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2 in 1 Finish Sander and Thickness Sander

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Project by Wingstress posted 02-05-2011 08:42 AM 9631 views 118 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have FINALLY completed my drum sander project. I had been wanting to make a drum sander ever since I saw one on lumberjocks. The only problem was I didn’t know if I wanted to make a finish sander or a thickness sander. So, I decided to make both! Its a 24 inch finish sander and thickness sander. The overall construction took close to a year because I never had the parts I needed and I never wanted to spend any money. So, I slowly started to accumulate some components that I thought would be useful. For the most part, almost everything was either found at a tag sale, or was stuff I had laying around the shop. I did have to purchase a few key components on ebay; like the conveyor belt, electric DC motor, and the potentiometer.

I originally made a scissor jack design, but it had disastrous results. My drill press and jigs just could not hold the tolerance and there were too many degrees of freedom to lock down. So, I reverted back to a typical piano hinge design. For the jack screw I simply flipped a shop fox veneer press upside down. The self aligning head on the press made it perfect for the tilting conveyor. The only problem with it is that the thread is rather corse so I can only do little turns. I think it would have been better to go with some threaded rod, but I really liked the handle on the veneer press.
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The conveyor belt has a torsion box core with a mini torsion box that slides inside the larger one. This allowed me to put the conveyor belt on and then add tension. The bolts on either side of the belt act as tensioners and tracking screws. I just loosen or tighten one side and the conveyor belt shifts slightly form one side to the next. The bolt is held on by a right angle metal bracket I found at Home depot.

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Because the top is so thin, I added some angle iron to stiffen it up. I then built a box around the drum and put a dust collection hood on the side. It is currently connected to a 5” dust port and does a good job eliminating the dust. The drum is a bunch of MDF disks epoxied together with velcro similar to other drums you find on LJs.
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The conveyor is infinitely adjustable from 0-15 ft/min with a knob that is attached to a potentiometer. I found a great site on ebay called www.wondermotors.com that sells the whole setup pre-wired for reasonable prices. I connected the motor to the conveyor with a cain and sprocket setup. I made the motor mount out of some scrap UHMW. I also used a cutoff of UHMW for the chain tensioner. I made the guard from 1/4 inch thick plexiglass I had laying around in my shop.

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The drum was attached to a hinged motor with a powertwist belt with two 3 inch pulleys. Like the chain, it was covered with 1/4 plexiglass.
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After I built the frame (mostly from scrap hickory beams), I placed it on an old Ryobi table saw stand. It wasn’t until after I put the whole thing together, that I realize how heavy it was. So I decided to build a mobile base. Considering that it was just an after thought, I’m very please how it turned out. I used a 2X3 I had laying around and some 3 inch casters. A simple door latch ensures it doesn’t disengage when rolling. When disengaged, it sits on two rubber motor mounts and the two fixed wheels.

Wheels disengaged…
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Wheels engaged held in place by door latch
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In the end it was a very fun project. Its kind of funny now that its done, I’m not really sure what to use it for. Just for fun, I tried it out on a cabinet door. First I flattened the bottom side with the finish sander. Then I walked to the other side of the machine and put it through the thickness sander. It worked like a charm.

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-- Tom, Simsbury, CT





30 comments so far

View Old54Woodworks's profile

Old54Woodworks

42 posts in 1350 days


#1 posted 02-05-2011 08:57 AM

2 in one, great idea!!

-- Al Hart

View AttainableApex's profile

AttainableApex

338 posts in 1491 days


#2 posted 02-05-2011 09:06 AM

really nice idea.
haven’t really seen a finish sander before though. wouldn’t you want fine grit on it to … finish sand it?

-- Ben L

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1546 days


#3 posted 02-05-2011 10:58 AM

Double the tools for the same footprint is always a good idea with shop space being limited. Great idea.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View EzJack's profile

EzJack

443 posts in 1828 days


#4 posted 02-05-2011 11:49 AM

Now that’s cool.

-- Ain't better or worse than any other woodpecker in the woods.

View scarpenter002's profile

scarpenter002

474 posts in 2563 days


#5 posted 02-05-2011 12:06 PM

Really nice job. Since you’re not sure what to use it for, I would be happy to take it off your hands. :-)

-- Scott in Texas

View mafe's profile

mafe

9549 posts in 1747 days


#6 posted 02-05-2011 12:56 PM

Relly really nice!
I love the thinking part.
I’m sure you will get plenty of use for this.
Best thoughts,
MaFe

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View JimArnoldChess's profile

JimArnoldChess

196 posts in 1652 days


#7 posted 02-05-2011 03:25 PM

Very cool!!!

If you wanted, you could send it to me and I could use it for you until you came up with something <grin>. I’ve always wanted (and needed) one.

Seeing projects like your is one of the main reasons I joined LJs.

Thanks,

Jim

-- http://www.etsy.com/shop/JimArnoldsChessSets

View Roger's profile

Roger

14608 posts in 1462 days


#8 posted 02-05-2011 03:34 PM

wow! you are an engineering top notch engineer! one h_of-a-project

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View sras's profile

sras

3845 posts in 1787 days


#9 posted 02-05-2011 03:54 PM

A very well engineered project and a great description to go with it! I am interested in a little more information about your conveyor belt.

What material is it? Rubber, canvas or ??

Where did you find it?

Thanks for sharing!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Russ's profile

Russ

356 posts in 1735 days


#10 posted 02-05-2011 04:06 PM

Very impressive work. Thank you for sharing all the details.

-- Russ

View bigike's profile

bigike

4031 posts in 1946 days


#11 posted 02-05-2011 04:12 PM

now that’s sick, this is just what i want to build. Very nice idea and great execution. ;)

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View moonls's profile

moonls

407 posts in 1644 days


#12 posted 02-05-2011 04:26 PM

Even if I didn’t know that you’re an engineer, I would have guessed that with this project. Your precision and technical skill made this project a success! I’m sure you’ll enjoy having this sander to use on future projects!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View Vince's profile

Vince

959 posts in 2087 days


#13 posted 02-06-2011 02:17 AM

That is slick, good job.

-- Vince

View douglbe's profile

douglbe

358 posts in 2619 days


#14 posted 02-06-2011 03:12 AM

That’s awesome! Can you build one for me????

-- Doug, Reed City, Michigan

View TMcG's profile

TMcG

182 posts in 1658 days


#15 posted 02-06-2011 04:24 AM

Man, that is sweet !

I’m in the middle of converting an old craftsman table saw into one of these and have been noodling how to make the conveyor motor driven rather than hand cranked.

Could you share a few more details on that side of the project ?

thanks
tony

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org

showing 1 through 15 of 30 comments

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