Thickness sander

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Project by geekwoodworker posted 05-27-2014 10:33 PM 4014 views 63 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had built myself a Vdrum sander but also wanted a thickness sander but didn’t have room for two machines. Then I saw someone on LJ’s built a dual thickness/vdrum sander and that was it. I had to make one.
I started with making the 20” drum from 4” ABS pipe and 3/4” shaft. Made jib to true-up the drum with the router. I worked perfectly.
Then perchased a used manual treadmill for the feed mechanism. Ended up making new frame for it.
The motor is a 3450 rpm 1.5hp from a dust collector I had given to me free. Reduced speed down to 1725 rpm by using a 2” and 4” pulley’s.
Lift mechanism is simple threaded rod. The rear of feed mechanism has holes in frame that allows me to adjust thickness of sanding if required. To feed pieces through just turn the handle. I find that I can feed it through and then turn handle backwards and forwards several times without adjusting height.
Dust collection is easily moved from top to just sit on conveyor for use as vdrum sander. I made a fence when in vdrum mode so I can also use it as edge sander or even like a jointer.
Whole unit was put on old vdrum stand.

All in all this sander works fantastic and is accurate within 0.05mm on entire width of 20” drum. Thanks to all LJ’s who posted similar projects for me to get ideas.

-- Sean G, Barrie, Ontario

18 comments so far

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 424 days

#1 posted 05-27-2014 11:08 PM

Just awesome, nice build!

View gfadvm's profile


12629 posts in 1565 days

#2 posted 05-27-2014 11:57 PM

That is a very impressive piece of workmanship! And useful to the max!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Bken's profile


29 posts in 427 days

#3 posted 05-28-2014 01:01 AM

Great build. I’ve got an 18 drum sander half way done. Im trying to find a reasonable motor and pully setup without breaking the bank. I think I may add a vdrum sander platform to the top.

View Dutchy's profile (online now)


890 posts in 1044 days

#4 posted 05-28-2014 05:08 AM

Well done.

-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

View stefang's profile


14090 posts in 2209 days

#5 posted 05-28-2014 07:51 AM

Wow, you did an amazing job on this. I would sure love to have one.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View roer's profile


57 posts in 2114 days

#6 posted 05-28-2014 09:50 AM

Nice Build !! But what does it do for you, that your Vdrum Sander can’t do ?

View geekwoodworker's profile


252 posts in 335 days

#7 posted 05-28-2014 11:19 AM

Thanks for the comments. The reason I wanted this sander was so I could thickness sand wide glue ups. I only have a 13” planer so anything wider was a pain and I am not good with hand planes. I also wanted it to sand boards flat and not get chip out like a planer will do. But I also wanted the capabilities of the vdrum. So I feel this accomplishes both jobs without sacrificing shop room.


-- Sean G, Barrie, Ontario

View Elyasaf Shweka's profile

Elyasaf Shweka

50 posts in 401 days

#8 posted 05-28-2014 11:54 AM

Manual Treadmill for feeding??? GENIUS!!! im definitely going to upgrade mine now. but why not trying to motorize it? you can easily attach a screwdriver to that, and im sure it will do the job.
Are you using a velcro sandpaper?

-- Only by the 4th time I realized how it was suppose to be done in the first place.

View dbhost's profile


5386 posts in 2107 days

#9 posted 05-28-2014 01:47 PM

My drum sander project has been on the back burner for a while now. I am needing to get back on it. Thanks for the motivation!

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View ever4ward's profile


17 posts in 630 days

#10 posted 05-28-2014 01:59 PM

My first thought on reading the treadmill line was that you were powering by running! Even though that’s not the case this is impressive!

-- can you make anything from those shavings?

View hotncold's profile


678 posts in 420 days

#11 posted 05-28-2014 03:49 PM

Very impressive build getting both sanding styles into one machine. Great execution of a great idea!

-- Dennie - Tennessee - My Daddy always said, "Son, you can air condition a cotton patch if you've got enough money!

View Diggerjacks's profile


1880 posts in 2014 days

#12 posted 05-28-2014 04:32 PM

Hello and welcome geekwoodworker

Very nice built

One machine for two works very nice idea

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View geekwoodworker's profile


252 posts in 335 days

#13 posted 05-28-2014 06:48 PM

I have thought about powering the feed mechanism but like the idea of just going forwards and backwards with one piece using manual turn handle. But may go with it in future. Made it so I can upgrade easily. Yes the drum is velcro and I find I use mainly 150 grit sand paper for most jobs. Used 220 grit to take paint of some old table legs and it still worked excellent.

Thanks for all the nice comments guys. I joined LJ’s so I could inspire/help with ideas just as I was. So thanks again to all those who post thier projects for others to learn and get inspiration.

-- Sean G, Barrie, Ontario

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1051 days

#14 posted 05-28-2014 08:36 PM

Awesome build and set up. Very functional.

View geekwoodworker's profile


252 posts in 335 days

#15 posted 05-29-2014 01:01 PM

Forgot to mention to all that I had to add 1” anti-slip tape to the conveyor as it wasn’t grippy enough to hold pieces in place. During the first few tries one piece flew out at high rate of speed and hit the wall. Fortunately I was standing beside the machine turning the crank handle. Would have hit me in most unwellcomed spot.

No pieces have flown out since. But I still stand to side.

-- Sean G, Barrie, Ontario

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