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Project "V" #1: Shop Made Drum Sander Project

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Blog entry by Emeralds posted 2087 days ago 6500 reads 15 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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A blog sounded like the right place for this prattle, so I submit this for anyone who is interested.

The drum sander is one of those things that you know you can live without until you actually have an opportunity to use one. When I was given a demonstration by a friend at a local cabinet shop on a work piece I had been struggling with, I was instantly sold. The only real problem was finding the $1800 bucks needed to get a similar unit. Even if I could have sold my wife’s car, and replaced it with the sander (it’s very likely she would notice the difference) there still wouldn’t be enough room in the garage, ah…. I mean, in the workshop for that monster.

Fast forward…. Research, research and more research….My wife calls this part of my routine “procrastination”. Finally a break through when I happened upon the units sold by Stockroom Supply. For those that haven’t visited this interesting little company’s site, I recommend you check them out. More research led to a large number of shining reviews about this unconventional but highly effective method of surface sanding. The only things lacking were a hands on demo (there simply were no shows listed soon enough for me) and some type of break off of what I thought to be a rather pricey retail tag for the kit.
(Yes, I’m a cheapskate). Never the less, I was determined to have a unit of my own equal or better than what was being offered for what I hoped would be substantially less.

What I’ve come up with is the subject of this short series of posts. In this first post I’m covering the planning and the parts acquisition. Although the units shown on the Stockroom site appear complete and functional, I wanted to tweak those areas that I believed to be open to improvement. The design I’ve settled on is shown below and I would appreciate any helpful suggestions you might have. If anyone wants the actual SketchUp file of this plan, email me and I’ll be happy to provide it for you. I’ve also provided a breakdown so that you’ll have a good idea of what it’s costing as I progress.

  • 1 – 36” x ½” threaded rod @ $ 4.50 – H.D.
  • 2 – 2 inch hard rubber stoppers @ $ 4.20 ea. – H.D.
  • 2 – sleeved pillow block bearings @ $16.50 ea. – Grainger
  • 1 – 24” x 2” PVC – H.D.
  • 1 – 5 yard box of industrial strength hook & loop @ $ 50.00 – Grainger
  • 1 – 1HP motor and switch block @ $15.00 – Craig’s List
  • 1 – 2” sheave ( pulley ) – $ 4.80 – Grainger
  • 1 – 3” sheave ( pulley ) – $ 4.80 – Grainger
  • several BF of ¾” maple plywood & some oak strips – scrap pile

So that’s it for now. More to come and your comments are welcome.

-- JMP



32 comments so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2513 days


#1 posted 2087 days ago

Thanks! I’ll be following this.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View lew's profile

lew

9992 posts in 2382 days


#2 posted 2087 days ago

Me Too!!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2449 days


#3 posted 2087 days ago

This does look interesting. I have been debating adding one of these for some time now.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View douginaz's profile

douginaz

220 posts in 2629 days


#4 posted 2087 days ago

Hi JMP, I like the look so far, great job on the sketch up. The only suggestion I can make is for some way to get the drum out fairly quickly. I don’t know about you, but I’m a lazy man. If I owned that unit and it took me a half hour to change the sand paper – what ever paper I had on there would be used on all my projects until the paper no longer worked. Maybe I’m missing something – is the paper glued to the pvc or is it tube type that slips over the end. Please, I’m not being critical here I’m just not familiar with this type of unit.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Later,
Doug in AZ.

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at http://www.wittywife.com

View Emeralds's profile

Emeralds

143 posts in 2190 days


#5 posted 2087 days ago

Hi Doug:

Your idea about drum removal is a good one but not for the reason you thought. Paper changes on these units should take about 30 seconds, in fact, this type of system allow you to “load” the drum with more than a single grit making it unnecessary to change paper at all in some cases where the work piece is small enough and no more than three grits are required. This is all done through the magic of “hook & loop” (velcro) sand paper. Basically it’s no different than changing the paper on your orbital palm sander. The drum is covered in “hook” material (notice the 3M box in the first photo) making for quick and easy paper changes.

However, drum removal is a good idea and I’m going to see if I can figure a way to make that possible. The motor and switch are from a B&D induction motor type, bench top table saw I purchased from Craig’s list on the cheap. As a bonus, there is a mechanism that enables the motor to be raised and lowered that I hadn’t planned on using. Maybe I’ll be able to find a way to put that to use. Thanks for the idea. :) Stay tuned.

