Flatsander (V drum sander)

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Project by Todd posted 11-04-2015 10:27 PM 1673 views 10 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I make quite a few cutting boards and I needed a drum sander to make sanding more consistent and efficient. I had a HF belt sander I wasn’t happy with so I took the motor off of it and used it to make this flatsander. I made the drum myself from MDF and a 5/8” SS shaft. I added pillow block bearings, pulleys, and a link belt for the drive system. The table is a piece of countertop I paid $2 for at the Habitat ReStore.

Here are some images of the drum:

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

11 comments so far

View Ocelot's profile


1458 posts in 2056 days

#1 posted 11-04-2015 10:47 PM

That looks good! Do you free-hand the boards over it? Do you feel it’s safe as is?

View poospleasures's profile


542 posts in 1902 days

#2 posted 11-05-2015 12:59 AM

Very good job. I built one of those several years ago and use it very often. When making segmented bowls you can flatten glued up rings in just a jiffy. There is no burning or grabbing. A roll of 100 paper seems to last forever. You saved a bunch of money by building as you did. I was in a hurry at the time and bought the kit. I think this is a terrific money saver for the ones of us w/out the big bucks a real drum sander. I,ve used both and this much better for what I do. Thanks for showing.

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon

View Ken90712's profile


16862 posts in 2606 days

#3 posted 11-05-2015 09:11 AM

Well done, I bought the kits yrs ago and use it all the time. Intereting way of cutting on the table saw. I would like to hear more about that.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View bbain32's profile


21 posts in 593 days

#4 posted 11-05-2015 01:40 PM

That is an interesting way to round out the drum. Must have been a few tense moments at first.

What was the surface finish like on the drum? did you have to do much sanding after?

View majuvla's profile


8684 posts in 2285 days

#5 posted 11-05-2015 02:01 PM

Beautiful maschine! I have great respect to home made tool maschine builders. In your experience, why this counter top variation is better than version with belt?

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View JerryinCreek's profile


154 posts in 1259 days

#6 posted 11-05-2015 04:29 PM

Very , very interesting and quite inventive. Nice job and good luck with it! I’ll be interested to hear your responses to the questions above.

-- Jerry, Johnson Creek, WI "If it was meant to be different it would be."

View Todd's profile


379 posts in 1094 days

#7 posted 11-05-2015 04:35 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone! To answer a few questions:

Ocelot – I feel it is safe. I have freehanded dozens of boards over it. The only way I can see getting significant injury is if the drum were to catch a finger between it and the edge of the slot in the table. I was going to put an E-Stop switch on it but I just went with a regular rocker switch.

bbain32 – After I turned the drum I put poly on it and sanded it with 120 sandpaper and repeated. I didn’t want it too smooth. I used the “Hook & Loop Conversion Kit for Model G1066R” from Grizzly for the adhesive backed hook and also ordered other grits as well for the paper.

Ken90712 – it wasn’t difficult, just messy. I built a temporary frame using the pillow block bearings and turned the drum using a dado blade set on my TS. I clamped a straight edge to the TS to run the frame back and forth. I was very careful about taking off material a little at a time to stay safe. I spinned the drum from the top. If you do this please remember this is a tablesaw with a horrendously dangerous dado set exposed! Also you will need to wear a respirator. I found it was almost impossible to collect the dust. Perform this operation at your own risk!

majuvla – If I understand your question I think you are asking why I think this might be better than a sander with a belt to move the material through (i.e. a “thickness” sander). I don’t think it is better actually. It’s just that for what I use it for I don’t really need a thickness sander. For example, I use it primarily for cutting boards which have already been planed to the proper thickness, they just need finish sanding. I find that a couple of swipes on the 220 grit drum gives excellent results with little effort.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View Todd's profile


379 posts in 1094 days

#8 posted 11-05-2015 04:39 PM

Jerry I actually built this several months ago and use it often. It does a great job of finish sanding my cutting boards!

BTW everyone if you build one you need to use a 1725 RPM motor or you need to gear it down to 1725 RPM. The diameter of my drum is 4”.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View drewpy's profile


568 posts in 775 days

#9 posted 11-05-2015 06:58 PM

Great solution and thinking. Thanks for sharing and the details.

-- Drew in Ohio -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View Arcola60's profile


91 posts in 1801 days

#10 posted 11-05-2015 07:20 PM

Great job Todd! I made mine a few years back, using MDF, and a 7/8” shaft. It works great, it is my go to
tool for all of my projects. I made it mostly for sanding end grain cutting boards. I use it on everything. It is
safe, and very versatile. It has been a lifesaver for me.

Stockroom supply sells the kit, or you can purchase the items yourself. The design, size, style is up to you.
There are plenty of videos about this sander. Many great designs.

Thanks for posting, great looking sander.

Ellery Becnel

View Todd's profile


379 posts in 1094 days

#11 posted 11-05-2015 09:03 PM

Thanks Ellery!

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

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