|Project by BrentH||posted 07-27-2015 06:10 PM||2936 views||4 times favorited||6 comments|
After “My First Wood Turning Project” (see my list of projects), I realized that if I was going to get serious about “tooling up” for wood turning, I was going to need a thickness sander.
The biggest challenge I had in setting up for turning my first segmented bowl was getting a uniform thickness of each layer. Using a belt sander just wasn’t cutting it, as only being able to sand half of the ring at a time was making it hard to get it to a uniform & exact thickness.
I looked around at various sanders, and quickly decided that building was going to be better (and obviously cheaper) than buying, since drum sanders start at about $600.
My Internet searching lead me to Stumpy Nubs’ website, and I liked the idea of his “Original Drum Sander”, and it does work perfectly for my purpose. However, I’m not sure I’d recommend this project to others. I think even Stumpy figured out there were better ideas out there, as about the time I was finishing mine he introduced his “New Drum Sander”, which seems much improved.
Some things I learned from this project:
1) All plans aren’t created equal. This was just a set of drawings, no hints or instructions included. When I first downloaded the plans, I was thinking “Where’s the rest of them?”
2) It pays to study the plans carefully before cutting. There were some errors in dimensions on these plans that would have caused frustration and wasted material if I had just barged ahead.
3) Ideas (and even drawings) aren’t always from the real world. I don’t think a set of bearing blocks exist that would work on this sander as drawn on the plans. It took innovation to make mine work. In my case, I had to cut down the bearing blocks. I noticed that even the sander Stumpy demonstrated in his video was different from the way the plans pictured it.
4) Using 4” PVC for the sanding drum worked for me only because I have a metal lathe that I could use for truing them. The idea of using a board-mounted, flat sheet of sandpaper to true them up as the drum was spinning didn’t work for me at all.
5) The dust collection was, sorry to say, a joke. There just simply isn’t enough room to connect a suitably sized hose to move any air. So now when I use this I roll it outside and stand upwind. That’s part of the reason for the stand I built for it, which has casters with brakes.
Having said all that, I enjoyed the project. It took some innovating, but that’s part of the fun. As I said, it trues the thickness of my segmented rings and other items perfectly. Thumbs up to Stumpy for the idea and design.
-- Brent H. --"This retirement stuff is hard work. I need to go get a job so I can get some rest!"