|Project by johnzo||posted 09-30-2010 06:46 AM||10072 views||121 times favorited||28 comments|
This is my last winter’s project. I started out by reading the DS article in the vol 15 issue 86 SHOP NOTES magazine. It’s basically about a shop made hand crank transport drum sander whose 16” wide abrasive conveyor belt transport is pivoted into an MDF sanding drum. I didn’t like the fact that the drum was made up of 19 slices of 3/4” MDF or that it required temporary use of your tablesaw’s top and motor drive. I wanted a heavy, free-standing drum sander and since I had a metal lathe, I bought a 4.5” OD X 1/8” wall aluminum tube and turned end plates for mounting the drum to a 5/8” shaft and pillow blocks. Owing to the flat & stiff nature of MDF, I constructed the cabinet and transport of that cheap and stable material. I used ordinary hem-fir 2X4’s as ties between the 2 main MDF upright frame members. Rather than mess with a compromised incline cut thickness adjustment system, I opted for the Woodmaster DS system consisting of a nut bracket on the 4 corners of the conveyor transport which engage vertical threaded rods with a bearing/bushing at upper & lower ends. At the lower end of each rod is a small pinned sprocket engaging an endless bicycle chain. At the upper end of 1 of the longer rods is a hand crank for moving the transport conveyor up and down. Works beautifully! The next thing I changed was the hand cranked transport. I connected a 57 RPM gear motor to chain drive 1 of the transport rollers. The MDF transport rollers were also changed to PVC rollers with alum endplugs. I bought a Craigslist used 3/4 HP motor ($50.) to drive the sanding drum and wind a 3” wide cloth backed sanding strip (100 grit) onto the drum and tape the ends to secure. I built a hinged wood & plexiglass cover to contain the fine dust from the sander and into my dust collector.
RESULT: Since I started using the drum sander, I’ve yet to start up my planer. I LOVE this tool! My planer used to snipe and cause chip-outs. The sander is accurate end to end within 1000’s of an inch which is exactly what I need in the woodworking I do. Anybody want to buy my 15” planer? I don’t know if I’ll ever use it again! This has got to be the most enjoyable project I’ve ever attempted and I actually use it almost every day! The cost of building this sander was roughly $300. although if I had scrounged more for parts on Craigslist I could have done better.
-- 70 is the new 50!