28" pannels of oak with no problems just remember that this is a sander and not a planer( small cuts only)
    Trying to follow the example of the master...

  12. #12
    i would realy look for sch 80 pvc. i quess it depends on how wide of a drum you are planning on making.
    the one i built took about a year and about 10 tries with metal before i caught on that i am not a metal worker so i built it out of wood and it is dead on. i used 4 acme rods tied together with a chain to raise the bed this thing is as true as any you could buy.
    but with all the tries i could have bought one
    have fun with it as that is what building tools and jigs are all about
    al

  13. #13
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    Motor considerations- motor hp required depends on (1) diameter of the drum, (2) length of the drum, and (3) amount you try to remove in one pass (remember these are sanders not planers). If you make 4" up to the typical 6" diam. drums you will be limited on how aggressive you can sand unless you have enough hp. Some lower end 24" dual drum units will have a 3 hp motor, but most will use at least 5 hp. A single drum unit will require less hp. Larger and more expensive drum units and wide belt units often have an ammeter to so you don't overwork the motor, that could be done with any size motor. If you plan to build something like the Sand Flee, something with a small drum (2"?) and use it like luthiers do you can get by with a smaller motor.

    Be prepared to do some careful turning and sanding on the drum to get it round. A large, out-of-round drum will vibrate like crazy. Some folks have found that between the money, time, and effort it took to build, and the results they got, they would have been better off buying a good used or rebuilding a tired retail unit.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jared herbert View Post
    Has anyone come across a plan that includes a power feed table? How hard is it to actually push the pieces through the sander by hand? Thanks in advance Jared
    The only home built sanding thingy I've ever seen with power feed is Cumpiano's BELT sander.

    http://instrumentmakers.net/LLcom/tu.../tools001.html

    Scroll down one or two pictures to see it. I've seen this thing in action, and it works impressively well. Even the dust collection on it works reasonably well considering I think he just hooks it up to his Fien vac if I remember correctly. It is a marvelous tool and out performs every drum sander I've ever seen. I wish I had the time to build one myself.

    At one point many years ago, there were a couple of guys that were either selling plans...or a kit...or actually selling this thing. He built it with an engineer, they worked out all the kinks, and then the other guy ran with it. I'm almost certain it's no longer available, but if you look I believe you will find an article somewhere that has some detail as to the construction.

    edit: Fine Woodworking issue #23, July/Aug 1980 if you have the archive and would like to read the article.

  15. #15
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    Here is the one I built a few years ago:

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...er-is-finished!

    And here it is in action:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEsr5qpPx6o

    It is working way better than I expected and if I need to repair anything in it I can do.

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