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Drum sanding without Bongos or Cutting sanding belts

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Project by LittleBlackDuck posted 09-14-2016 09:20 AM 2186 views 8 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Boys and Girls,

This article is aimed at people that claim they are a proud owner of a drum sander and those that tell the truth and say they own “one of those bloody” drum sanders.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of changing out a drum sander’s belt you don’t know what you are “missing “ and for all those that say it’s not an issue, I’d like the name of the mechanical genius who changes yours.

If anyone out there (in the sane world) knows of a simple, foolproof way of mounting the belt on your first 5 tries, please make me a tutorial video… I’ll pay… Text explanations will not be accepted as they only emphasise how it doesn’t work for the reader.

The article is not in the how to use but rather the how to make…

In my preparation form my forthcoming T & J build, one cannot have enough 1/8”, 1/16” and 1/32” thick timber. consequently while building up my stockpile I had to load a new belt of sandpaper onto my drum sander (at this point I will mention I hate sanding nearly as much as reading). I had to cut a new belt and as an after-thought, decided to make a presentation for all those that follow a non-regimented ordeal.

In the past, every time I needed to cut a belt from bulk stock roll (I am too cheap to buy individual belts), I am reminded of all those TV adds about rebellious tangled garden hoses and the poor housewife struggling up some stairs with a recalcitrant vacuum cleaner so I was determined to make my life easier (... no not vacuuming… sanding). While now days I still face the challenge, the struggle is less arduous than it used to be.

If you are content in using an old, bought pre-fab roll as a template, then your next wardrobe habiliment might finish up in the form a white cushioned jacket with shiny metal buckles and heaps of leather straps and you should ask your therapist to read the rest of this article to you… s l o w l y. . .

Armed with my trusty ruler (which was not long enough so I relegated it for my not-so-trusty tape measure), I measured up a pre-fab roll of paper and dexterously drew it up using SketchUp. From that, I designed a layout and cutting jig/template.

It turned out NOT to be too pocket sized so I placed a hinge in the middle (the hinge eventually fit much better after I cut the plank in 2). The jig was still big but it enjoyed it’s piggy back on my mobile 16” drum sander cabinet.

Being a masochist, I thought that if a 16” drum sander can give me nightmares, I’d hit the jackpot with a 22” upgrade.

I bought a 22” Jet (I’m still talking drum sanders) and quickly found that no matter how hard I pulled on either end, the 16” belts would not fully cover the 22” drum. Looking at a ruler (preferably the imperial side) I realised that 22” is 6” longer than 16” (even on a metric rulere) and being a mathematical genius I quickly realised that the new sander’s belts would need to be maybe 1 or 2 inches longer (or maybe even more). Plagiarising the measurements of a 22” pre-fab belt I updated my SketchUp model. After lengthening my fabricated template I quickly realised I created a “Game of Thrones” monster…Dragin’ on the ground when folded in half. I had to sacrifice two more butt hinges to be able to fold it into bite sized pieces. This in the link to the SU model anyone interested (just reply “no thanks” when prompted to create an account). It does include dimensions for both 16” and 22” belt creation. One of the “cutting heads” is relocatable depending on size of belt required. Here is an animation of the jig in use I was just getting into SU at the time and was stoked by its “animation” capabilities and my creative juices (hey I was younger and open to radicalization back then).

The jig brags the following features:
  1. 3 hinged operation for near pocket sized storage that fits into the minimal drum sander’s base compartment.
  2. 2 pieannie (foreigners might call them piano) style hinged head for end shaping with 1 head movable to 16” dimensions.
  3. Hinged heads have aluminium reinforcement to assist in blunting your cutting implement.
  4. English written prompts to confuse non-English speaking people.
  5. Magnetic latches to stop the hinged heads from flapping like the lips of my…. I’ll stop here for self preservation and I’d like to eat tonight with all my teeth.
  6. Sexy velcro straps instead of boring bondage ropes.

Here are a few pickies of it in operation.

First you roll out the jig. Your workshop must be big enough.

The other end is way over there in the distance. Hate to own a 34” sander. The end would be 2 blocks away.

Observe the precision of the machining and construction. Close tolerances prevent the hinge’s bulging profile from adversely distorting the precise length of the belt.

For accurate belt lengths ensure you use a sharp box cutter to minimise the need for the blade’s kerf allowance.

The final product. A good impersonation of that tangled vacuum hose syndrome. This picture still makes the missus cringe.

Secrets revealed…
This is THE magical optional extra, but must have accessory.

