Drum Sander

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Project by PaulfromVictor posted 04-10-2010 03:07 PM 6265 views 74 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a drum sander I finished up a couple of months ago. I would never have attempted this without the inspiration that I found on LJ’s. See my favorites to see all that inspired thiis. Stewart’s site has links for various plans. I also liked Autumn’s. Blake’s machine inspired the clear dustcover. That was a great call. It allows you to see all the action, and troubleshoot if needed.

I made a few changes of my own. Most obviously, the bed is granite. This was a piece that was cutout from my kitchen counters to intall the sink. It has been sitting in my garage for nine years waiting for a project. I mounted the granite to a piece of plywood, enclosed it with a wood frame, and filled the missing corners with stones and fiberglass resin. The bed is 20.5” wide.

All of the steel rods on this are 3/4”. The backside of the bed rests on a steel rod. I made additional holes in the frame so that I can move the rod down to accommodate thicker items if needed. I am not sure if I will ever lower the table, but just put it there as an option. I like the idea of being able to make a sled to pass items through. In theory, the lower holes will still keep the table parallel to the drum, but that has yet to be determined.

The motor is 2hp, spins at 3450 rpm. I used a 2:1 pulley ratio to cut the drum speed in half.

The drum is 5” diameter and wrapped in velcro to attach the felt backed sandpaper.

Already I am hooked on this machine. I don’t know how I got by without it.

16 comments so far

View Woodwrecker's profile


4211 posts in 3811 days

#1 posted 04-10-2010 03:18 PM

That is really impressive Paul !
I am going to favorite it & try and build one in the future.
I bet you’ll get a LOT of use out of that.

Really nicely done !

View DocK16's profile


1184 posts in 4322 days

#2 posted 04-10-2010 03:31 PM

1700 drum speed is still pretty fast, do you get any burn marks. manual feed? I’m thinking about building one any other reccommendations. Oh yeah where did you pick up the drum

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4117 days

#3 posted 04-10-2010 04:01 PM

Good job. Really clean build. That always seems to help keep things true.

I know you will love using it. So much these can do.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 3470 days

#4 posted 04-10-2010 04:39 PM

Looks really nice, you did a great job. I’m planing one, I was going to try a treadmill as the table, it has a veriable speed motor, just need a larger motor for the drum, still in the idea stages.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3978 days

#5 posted 04-10-2010 04:40 PM

Great project. These make woodworking so much more fun. plus it is cool you made it yourself.

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

View Ken90712's profile


17614 posts in 3424 days

#6 posted 04-10-2010 04:59 PM

Great Job! Love the use of the granite! 1700 rpms vrs 1350 I read most sanders spin at should be a problem right? Love it, I plan an buying the Kit from Stock Room Supply as I don’t have enough time for everything I need to get done… Very impressive work my fellow LJ’er A++++++++++++++

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

View mreza's profile


71 posts in 3764 days

#7 posted 04-10-2010 05:32 PM

Hey, that looks really good. The idea of using granite for the table is a very good idea.
Have you checked how flat is the table? I once got a large slab of granite to use as my table
(in the drum sander) but it had a deep about 0.01”. The stone supplier said it is within their
tolerances and I just returned it.

View Cher's profile


962 posts in 3329 days

#8 posted 04-10-2010 06:12 PM

Very neat project. Thanks for posting, I added it to my favourites.

-- When you know better you do better.

View PaulfromVictor's profile


228 posts in 3581 days

#9 posted 04-10-2010 08:44 PM

Thank you for the compliments.

Mreza. The table is dead flat, and being granite, I expect it to stay that way. It is a great worksurface; hard, flat, and almost unscratchable.

Ken and Dock, 1700 RPMs on a 5” diameter drum seemed to be the sweetspot based upon the machines I was looking at (see my favorites). I have not had any issues at all with burning.

The only thing I have found to be careful of is to keep the wood moving through. If you stop it will leave a small mark similar to what snipe would look like. Don’t let that scare you, it is not hard to feed at all. If I do a large piece, I have my wife help with the last few passes. She pulls a bit as the piece exits, just to make sure it doesn’t stop.

View Broglea's profile


686 posts in 3326 days

#10 posted 04-11-2010 02:54 AM

The use of granite was a nice touch.

View PaulfromVictor's profile


228 posts in 3581 days

#11 posted 04-11-2010 01:36 PM

Thanks Autumn.

A drum sander is not something you would think of as dangerous, is it? I guess you get something spinning that fast, with a powerful motor behind it, and anything can happen. My concern is the belt. Mine is exposed, and I can visualize myself sticking my hand in it. I am going to put some kind of shield around the belt at it’s danger spots. Nothing pretty.

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3312 days

#12 posted 04-11-2010 02:28 PM

What an awesome drum sander. I plan on building one for myself some day. Got to add this one on favorites as a great reference…. Outstanding work!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View SgtSnafu's profile


960 posts in 3507 days

#13 posted 04-12-2010 04:55 PM

Very good looking drum sander – That nice flat granite table is a great idea !!

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3539 days

#14 posted 04-12-2010 05:01 PM

Nice work Paul, it looks like a good one. I also very much enjoy building my own equipment when I can. You really put some nice detail into that project.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View falegniam's profile


335 posts in 3188 days

#15 posted 09-17-2010 03:49 AM

Excellent job it looks great. Question: What prevents the boards from shooting out the end?

-- If you work you eat - If you don't work, you eat, drink, and sleep.

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