A Homemade thickness drum sander I built

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Project by mreza posted 09-27-2008 07:15 PM 69629 views 181 times favorited 44 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first post here.

I had been collecting information and reading different plans on building a thickness (drum) sander. I felt the need while working on a project that had to resaw thin materials and smooth them out. It is going to have a power feed conveyor.
Anyway, the initial plan of an 18” wide one grew to a 29” one.
I finished it a few months ago. It took a bit longer because I had to do new electrical wiring in my basement shop just to be able to run it.

Here are two videos, one showing it half way through the building progress, one showing it in action:

It has a 2HP farm duty motor and a 150lb/in conveyor motor. The maximum width I can sand is more than 28.5”.
I have loaded the progress photos as well as the finished photo and three videos showing the sander in action at the following link:

44 comments so far

View Blake's profile


3441 posts in 2910 days

#1 posted 09-27-2008 07:35 PM

Impressive. About what do you have into this thing if you don’t mind me asking?

-- Happy woodworking!

View kjwoodworking's profile


261 posts in 2923 days

#2 posted 09-27-2008 07:40 PM

Pretty dang cool!!

Watched the videos and it looks like it works as it should.

Good job!

-- Kirk H. --

View john's profile


2338 posts in 3418 days

#3 posted 09-27-2008 07:47 PM

Hi mreza and welcome to Lumberjocks .That is a very impressive machine you have built .

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

13991 posts in 3019 days

#4 posted 09-27-2008 08:08 PM

welcome to lumberjocks … hope you enjoy using !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2709 days

#5 posted 09-27-2008 08:38 PM

That is real cool It look like its going to work.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3283 days

#6 posted 09-27-2008 08:47 PM

Very nice sander. Where did you get your one piece bottom sandpaper, if it is indeed sandpaper. I wouldn’t know where to get paper that wide. Welcome to LJs.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Wally_nd's profile


42 posts in 2646 days

#7 posted 09-27-2008 09:56 PM

Cool…. what was the material cost??

-- Jeremy, North Dakota

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 2626 days

#8 posted 09-27-2008 10:00 PM

I really think this is cool.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5782 posts in 2621 days

#9 posted 09-27-2008 10:37 PM

Thats a smart idea and well looking in construction well done I hope it works as good as it looks I wish I had the plan I would attempt one in the winter myself Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View mreza's profile


70 posts in 2564 days

#10 posted 09-27-2008 11:15 PM

Thanks to all for the kind words.

Yes, it works well (much better I was hoping for). Since I built it, every board I plane goes through it before dong any other thing. And it is accurate. The following two photos show the different sides of the board I just sanded in that video:

As for cost: it was around $600 for all the parts (which were new), and I have some left-over parts (bearings/chain/sprockets). I don’t know how much time in put into it, but half of the time was designing it :-)

I got some of the parts from (although after that I found a local supplier with lower prices). As for the belt, it’s 24”x60” made by klingspor, you can get it from

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3058 days

#11 posted 09-27-2008 11:27 PM

I like it .I really like it.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

#12 posted 09-28-2008 01:17 AM

It doesn’t get much better. Keep it up!!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View Bigdogs117's profile


1864 posts in 2657 days

#13 posted 09-28-2008 02:57 AM

I’m slightly jealous of people who are able to build these type of awsome machines. Great job. You’ll get alot of use out of this and I’m sure it will give you greater satisfaction.

-- Rusty

View jm82435's profile


1283 posts in 2778 days

#14 posted 09-28-2008 04:42 AM

I have a Delta (18-36) , it looks like yours works better than it does! Excellent job! Your raising mechanism looks much more robust than the Delta. I have to think you spent a good chunk of your budget on the power feed electronics and motor. I started to build one myself then came across a deal on the Delta and never finished it. I had the spring rollers for mine that look very similar to what you did. Mine looked a little more like a 36” Performax and is made of 1” X3” steel tubing and 3” steel pipe just acme all thread (Enco) and nuts for the raising mechanism. The sprockets and chains also came from Surplus Center. I hadn’t worked out the power feed I was hoping I could find a treadmill or rotisserie with a variable speed drive I could scavenge.
Anyway kudos to you for finishing it and engineering a fine working machine! I know you will love it. BTW Welcome to LumberJocks!

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 2803 days

#15 posted 09-28-2008 02:41 PM

Excellent build, thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

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