Dave's Wide Drum Sander Build. #3: Sources for the parts.

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 01-31-2012 12:11 AM 3294 reads 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: The bearings are in, off to the machine shop... Part 3 of Dave's Wide Drum Sander Build. series Part 4: The drum build. Closing in on decision time! »

I have been drilled as it were for the sources on the parts I am using for my drum sander. So here goes…

The pillow block bearings were chosen partially due to the available axle. More on that later. I selected 5/8” pillow blocks from Amazon. Price was good, but after shipping came out to $22.45 delivered.

The steel rod I have is something I have had for a VERY long time. When I was in college, I worked in a hardware store that closed down. The owner tossed a bunch of junk that was in the workroom my way after we cleaned up, among that was some 5/8” smooth rod, and 3/8-16 all thread which will be used in this project… You SHOULD be able to find 5/8 smooth rod available for around $10.00 or so at Home Depot or Ace Hardware etc…

Lower / motor end pulley, well I am honestly not certain, but I figure it had to be from those boxes of junk that was at the hardware store… It’s a 5/8” bore 1.75” pulley that will accept a set screw, or a key. Depending on the motor I end up with, I might take advantage of both and utilize the keyway.

Drum end pulley. I am planning on utilizing Lew’s method for turning a pulley groove into the drum end itself. Keeps the cost down, and honestly, one less point for potential failure of the assembly.

Drum materials themselves. I have a few options. Red Oak and 4” PVC. Will take some glue to fashion a blank big enough for the 4” end plugs, but I have it sitting around. May have some storm fall limb sections that are nice and dry that could possibly work… IF NOT, I could always go with one of those laminated drums, to keep cost down I would have to end up using face jointed, and planed 2×6 stock to cut the disks out of. I am NOT using MDF!

Switch. I originally bought the “Safety” motor switch from MLCS a couple of years ago on sale for $19.99. I was going to wire it to my band saw, but the OEM switch on the saw works fine… The switch has a box and proper grommets for the cables to the power and out to the motor.

Power cable. A neighbor ran over their heavy gauge extension cord, 12ga stuff with an electric edger. I salvaged it from the trash. They cut it within a few feet of the female end, so I essentially have a 20’ power cable. I figure I will chop 5’ out of it, have a 15 foot power cord, and 5’ to connect switch to motor.

Casters. I have had these for better part of 25 years. I build a wooden tool chest in wood shop in school. These casters came from that project after a few too many moves destroyed it.

Thread inserts. I am planning on buying 3/8 -16 thread inserts from Amazon for this project. I guess that would be about $15.00 of hardware there…

Dust hood / port. I have TONS of 4” S&D PVC cutoffs, and plywood to build dust hoods with. Not a problem there…

Framing. acclimated , as straight as possible 2×4s, and yes, they were FREE!

Table. More of that plywood, and of course tempered hardboard topped…

The simplest and fastest way to build would be a tilt table with a screw advance to raise and lower the table. But the challenge loving part of me is trying to draw up plans for a chain driven synchronized 4 post raise / lower mechanism based off of that 3/8” all thread…

We’ll see if I can figure it out…

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5 comments so far

View lewis62's profile


73 posts in 2636 days

#1 posted 01-31-2012 01:45 PM

Not to put a dampner on your build,but.
Rod is not shaft, not, true round, harddened, sized, straight.
The pillow block bearings , I got, should be self aligning, once installed with shaft they line up to run with it, do they have a locking collar or set screw to lock shaft in place to keep from moving side to side.
wood for drum, will move , no matter how dry, mdf or PB is better choice, drum will go out of round with humidity in air changes.
Check ,surplus center , for, bearings ,keyed shaft, chain, sprockets, pulleys belts, and whole lot more at good prices.
Look at mcmaster carr, for any thing and every thing.
My drum is 25 long by 6 dia. P B epoxied to 7/8 shaft, has moved once in two years sealed it with kilz original from spray can.
Used 1/2 by 20 all tread for 4 post height mech. linked by # 25 chain and gears, fine tread for greater control of height, 20 turns to raise 1 inch instead of 13. Your 3/8 will work.
In process of making motorized feed belt conveyor, problems, will post when done hoping few weeks.

