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Drum Sander #8: One Year On

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Blog entry by BritBoxmaker posted 05-29-2011 03:23 PM 5016 reads 6 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Stuck on Yew Part 8 of Drum Sander series no next part

Its been a little over a year since I made this Drum Sander. This update shows minor modifications and it’s present condition including any wear on the MDF table.

Here she is without the dust hood.

As you can see the promised paint job never happened. This Sander has been in more or less continuous use, on pretty much every project of mine, for the past year. There hasn’t been time to paint it (and let it dry).

As for wear on the MDF table, there is minimal surface scratching. I found Formica difficult to get hold of in small enough pieces, in the UK, and really couldn’t see the point of having it anyway.

The MDF surface is tough enough, if you don’t abuse it, and all it asks is a once a month clean up and coat of oil. Once the oil has hardened off there is no discernible transfer to work being sanded and the surface is slippery enough. With over a year’s constant use I would say its good for a few more yet. Here it is after a coat of oil

The softwood frame (with load bearing hardwood strips where necessary) of the Sander is still firm and true as well.

As for modifications, theres the dust hood.

I’ve added a perspex front so I can see whats going on in there. Also the dust extraction outlet has been upgraded to 2” from 32mm.

Then there are the castors. Front pair are stearable and lockable.

Rear pair are fixed direction.

These are invaluable for moving the sander in to and out of the main work area.

In summary its in constant use. I tend to favour the 2000rpm speed these days, but occaisionally use the 950rpm. Someday it will get a paint job, but I don’t know when. MDF works as a table surface, as has been shown here.
I also think that it is one of my most invaluable tools, these days, and I don’t know what I did without it.

Be seeing you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com



23 comments so far

View Jack Barnhill's profile

Jack Barnhill

366 posts in 2084 days


#1 posted 05-29-2011 03:35 PM

Thanks for the update, Martyn. I would like to see one of these in action if you get a chance to make and post a video.

I would think a table of melamine would provide a slick enough surface with a reasonably good wear factor. I can occasionally come up with a good piece of scrap melamine from the local Home Depot.

-- Best regards, Jack -- I may not be good, but I'm slow -- www.BarnhillWoodworks.com

View patron's profile

patron

13142 posts in 2059 days


#2 posted 05-29-2011 03:49 PM

looks good martyn

and the things you have made with it
attest to the quality of it’s design and construction

of course sanding boxes of the size you are making now
should give it endless life yet

do you have a screen in the vacuum
so you can find them quickly lol

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7826 posts in 1638 days


#3 posted 05-29-2011 03:55 PM

This is slick, Martyn. I hadn’t seen it before. It looks perfect for doing smaller things.

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View itsmic's profile

itsmic

1419 posts in 1836 days


#4 posted 05-29-2011 04:11 PM

Looks good Martyn, This is just more motivation for me to get going on my own, I NEED ONE BAD, sanding is WEARING ME DOWN, great to see You enjoying the benefits of a drum sander, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1243 posts in 1671 days


#5 posted 05-29-2011 04:18 PM

Martyn,
This seems like a nice solution. These days I would find it unimaginable to make boxes without a drum sander. Just too many places where it does the job very well, with no obvious alternatives. I wouldn’t want to give up my planer either, but it’s my little 10” Jet drum sander, and not the planer, that gets used on every project. So many places where precise thicknessing and cleanup are required. You’ve created another very effective solution.

I’m curious how thin you can go with this unit?
Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4420 posts in 1754 days


#6 posted 05-29-2011 04:39 PM

Roger, I’ve had it down to 1.5mm (maximum is about 48mm). The limiting factor seems to be due to the thickness of the tape on the edges of the drum, which secure the ends of the abrasive.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Bovine's profile

Bovine

114 posts in 2046 days


#7 posted 05-29-2011 05:00 PM

Martyn, thanks a bunch for giving an update on how it’s held up to use. I’ve thought about making one of these a lot lately.

I do have one question about this and drum sanders in general. Is this just for thickness sanding, or can you use it for finishing as well?

-- Kansas City, KS "Nothing is as permanent as a temporary solution"

View bigike's profile

bigike

4033 posts in 2006 days


#8 posted 05-29-2011 05:09 PM

very nice, I’m glad it’s standing the test of time and useage.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4420 posts in 1754 days


#9 posted 05-29-2011 06:32 PM

Bovine, I generally use 150 grit for thickness sanding and 240 grit abrasive for a pre-finish sand. I say that because even at 240 grit there is some striation (visible lines) in the finish. If your workpiece wanders across the drum these lines are more apparent as they become wavy. A little hand sanding with 400 grit normally sorts this out though.

I haven’t tried using the drum with finer grit (say 400) but this may work better. Having said all that for uniform thicknessing, even on tricky cross grained wood (see part 7 of this blog) a Drum Sander is excellent. Go on go for it you won’t be disappointed.

Sheila, I find one of these is indispensable, even on small pieces, for uniform thicknessing. It fills me with dread when I consider sending one of my patterned boards through a planer.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4420 posts in 1754 days


#10 posted 05-29-2011 08:13 PM

Roger, update. By clamping a piece of chipboard to the table I have just, successfully, sanded a 7mm wide strip of Pau Amarello down to 0.35mm (0.014”) or half commercial veneer thickness between the chipboard and the drum, using 240 grit abrasive. The only reason I didn’t go further was that it was bowing upwards as I fed it into the drum. I would think that by double sided taping it to something thicker you could go down further. The only problem then is not tearing the wood when you remove the tape. So in answer to your original question. As thin as you dare!

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1243 posts in 1671 days


#11 posted 05-29-2011 09:10 PM

Martyn,
Thanks for the update. I’m sure my Jet would do no better… if as well. With the power feed on the Jet, it’s easy to get a little “lift” when the thin piece passes under the little pressure roller which holds the piece (and carrier board) against the feed belt. In fact, I suspect you can go thinner on yours. Thanks again.
Roger

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5527 posts in 2303 days


#12 posted 05-29-2011 09:48 PM

Great work martin I seriously want one of these they must be fantastic for many cabinetmaking projects.Seriously impressed as usual with your stuff. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1411 days


#13 posted 05-29-2011 09:52 PM

your sander is so slick, Martyn. I applaud you for giving it some time to mature. It makes me gravitate toward your plan, steeped in a year’s use, after all :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15144 posts in 1907 days


#14 posted 05-29-2011 09:55 PM

Very cool nicely done. Great machine you have made. Thx for the update.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1411 days


#15 posted 05-29-2011 10:00 PM

Hey Martyn, I’m on a computer that won’t allow me to access your homepage to PM you, so pardon the public address, could you find it in your heart to unblock a few people? They desperately want to give you well deserved compliments on your work and are rendered impotent to do so. I issue this plea for them, as I am a huge fan of yours and can’t resist commenting on your mathematical genius.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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