It stops the roll from rolling off your workbench





If you bothered to read this far, here is a very handy hint as a reward for perseverance (if you don’t already know it).
To stop then end from slipping out, bend it over itself before you manouver it into the tensioning clip.

The sandpaper face on both sides inhibits slip

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD





30 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

1950 posts in 1452 days


#1 posted 09-14-2016 11:03 AM

I do not have a drum sander….yet.

This was one of the best posts that I have read. Extremely well done and very useful…..thanks.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3126 days


#2 posted 09-14-2016 11:30 AM

Very informative … and entertaining! Thanks!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17158 posts in 2569 days


#3 posted 09-14-2016 11:40 AM

Thank you , that is a neat way to gauge your cut and make the wrapper. I worked with the shop teacher when he changed one and it is a bit of a pain but we got ‘er wound up okay. I have a friend who has one with a hook and loop drum and used hook and loop paper on it and it goes a lot smoother.

Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

3392 posts in 1667 days


#4 posted 09-14-2016 12:06 PM

I agree changing drum sander belts is best left to prostrate examiners

Making your own belts is the most cost effective way to do it premsde belts are very expensive, from memory about 4 x times the material cost if using bulk rolls.

I just roll out the old one and use it as a template for the new one.

Be careful folding the edge over as you have duplicated the thickness of the belt under the fold and if you sand material over it a ridge will occur in your workpiece. If you dont ever use that part of the belt anyway and its not a problem.

The workshop Spy
Why is there red tape around your service pole
what is the crud ozzing out the bottom of the pole
It that a Extra pair of hands I see?
How much oscillation does the sander produce.
Did you fit the sand smart as an after market improvement.
The subject heading reports not having to cut the belts

-- Regards Robert

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3245 days


#5 posted 09-14-2016 01:03 PM

After years of fighting, every. single. time. The belt needed changing, I converted my drum sander to hook and loop. Grizzly sells the hook part in a large roll that I cut and stuck to the drum, then buy fuzzy backed sanding strips.

It’s so easy to change out the belts now, I almost forgot all those bad words I used to utter.

Your jig to cut the belts is pretty slick. Add the velcro and I guarantee you too will forget the bad words and trully come to love your drum sander!

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/tpursell?ref=si_shop

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

599 posts in 284 days


#6 posted 09-14-2016 01:15 PM



Making your own belts is the most cost effective way to do it premsde belts are very expensive, from memory about 4 x times the material cost if using bulk rolls.

I just roll out the old one and use it as a template for the new one.

Be careful folding the edge over …

The workshop Spy
Why is there red tape around your service pole
what is the crud ozzing out the bottom of the pole
It that a Extra pair of hands I see?
How much oscillation does the sander produce.
Did you fit the sand smart as an after market improvement.
The subject heading reports not having to cut the belts

- robscastle


Spot on with the proctologist analogy.

Both cheaper and readily available if you stock rolls. Supplier less likely to run out and sourcing has greater oulets.

I tried using an old roll as the template but found controlling an old one while rolling out the bulk roll (with each a mind of their own) was like a lion tamer with a stumpy piece of licorice stick. The clamps hold the loose end and the jig gives me a nice flat bed to roll out the paper.

The fold is on the “inside” end only and I have never come that close anyway… In fact I don’t think I’ve ever used a “flipped pass” (don’t say that fast).

Red tape is to stop strangers (and me after a vino or two) from walking into “my lift well”.

Crud on ground is concrete filler. Slab under foot was badly cracked. Just filled in to stop me loosing things down the cracks.

Extra pair of hands (unless the missus was lifting my wallet)??? Not sure of that reference. I use many props/clamps to make up for the missing 6 from my octopus outfit.

Never measured the deflection but from memory its around 25.4769mm (approximately)... enough to minimize sawdust buildup.

Came with the machine and refused to go home.

Not quite… Its is a two pronged heading,
  1. “Drum sanding without Bongos”, for the beatnik in me as a youth – and/or –
  2. “Cutting Sanding Belts” for my Jack the Ripper alter-ego.

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

599 posts in 284 days


#7 posted 09-14-2016 01:32 PM



Your jig to cut the belts is pretty slick. Add the velcro and I guarantee you too will forget the bad words and trully come to love your drum sander!

- Tim Pursell


Thanks for the heads up TP. I take your recommendation on board.

