I’ve been pretty much in awe of the talent, and creativity that flows from the shops of many of the members here. I have recently had projects that needed a LOT of hand planing, and sanding, and the size, or grain orientation of the project precluded running the piece through my 13” bench top planer… A wide drum sander would be perfect!
But they are oh so expensive! What to do?
Build my own! But how?
So I started browsing through the project posts, looking at your shop designed and built wide drum sanders, some of them are a little on the smallish side, I have seen one that had a 12” wide drum, not up to the task I need… But many others over 18”, I believe I saw one at 32” even!
After looking at the various designs, I found the following things seemed pretty consistent about the designs.
#1. The drum itself is usually a drum of plastic pipe, stiffened with wood “donuts” or a wooden cylinder with a through hole for a metal axle rod. I have durability concerns with the plastic pipe approach, and I have a lathe…. I think the wood cylinder approach is more appropriate for me…
#2. While not universal, it seems that most of the designs feature a smallish power tool motor (usually 3/4 HP 110V) that is mounted on a hinged board, the weight of the motor, pulling down in an arc away from the hinge provides tension on the belt. Seems simple and effective enough.
#3. The dust hood is usually a box that covers over the top of the drum, and has a port in it for a dust hose. Simple, effective.
#4. The thickness adjustment is usually done by raising and lowering the table / bed worksurface. The simplest mechanism I have seen hinged the bed on one end, and lifted the other end.
#5. The drum / axle usually rides on a set of bearings that are captured in some kind of bracket…
(Photo from Yorkshire Stewart’s project post...)
As it sits, I am sketching up the design, basically a larger version of Yorkshire Stewart’s project (I want 24” width capacity, his is 18” I think…).
Those that have built their own wide drum sanders… I could sure use your advice. I have never built my own machine from scratch before.
I will post the Sketchup files and 2D shots of the project as I get further along… Just fishing for helpful ideas at this point!
-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com