Building of my 8 inch wheel drum sander.

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Blog entry by Ken90712 posted 01-15-2013 04:54 AM 4236 reads 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently a couple of buddies on here asked where I had been lately. Well, between the sports and military and work I finally tore my knee up and needed a little maintenance. Six weeks with no weight on it left me sitting on my behind dreaming of getting back in the shop.

I have a close friend named Paul, who is an amazing machinist & welder. He is the one that taught me to weld. This allowed me to make my outdoor dining table that I have posted on here. We were talking one day about how I would like a pneumatic drum sander to get into doing some Intarsia Style of Woodworking. Well Paul is the type of person once you get the wheels turning it is a GO! LOL

He says, “Let’s build one like I have in my metal shop.” Well anytime I get chance to hang out with him and learn something new it is very exciting to me. He says I have a lot of the supplies to build this in my shop.

We started with the Arbor Housing. We first put the arbor on the CNC lathe and trued the inside of each end to a dimension of 1 5/8”. This would allow us to install two R-12 double shielded bearing one on each end. One side the bearing will be held in by the 8 inch rubber wheel that has aluminum inserts to preventing it from moving. To hold the other sides bearing, we cut a snap ring grove inside the housing. We then trued up the outside of the housing, well because it’s fun. :>)

We next cut a piece of 5/8 stock Stainless rod to size to put in the lathe. We cut both ends to .075. One end we put left handed threads on that will hold the wheel on with a 1 1/8” nut. The other end we cut a shoulder for the bearing to press against. We then cut a slot on one end of the shaft on the Bridgeport for a key to hold the pulley in place.

We inserted the two R-12 shielded bearings in the housing and inserted the snap ring on the non-threaded side of the shaft. **Note we would have used Metric bearings instead of the R-12. However, due to the thickness of the wall housing after truing it up, the R-12 was the biggest one we could insert.

Now we started the layout on the base. This was some left over aluminum roller tray used to move helicopters around. Due the inconsistencies of the housing we centered it were we thought we could get the most adjustments out of the pulleys later. We drilled and tapped these four holes to 3/8-16 for button head screws to secure the housing. Next was aligning the motor pulleys with the housing pulleys. Once we had that lined up we drill and tapped four 5/16-18 holes for the motor mount bolts. The Motor is a ½ HP GE sealed motor. We figure the math out on the speed we wanted to achieve.

(Paul taught me this),
1750(2.5) /3
Optimum speed is, 1750×2.5” (pulley) = 4375 rpms / 3” (pulley) = total RPM of 1458.
We temporally put things together and gave her a test run. So far so good!!! We used some Oak. It worked perfectly with no burning. Changing pulleys and speed later if needed will be a snap.

Up Next, Build and weld the housings and guard for the belt. Build and weld the brackets on the base to hold the belt guard. Build and weld the shield and dust collector attachment. Wire up the magnetic holding switch, and power cord. We already changed the motor over to CCW. We need to cut the square cut out for the switch on the base.

So what color should we make this sander? I plan on leaving the motor gray. And the diamond plate shinny. All the smooth aluminum I plan and painting.
As Always thx for reading and all comments and suggestions are welcome.

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

11 comments so far

View lew's profile


12101 posts in 3779 days

#1 posted 01-15-2013 05:07 AM

Having access to a machine shop sure opens all sorts of possibilities!

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

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 2997 days

#2 posted 01-15-2013 05:14 AM

This is some serious machining ‘goin on. I am sure it will be made more solid than anything you could buy

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10117 posts in 4076 days

#3 posted 01-15-2013 05:23 AM


That is such a COOL story and development!

Looking SO GOOD! (most of which, is over my head)
a pneumatic drum sander ” what type is that?!

How about…
... Dewalt Yellow…
... Hitachi Green…
... Bosch Blue…
... etc.??

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3212 days

#4 posted 01-15-2013 05:38 AM

Thanks guys,
Joe, they call it a pneumatic drum sander because some of the old ones or even new ones had tubes in them. This one is a rubber wheel that supposedly, if you flip it around its softer than in the other direction. Not sure I agree. LOL… but the wheel has some flex allowing more freedom while sanding edges.

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

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3122 days

#5 posted 01-15-2013 11:35 AM

Oh if I only still had my machine shop!
I love the smell of cutting oil in the morning. ;-)
Nice work Ken.

View ken_c's profile


323 posts in 3186 days

#6 posted 01-15-2013 12:28 PM

that is awesome – it’s would be nice to have willing friend with the tools and know-how to create ideas like that with.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3260 days

#7 posted 01-15-2013 12:51 PM

Thanks for sharing! When I make enough money, I’m going to buy a milling machine and a metalworking lathe, only the tooling and accessories needed cost more than the tools. LOL Great job on making your sander. Very impressive.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2698 days

#8 posted 01-15-2013 01:15 PM

Yeah, a metal working shop would be nice.
Very interesting build. Thanks for taking the time to share this.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3846 days

#9 posted 01-15-2013 02:43 PM

Hey Ken nice to see good friends going to work for a commend cause…sorry to hear about your own mechanical failures hope rehab is going well. Enjoy your new machine when completed and have a great New Year…BC

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4003 days

#10 posted 01-15-2013 03:24 PM

Very cool, Ken.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2827 days

#11 posted 01-16-2013 01:10 PM

Wow. First, I hope ya heal up fast, second, looks like a good project in motion

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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