View dbhost's profile


5710 posts in 3229 days

#2 posted 01-31-2012 04:29 PM

I’d love some conceptual details about the lift / lowering mechanism if you’d care to share… My thought is to have some sort of way to keep the threaded rod in at the top, and bottom , while allowing it to spin, while the threads actually engage the table, or frame of the table. Not sure I am describing that right…

I have seen a few conveyors, Shop Notes had a belt sander design not too long ago that might work converted sideways as a conveyor… Will dig to see if I can find the article…

As far as MDF goes, forget it. I haven’t figured out how to keep it from ballooning up like a wet diaper with our humidity…

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View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3753 days

#3 posted 01-31-2012 06:20 PM

Thanks for the kind mention about the pulley but I must say the idea came from

Lots of good info from “Lewis62”. I thought about making the drum from solid material, too. My motor was only 1/3hp. Wrestled with two trains of thought- weight vs. inertia The heavier drum would build up more inertia but would it also be more of a load on the motor. After reading Charles’s blog (link above). I decided the lighter would work better- for my needs. Lewis62 reminded me that I forgot to install the setscrews in my bearings! Would have really liked to make Lewis’s lift system and a power feed mechanism, but for what I do it would have been overkill.

So far, my drum is working good. I have sanded several hundred feet of maple and walnut 2” wide rolling pin strips. Taking off a little over 1/8” thickness all together (these were originally intended to be thicknessed on the planer). I did have a paper tear but that was my fault- jammed the piece in too fast.


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

View dbhost's profile


5710 posts in 3229 days

#4 posted 01-31-2012 06:50 PM

Yeah, I am planning on using the setscrews on the pillow blocks. I figure they should keep the shaft, and in turn the drum from walking right / left as it rotates…

The lift system is something I am FAR more interested in than the power feed, not to say the Power Feed isn’t a matter of interest…

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View lewis62's profile


73 posts in 2636 days

#5 posted 02-01-2012 03:04 AM

zWhat i did for lift ,
bottom is a hole boared in plywood base to fit ball bearing that fit all tread, also 2nd bore in hole so there is clearance on center of bearing and rests only on outside race.
all tread has nut than geared sprocket also sized to fit, and another nut on top . nuts are tightened to help hold gear which also has set screws.
middle. is a square steel tube . the ends are drilled oversized of the all tread too allow for movement left to right.
Inside the tube is a home made nut from a steel bar stock 1/2 inch thick that fits snuggly side to side,allowing that movement . and a second piece of bar stock over drilled for all tread being used as a spacer to keep movement up and down to min. So as rods turn nuts travel up or down bar moves table rests on two bars front and back.
Top. I used 2 inch alum, angle we had laying around, holes in angle were lined up for center marks of bottom holes.A bronze flanged bushing goes up there,sized for alltread inside, out side of bushing is what ever.The hole that holds the bushing is just oversized so there is movement latterlly 360 degrees, but small enough so flange holds bushing from top not falling through and allowing it to turn.
My first attempt to put all that together by measuring and lineing it up exactly FAILED. The all tread locked up and started stripping, no way I know how to get that exact. So the freedom of movement is a must or lift fails.Used it like that and works great. But have bigger projects in mind so am doing power feed belt. Once table is on two bars drilled holes and held in place with 3 screws up from bottom of bar.Raised table up lined up , timed gears and chain with spacer from shaft , then trued drum with coarse sand paper contact glued to board running it under drum untill sounded ,no thumps than shut off checked sanded surface was even. last tim I checked it was only about .008 out one end of drum to other on a 18 inch wide butcher block, end grain, that was run .
Hope this helps
I hate typing
will try to take a few better pic if you want.

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