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Upcoming projects and designs. #1: Inspiration, starting the design process...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 01-07-2010 05:43 PM 788 reads 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Upcoming projects and designs. series Part 2: A short listing of shop projects I have planned, and their statuses... »

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…
The axle bearing thingy.
(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



8 comments so far

View Don's profile

Don

514 posts in 1826 days


#1 posted 01-07-2010 07:46 PM

I own a Delta drum sander and have never built my own but there is one recommendation I could make. That’s to have the drum raise up and down rather than the table. The problem with having the table move is that it’s really difficult to use additional supports. Every time the table is adjusted between passes the supports have to be adjusted also. That makes it a real painful and difficult process for long pieces. I’ll never buy a drum sander like that again and I’ll probobly put mine up for sale in the near future so I can get one with a drum that moves. Anyways, good luck and I hope your project is successful.

Don

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1985 days


#2 posted 01-07-2010 09:06 PM

I think all of the thickness sanders (as opposed to Sand Flee type sanders) I have seen shop built elevate the table instead of the drum. My concern with raising / lowering the drum instead, is the need to raise / lower the motor as well, or lose belt tension… But it IS something worth considering…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Fireguy's profile

Fireguy

132 posts in 1988 days


#3 posted 01-07-2010 10:03 PM

I don’t think it woudl be that much harder to build the drum to move instead of the table. Turn you thinking over, Basicly place the motor and drum assembly on a table and move them up and down inside of a box, the top of the box is your table, instead of movind a table up and down over a drum and motor in a box.

-- Alex

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1985 days


#4 posted 01-07-2010 10:15 PM

Alex, that is sort of what I was thinking… Kind of like an enclosed Sand Flee with a moveable table above the drum… I may be totally off on my thinking but that is what leapt to mind…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View jerryw's profile

jerryw

158 posts in 2669 days


#5 posted 01-07-2010 11:23 PM

i built a 16” drum sander last summer to sand end grain cutting boards. i used 3” schedule 40 plastic pipe for the drum with a movable table. it works better than i had hoped for. i have had no problems with the drum or table. when i have a lot of cutting boards to sand this machine will run for 2 or 3 hours at a time. i had woried about heat built up on the drum to start with. that is not a problem. light passes is the key. i used a 1/2 hp motor. no problem there either. keep your design simple and you will be rewarded with a great machine. i had less than $ 100 in it. used mostly what i had laying around the shop.

-- jerryw-wva.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1985 days


#6 posted 01-08-2010 12:43 AM

Aside from the pillow block bearings, and velcro backed sandpaper rolls, I have everything I need I believe…

—- Tons of SYP 2xs and birch plywood.
—- 3/4” and / or 5/8” all thread, nuts, washers etc…
—- Did I mention birch plywood?
—- 1 HP HF bandsaw motor. (Swapped mine out for a Dayton 1.5 HP unit)
—- Link belt. Not sure I have enough, but I do have link belt…

I honestly don’t think I am all that worried about a moveable table versus moveable drum. Moving the table seems a FAR easier solution, with less possibility for error.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View jerryw's profile

jerryw

158 posts in 2669 days


#7 posted 01-08-2010 05:29 AM

you can get 3/4 pillow block bearings from NORTHERN TOOL for $6.oo and the velco and sandpaper rolls from SUPER GRIT.

-- jerryw-wva.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1985 days


#8 posted 01-08-2010 05:31 AM

Thank you! I was wondering where to find the pillow block bearings… There is a Northern Tool by my Father In Law’s place… I will be by there this weekend! Woo Hoo!

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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