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My Home Made Thickness Sander #1: The Drum

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Blog entry by lew posted 01-19-2012 05:40 AM 7071 reads 18 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My Home Made Thickness Sander series Part 2: Testing The Drum »

When making my rolling pins, I use the thickness planer to bring the thin strips down to 1/8” thick. Unfortunately, if the grain in the wood is not uniform- or there are knots- the strips shatter. This wastes a lot of wood and doesn’t do the planer any good either. It seemed to me a thickness sander would be perfect for this process. Well, Craig’s List wasn’t producing any results and I couldn’t afford a new one. Time to take action!
Starting with what seemed to me to be the most critical/difficult part; I began researching construction methods and gathering parts for the drum. The choices were narrowed down to three. One- buy the kit, two- solid wood cylinder or 3- PVC/wood combination. #1 was quickly eliminated- I’m cheap! #2- maybe, but then I found a hunk of 3” PVC in my stash of plumbing left overs. #3 it is- I’m cheap! Next, the pillow block bearings- had to buy these- $20 each. The 5/8” shaft was from the scrap bin at the local Vocational School.

Glued up some oak scraps and began turning the end cap, pulley end and center supports.

The process is the same for the end block, pulley block and center supports. The center supports were sliced from a single turning.
Turn a blank to a slightly larger diameter than the PVC. Turn a tenon on one end to permit the use of a chuck.

Remount the blank with the tenon in a chuck.

Drill the blank to fit the center axle.

Remove the drill bit/Jacobs chuck and remount the live center. Advance the live center into the axle hole. Check to make sure the blank spins true. The first end cap turned out to be slightly misaligned. I didn’t see it until testing the drum and motor combination. Fortunately, it wasn’t too difficult to disassemble the drum and make a new end cap. Place a piece of cut off PVC over the Live Center. This will be used to test for the correct diameter as the blank is turned.

Turn the blank to the inside diameter of the PVC, testing for a snug fit. I left about 1 ½ “ long shoulder- turned to the PVC’s outside diameter- on the End Cap piece.

The center supports are snug fit piece that was sliced in half.

The pulley end is turned in the same fashion as the end cap. The only real difference is that the “shoulder” is longer to accommodate the integral pulley. In addition, the tenon, used by the chuck, is left in place to allow a spring pin to capture the axle.

The PVC is cut to length and the wooden pieces fitted into place. Mark the locations of the center supports and the end pieces. These will have screws to capture the PVC to the wood, later.

Drill and countersink the PVC for screws. I wasn’t sure how these would affect the balance so I evenly spaced the screw lengthwise and at 90 degrees around the circumference. Also, not being a plumber, I did not realize that 3” PVC is not solid (at least what I had). Mine was a foam core type. It seems to be working OK, however. Just had to be careful not to press hard on the countersink!

Once the PVC is secured and everything is positioned, drill a hole in the pulley end tenon to accept a spring pin. This hole is drilled completely through the axle and tenon. I wanted to be certain that if something broke the spring pin could be driven back out.

So far, I had to buy the pillow block bearings and the spring pin.

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



11 comments so far

View KylesWoodworking's profile

KylesWoodworking

280 posts in 1444 days


#1 posted 01-19-2012 06:00 AM

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3152 days


#2 posted 01-19-2012 06:11 AM

Lew:

It’s looking great. Nice and cheap so far.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14635 posts in 1426 days


#3 posted 01-19-2012 06:31 AM

Ok, points to you for the PICTURES! Many thanks.

However, in your other thread, I asked for PICTURES & SPECIFICATIONS!!! So, if you could be so kind…...

What are the spec’s & source of the pillow block bearings?
What is the diameter & width of the pulley on the drum?
How did you arrive at those spec’s?

Inquiring minds (and idiots like me) want to know!!!

Seriously, nice work with pictures and documentation of the process! Please keep posting as much detail as you can/have time for.

-- 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 Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2424 days


#4 posted 01-19-2012 06:34 AM

Looks good, Lew!

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View lew's profile

lew

10161 posts in 2507 days


#5 posted 01-19-2012 09:35 PM

Karson, CJ, and Kyle- Thanks!

Randy- The pillow blocks are from Peer Bearings. Here are the numbers from the box UCP202-10; 11496; W128618. These are for a 5/8” shaft. The drum pulley is 3.6” diameter- what I had. The motor pulley diameter is 2.6” diameter. I wanted the drum to turn slower than the motor, for power. May have to decrease the motor pulley diameter if things bog down. I used the pulley on the motor to get the dimensions for the drum pulley. The belt width is a little under 1/2”- what I had here. How did I arrive at these specification? Pure Luck!

Lew

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

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7192 posts in 2055 days


#6 posted 01-19-2012 11:22 PM

this is great lew, i love when these things are made from the cheap, good ole hard work and using the ole noggin…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View lew's profile

lew

10161 posts in 2507 days


#7 posted 01-19-2012 11:37 PM

Grizz- Thanks! Cheap is good!

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

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14635 posts in 1426 days


#8 posted 01-20-2012 12:18 AM

Lew,

Thanks for the specs.
I plan on building one of these someday. As my brain is a great cavern of emptiness, I’m trying to learn/absorb all the info I can. I fiqure if I fill it up then there won’t be any more room for the voices!!!

-- 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 lew's profile

lew

10161 posts in 2507 days


#9 posted 01-20-2012 12:23 AM

Randy- know what you mean. I’m like Homer Simpson, every time I learn something new it pushes something else out.

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

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

16043 posts in 1618 days


#10 posted 01-20-2012 08:30 PM

Lew, this will be a fine sander and I’ll follow along to see what happens.

helluvawreck

https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View lew's profile

lew

10161 posts in 2507 days


#11 posted 01-21-2012 03:08 AM

“Helluva..”-

Thanks! I’ll post updates as I find improvements/failures. If I can figure out how to do it, maybe even a short video.

Lew

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

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