The jig just takes the pain out of sizing. Even with the loopy backing you still need to do a tailor impersonation to fit to you drum.
I’m guessing the forthcoming skin manicure would be similar to both types of belts and I would carry my sloppy mounting practice no matter the media (unless one sanded off the abrasives). After that tip given to me for folding over the end, the securing of the loose end is only a nightmare and no longer an exorcism.

As for the bad words… If someone stole my drum sander and I never replaced it , I would still remember and take the cussing memories (prior to jig and tip era) to my grave.

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

View Richard W. Hyman Jr's profile

Richard W. Hyman Jr

716 posts in 1135 days


#8 posted 09-14-2016 04:17 PM

I don’t own a drum sander either, but that was a pretty entertaining post. :)

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View PPK's profile

PPK

210 posts in 273 days


#9 posted 09-14-2016 04:46 PM

I echo Tim Pursell:
Go hook and loop (velcro).
I used a General drum sander for several years, and I’m pretty sure I NEVER made it through a set of cabinet doors without blowing up the sand paper. Usually caused by the sandpaper stretching or coming out of that cheezy little clip that’s supposed to hold it in on the ends. Or the thin tip of sandpaper gets brittle and the end just rips off.

Anyway, I built myself a drum sander with hook and loop paper and have run a whole set of doors through it and have yet to replace the sandpaper. To boot, the sandpaper is not near as thick as the stuff I used to use on a steel drum, and by all means “should” have ripped apart, blown up and made some major frustration by now.

No more clips, and I just roll on the paper, and slice it off with a utility knife when I get to the end of the drum. Precise length not necessary!

-- Pete

View splintergroup's profile (online now)

splintergroup

828 posts in 685 days


#10 posted 09-14-2016 05:10 PM

Nice write-up LBD!

I have a Performax and it appears to me your Jet is closed up a lot tighter around the drum, limiting access. I swap out belts in about 60 seconds, sorry! 8^)

The belt end tapers are just done with a masonite template and a sharpie, nothing more frustrating than realizing I lopped off the wrong corner at the other end of the belt!

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7481 posts in 1470 days


#11 posted 09-14-2016 05:20 PM

I also dont have a drum sander (never have) and from this wonderfully, pictorial and descriptive write-up….

I dont think I want one !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

599 posts in 284 days


#12 posted 09-14-2016 11:11 PM


I echo Tim Pursell:
Go hook and loop (velcro).

- PPK


Had a quick Google of the availability of Velcro rolls in Australia (actually got a good contact for the “starter” (hook sheets)) and was pleasantly surprised. However, I am faced with the dilemma of owning quite a few $s worth of bulk cloth backed stock which would be useless if I hooked out my drum. Quick calculations (before I ran out of fingers), it would cost me over $500 to purchase enough started and sacrifice my cloth stock… this still excludes any restocking with the loopy “paper”. Even with the low value of the Aussie $ here in the remote pocket of Churchill, that much is just a tad too much to forgo just for the inane pleasure of not struggling.

I also dont have a drum sander (never have) and from this wonderfully, pictorial and descriptive write-up….

I dont think I want one !

- JoeinGa


J’Ga, don’t let my petty chagrin dissuade you, I’m just a drama queen… after all, decapitation is less painful.

If you do get one and I still recommend them, go for one of those “Fancy-schmancy” (quoting a famous post replier) one with the sticky surface or bite the bullet (preferably not while being fired) and self-flagellate with the older style. While the paper change is a pain, once in place and properly seated it could finish up as one of your favourite workshop tools.

This article was not meant as a wet-paint “do not touch”, but rather to advise that there is always a cloudburst at then end of each pot of gold (or something like that).

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

693 posts in 687 days


#13 posted 09-14-2016 11:41 PM

I’ll tell you a bad side effect of changing the sandpaper is if you have a fingerprint scanner on your cell phone.

After changing mine out, it scuffed up my thumbprint enough that I could not open my phone and had to use the backup password…

Now I just have someone that does odd jobs for me change it out for me as needed… Lazy, I know….

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

599 posts in 284 days


#14 posted 09-15-2016 12:07 AM


... fingerprint scanner on ….

- AZWoody


Thanks Woody, that explains why I can’t get my perfect cup of coffee anymore out of my machine (coffee that is.. not the sander)...

-- There's two ways to do things... My way or the right way.. LBD

View bushmaster's profile

bushmaster

1358 posts in 1746 days


#15 posted 09-15-2016 12:25 AM

I like your idea to cut the end in such away to fold it over, stronger end and less slipping. If this works well, why go to velcro, I would think it is much more expensive.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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