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Excellent Finish Sanding Solution

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Review by TheDane posted 1599 days ago 7476 views 13 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Excellent Finish Sanding Solution Excellent Finish Sanding Solution Excellent Finish Sanding Solution Click the pictures to enlarge them

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!"




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TheDane

3647 posts in 2259 days



18 comments so far

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1670 days


#1 posted 1599 days ago

Thank you for the review. I had never heard of this particular V drum sander and I am very interested in it. I just spent some time at their website and I watched one of their demo videos. This may be the next addition to my shop.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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TheDane

3647 posts in 2259 days


#2 posted 1599 days ago

Rich—I thought about this long and hard … quite an investment for a ‘kit’. Glad I decided to go ahead. This thing has already saved me quite a bit of time sanding (which I hate to do anyway) and was actually kind of fun to build.

BTW … I am an Iowan living in exile in Wisconsin … born & raised in Sioux City, lived in Des Moines for many years, and have a bunch of relatives in the Hawkeye State. Keeping our fingers criossed that you folks don’t get flooded again this year!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1760 days


#3 posted 1599 days ago

Pretty neat. One advantage of kits is the customization potential, and it looks like you took advantage of it.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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Bovine

114 posts in 1924 days


#4 posted 1599 days ago

I’ve been to the site in the past and have wondered if you’d really get decent results with one of these things. Investing that much in a “kit” and then wishing I’d have bought a manufactured drum sander would really get me mad at myself. You’re the first person I’ve seen review this. Thanks Dane for your description.

I guess this is an Iowa party. I was raised in Waterloo and spent the last 14 years in Des Moines before moving down to Kansas City a couple of years ago. Go Hawks!

-- Kansas City, KS "Nothing is as permanent as a temporary solution"

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Viking

857 posts in 1791 days


#5 posted 1599 days ago

Dane;

I have also looked at the Stockroom Supply V-drum sander kit and it will be a future purchase and I already have a 1/3 HP motor for it. I agree with your thoughts on buying the SS laminated top as flatness is important to performance of this machine.

Does the dust collection work well? What do you use, dust collector, shop vac?

Treeman added a very neat fence to his sander. http://lumberjocks.com/projects/24538

Very nice build and review!

Iowa Connection – My mother lives in Avoca in Pottawatamie County Iowa off I-80 and east of Council Bluffs. Brother in Norwalk near Des Moines. 2nd Brother in Council Bluffs. Sister is in Riverside California and I am in Texas. My sister and I like to get on an airplane to go see snow, the others like to scoop it!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

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TheDane

3647 posts in 2259 days


#6 posted 1598 days ago

Viking—The dust collection does work petty well. for stuff like this, I use a ShopVac with an Oneida Dust Deputy and it does a good job (the photo of the swarf below the drum was taken after I did some sanding without the vac running).

Stockroom Supply’s website has plans and a video (both free) for the fence. I may add that later.

Iowa Connection—My sister lives in Fort Dodge … they have had over 6 feet of snow this winter, and March is usually one of the snowier months. Now, about these folks that like to scoop snow … if they just head north and take a right at I-90 they could have lots of fun at my place!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View lou's profile

lou

340 posts in 2038 days


#7 posted 1598 days ago

Thanks Dane .I have been looking at this one for awhile myself.It does make more sence to run the panel over the table rather than the sander over the work.Nice for flattening out small peices to.Nice job all around.

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HickoryHill

162 posts in 2742 days


#8 posted 1597 days ago

Wonder if the motor could be mounted below the unit? Granted that would make it taller, but that motor sticking out bugs me. For no particular reason other than it just does. Still thinking I want to get one of these though.

Nice Job!

-- Jim, Michigan

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TheDane

3647 posts in 2259 days


#9 posted 1597 days ago

Yes … the motor can be mounted below the unit. There is even a plan for building such a configuration on Stockroom Supply’s website (see: http://www.stockroomsupply.com/Drum_Sander_Plans.php)

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View swayze's profile

swayze

97 posts in 1684 days


#10 posted 1597 days ago

Do you think the 18” drum is wide enough? Do you guys wish you had gone to the 24” or bigger? I can see one of these in my future but not sure if I’ll buy the kit or try to fab it myself.

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TheDane

3647 posts in 2259 days


#11 posted 1596 days ago

Given the cramped space in my shop, the 18” kit was the right answer. The unit (13” high, 15” wide, and 30” long) needs to store on a shelf under my workbench along with my scroll saw, miter saw, and planer.

Since I built this sander, I haven’t had a need to sand anything even approaching 18” in width, but since there are no obstructions on the top, and since this thing only takes a few thousandths of an inch you should be able to sand pieces much wider than 18”. I suppose it depends on how you intend to use the sander … I built it for finish sanding and won’t be using it to hog off large amounts of material.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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TheDane

3647 posts in 2259 days


#12 posted 1436 days ago

Follow-up: There was a safety concern, so I modified the original design of the box to include a safety guard over the belt ( http://lumberjocks.com/topics/19509 ) ... suggest others do this if they build a similar machine.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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JesseTutt

795 posts in 706 days


#13 posted 501 days ago

Another brand that does the same thing is the Sand-Fee. I own the 24” V-Drum sander, but in recently looking at the Sand-Flee I would have seriously considered it over the Stockroom Supply.

I bought the pre-assembled unit. I don’t like the top. The width of the opening is just large enough that sometimes the leading edge of the wood will catch and not want to move forward. I checked and the table top is flat.

For US residents: some US banks (Bank of America) will look at a purchase from Canada as a transaction in a foreign country and charge a surcharge.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

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TheDane

3647 posts in 2259 days


#14 posted 501 days ago

I looked into the Sand-Flee before I went with a Stockroom Supply kit and one of their MDF tops. That was three years ago, and I am still a happy camper. I even use mine for flattening rings for segmented turnings.

Do a search on LJ’s for Sand-Flee and check out the reviews on it posted here and elsewhere.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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Dustgineer

28 posts in 88 days


#15 posted 19 days ago

Hi Dane. I was considering purchasing the Grizzly G0459 baby drum sander, but I just found this with a google. I’ve visited the company site and am considering purchasing the 24” kit. Are you still happy with it? I would be sanding everything from dovetail and bandsaw boxes to end grain cutting boards to large cabinet panels and shelving.

I would also like to buy a pre-made top, but I only see the 30” on the site.

-- Jim, Denton, TX

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