-- JMP

View Jimthecarver's profile

Jimthecarver

1121 posts in 2413 days


#6 posted 2087 days ago

I like it! I also want to build one of these. The design looks like it would work well, I do have a ? or three.
Is the PVC sc.40 or 80? and if it is 40 will a filler of some sort be added inside the PVC so that there will be no flex or chatter in the PVC while in motion? Or is it necessary to add anything? Also is there a way to adjust the table for cut?
This is a tool that will definitely be a welcome addition to my small shop.
Thank you for the post.
Jim

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Emeralds's profile

Emeralds

143 posts in 2190 days


#7 posted 2087 days ago

Addendum:

For a completely accurate cost comparison I need to include the following:

  • 2 – hook & loop sand paper rolls – $52.90 total including shipping – StockroomSupply.com

These rolls are included in the Stockroom Supply kit which is beginning to look like a pretty good value overall.

-- JMP

View dsb1829's profile

dsb1829

367 posts in 2255 days


#8 posted 2087 days ago

Just to make this easier on the next guy

http://www.stockroomsupply.com/V_Drum_Sander.php

Very cool project. I resemble your remarks about the kit. Often it is hard to swallow a kit price, so I go off and try to do better. Sometimes I save a few bucks, but time invested more than eats up any saving usually. It does give some satisfaction in the DIY sense though.

Can you post the part number for the box of hook & loop? IME Grainger and McMaster are not the cheapest source for raw materials.

-- Doug, woodworking in Alabama

View Emeralds's profile

Emeralds

143 posts in 2190 days


#9 posted 2087 days ago

Hi Jim:

The PVC I bought was normal sc 40. In this design, at this length I don’t believe any internal support will be necessary providing the end plugs are properly centered as there is no pressure applied to drum. This design actually calls for the drum to sit below the tabletop and employs centrifugal force to “lift” the abrasive into contact with the work surface. Pressing down on the work would not accomplish anything unless you were to flex the entire work surface down toward the drum. This is not a “thickness” sander although coarser grits and multiple passes will likely remove virtually any amount of material; this design is best suited for use as a surface sander. Table height is adjusted by two wood screws fitted on the front corners of the unit between the top and the front support. I failed to illustrate these in the drawing and will do so today. Thanks for the heads up. :)

Hi Doug: The Grainer part number is 1F216 which you can jump to by clicking on the number. Thanks for posting that link to Stockroom.

-- JMP

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2649 days


#10 posted 2087 days ago

I built one of these a few years back and used it all the time until I built my new one with an overhead drum which is just larger and has better control on thickness. Generlly speaking the little 18” one did splendid job of surfacing everything from doors to chess boards.

Good luck with your build.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2649 days


#11 posted 2087 days ago

I built one of these a few years back and used it all the time until I built my new one with an overhead drum which is just larger and has better control on thickness. Generally speaking, the little 18” one did splendid job of surfacing everything from doors to chess boards.

Good luck with your build.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View PetVet's profile

PetVet

329 posts in 2115 days


#12 posted 2086 days ago

Hi JMP, you are living my dream! I don’t see how you will adjust the table top. The Sand-r-flee design shows the top being adjusted until the sandpaper just barely touches the wood. Look forward to watching this progress.

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View Emeralds's profile

Emeralds

143 posts in 2190 days


#13 posted 2086 days ago

Hi Rich:

This picture shows you the placement of the adjustment screws for the table top height. If you are having difficulty seeing the details in this smaller image, the link below it will take you to a larger version.

*http://photos.imageevent.com/emeralds/inanityawards/JP%20Color%20Drum%20Sander%20with%20Dims%203.jpg

-- JMP

View Halling51's profile

Halling51

51 posts in 2103 days


#14 posted 2085 days ago

Hi,
I have been looking for something like this for a long time but unfortunately I have not seen any site advertizing this. Could you provide my with an address og website?

Sincerely
Steinar from NORWAY
post@vissebraaten.no

-- Steinar, Norway - - Nothing is impossible! Just the impossible takes longer time! Hegner SE

View Emeralds's profile

Emeralds

143 posts in 2190 days


#15 posted 2085 days ago

Steinar:

The kit and some videos can be found at the link provided above by Doug. I’ll stick it here for you again.

Cheers *http://www.stockroomsupply.com/V_Drum_Sander.php

-- JMP

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