|Review by TheDane||posted 03-06-2010 10:30 PM||8910 views||15 times favorited||18 comments|
I have been looking for a better sanding solution for door frames, small panels, drawer boxes, etc, and I think I have found it.
I ordered an 18” x 2” V-Drum The Works kit from Stockroom Supply (http://www.stockroomsupply.com) in Ontario, Canada.
The Works kit includes the 18” drum, bearings, 2 – 10yd rolls of sandpaper, 2 balanced pulleys, Linkbelt, and a plan to build the box.
Total cost to build this machine, including the V-Drum kit, motor, materials, and hardware was just under $400, which may sound high, but is actually pretty reasonable when you consider the cost of other sanders. I should note that my dollar outlay would have been smaller except I included one of Stockroom Supply’s pre-cut MDF, laminated tops. It would have been cheaper for me to make my own top, but it’s very important that the top is flat and smooth to achieve optimum performance, so I decided to buy theirs. These tops are all pre-cut and made from MDF with laminate on both sides on both sides
Stockroom Supply’s customer service is top drawer. I had a question about the top, so I called their toll-free line and talked directly to Paul Moore, the company owner and inventor of the V-Drum product. He answered my questions in detail, and treated me like a friend he had just met. Kudos!
The V-Drum comes with plans for a plywood box to mount the drum and bearings in. The plan is pretty basic, but is easy to follow and actually yields a sturdy box.
I did, however, deviate from the plan. The plan calls for 3/4” Baltic Birch plywood, but the 13-ply BB at the local home centers and lumberyards is expensive, sub-standard in quality (plys were separating on every sheet I looked at), and is actually 23/32”. So I settled on 11-ply birch plywood and adjusted dimensions to account for the missing 32nd of an inch.
I have also never been comfortable with driving screws into the ‘end-grain’ (between the plys) in plywood. In my experience, even with pre-drilling, it is pretty easy to split. So instead of mounting the pillow blocks with wood-screws, I used 1/4-20×2” bolts and 1/4-20×5/8” cross-dowel nuts set 1 1/2” below the edge. In my opinion, this is a much more solid mounting for the pillow-blocks and bearings.
One other significant difference is the motor mount. The plans call for screwing a 3/4” plywood mount directly to the front of the case. Instead, I used a 9” length of piano hinge (left over from cutting down a 30” piano hinge to 18” to mount the top to the case). The hinge is mounted to the box below the motor, and uses the weight of the motor to tension the linkbelt.
I added a set of feet (so I can clamp it to the bench) and rack along the back big enough to hold 5 rolls of sandpaper.
One last thing … Stockroom Supply does not sell motors. But the specs for the motors are pretty easy to satisfy (1725rpm, 1/4hp), and they are plentiful online. Instead of buying a new motor, I went to local electric supply house and got a refurb (mine is 1/3hp) for $60. This particular company is a factory authorized service center and puts a one year warranty on rebuilt motors.
-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"