Home Made 26" Drum Sander

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Project by George M posted 06-23-2011 03:01 AM 15215 views 105 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my latest shop built tool. Previously I built a motorized router table.
As you may recognize, I shamelessly copied two other Lumberjocks JohnZ and TomT. In fact both John and Tom were kind enough to answer questions for me. Also Tom sent me some great bearings to use and John milled some threaded rods and aluminum plugs for the transport rollers.

The unit is full height. It has casters, but won’t be moved very often. I am lucky enough to have a large shop this was possible. A couple of changes from John and Tom 26” width of sanding surface, and I put the chain drive inside the lower base to keep it out of the sawdust. When I made up my mind to build a drum sander, I knew I wanted one big enough to handle glued up table top sections. The 26” came about from the size of the transport belt – 25×60.

Structurally the material is Hem Fir and MDF. The transport bed is the bed from a treadmill I got off of Craig’s list for $25. I intended to use the motor also, but it was belt driven and the belt was too short to work. I tried to get the belt pulley off to use a gear, but was not successful. So I visited my surplus store and picked up the geared motor you see in the picture. It is a 90rpm, but I geared it down to be about 56rpm. The drum is made like the Shop Notes article mentioned by John. That is many circles of MDF glued up and then sanded smooth – Final diameter is 5” +-. The motor is a 1 1/2 HP I again got off of Craig’s List. It is a 3450rpm, so I used a 2 1/2’ pulley to a 5” pulley, bringing the rpm down to 1725. For the sanding belt, I ordered the conversion kit from Jet for their 24” sander. Since their drums are 6” and mine is 5”, the kit worked almost perfectly. Had about ½ left to trim off of the end of the drum (the drum itself is 28” in order to give me a clear 26” sand area).

The result – It works very well. I am fine tuning it. Right now I have it to within .007” from side to side. The transport motor may be a little under powered so I may try to gear it down a little more.

Thanks for looking.

-- George, Parker Colorado

26 comments so far

View bighead's profile


14 posts in 3732 days

#1 posted 06-23-2011 03:35 AM

Nice work Do you think a 5HP 3450rpm mtor would be to big for this tool?

-- Preston H Kamloops BC Canada

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3087 days

#2 posted 06-23-2011 03:49 AM

Very Nice Job, looks to be the real macoy, it’s great to see such innovative work here on the site, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Abbynormal's profile


34 posts in 2804 days

#3 posted 06-23-2011 03:52 AM

wow most impressive, excellent work

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3257 days

#4 posted 06-23-2011 03:58 AM

Great work I have to built myself one of these one day I hope soon.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Dustmite97's profile


439 posts in 3189 days

#5 posted 06-23-2011 04:49 AM

Wow, that’s awesome! I still need to build one of these some day.

View scarpenter002's profile


605 posts in 3873 days

#6 posted 06-23-2011 06:13 AM

Excellent job. You have started me to researching and planning my very own version of this. Thanks for sharing.

-- Scott in Texas

View Ken90712's profile


17553 posts in 3157 days

#7 posted 06-23-2011 12:25 PM

Cool machine, looks great!

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20314 posts in 3074 days

#8 posted 06-23-2011 01:03 PM

Nice machine.Good job on it. I could use one right now for some 21” tops that won’t fit in my planer.
ou may have inspired me to build one too. I had drawn a sketch once and I was thinking of using a 4 bar linkage to raise the feed table with one screw. How do you adjust the height of the 4 screws together?...Jim

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

View George M's profile

George M

118 posts in 2733 days

#9 posted 06-23-2011 04:07 PM

Thanks for the comments guys.

Preston – 5 hp should work just fine, except it may be overkill. the idea of a drum sander is to remove small amounts at a time.

Jim – The four screws are connected by a chain under the base. That way it stays away from the dust. By turning the walnut handle (front right), it turns all four screws.

-- George, Parker Colorado

View DocSavage45's profile


8520 posts in 2811 days

#10 posted 06-23-2011 04:09 PM

Looks great! Nice to have the help? I’d be interested in knowing total time in the build and an update as to how this “big dawg” performed for you, and how you would modify it in the future. Nice to have a shop big enough to use it. LOL

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View johnzo's profile


84 posts in 2764 days

#11 posted 06-23-2011 05:36 PM

You did it man! The final pictures look great! I think you credited Tom with some of my machining, but the final result is amazing. Warning though: your ‘under the cover’ sprocket/chain drive idea may be stolen by the industry leader, Woodmaster Tools. Nice innovation!
I’m sorry I doubted your ability to pull off a full 26” wide transport, but You did it, and my hat’s off to you! Great job, and enjoy your machine!
John Z

-- 70 is the new 50!

View George M's profile

George M

118 posts in 2733 days

#12 posted 06-23-2011 06:25 PM

Indeed getting help was not only nice but imperative. I dont think I would have attempted it without the help from John and Tom. But then that is what this site is all about. I want to put some table tops through it before I come back and update the performance. Same thing about what I would change.

So sorry about the credit. I have corrected it to give you the rightfull gredit. With some test sanding without being hooked up to my DC, I am glad I did put the chain under the bottom. Thanks again for all you help.

-- George, Parker Colorado

View Jorge Velez's profile

Jorge Velez

356 posts in 2555 days

#13 posted 06-24-2011 03:26 AM

excelent project! any chance to share plans? I’m interested on builing one

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.

View George M's profile

George M

118 posts in 2733 days

#14 posted 06-25-2011 12:42 AM

I do not have any plans. I basically copied Johnz and TomT with my own variations. I would be glad to answer any specific questions you may have.

-- George, Parker Colorado

View SgtSnafu's profile


960 posts in 3240 days

#15 posted 06-25-2011 03:18 AM

Great looking Sander – very well done

Thanks for sharing

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

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