Variable Speed Treadmill Motor for Drum Sander ?

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Forum topic by PaulfromVictor posted 01-27-2010 11:35 PM 4721 views 1 time favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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228 posts in 3367 days

01-27-2010 11:35 PM

Hi all !

As I have previously posted, I am working on a thicknessing drum sander similar to Stewart , Autumn and Blake. The bed on the tool with be 20” wide. I have purchased a 3/4 hp motor from craigslist for fifty bucks, but am a bit concerned if the power will be sufficient. I found another post with somebody getting rid of a variable speed motor, cable and switches (plural ???) from a treadmill. I don’t know the hp yet, it only says “strong”, although I have seen that replacement motors are typically in the 2 hp range…8000 rpm I think. Anyhow, I know very little about motors and hope somebody might offer some guidance on if this is worth considering, or if I should just stick with my 3/4 hp.

3 replies so far

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3325 days

#1 posted 01-28-2010 01:47 AM

I am converting a 14” Craftsman bandsaw into a metal cutting saw with a motor and controller from a treadmill. The speed reduction provided by the controller (circuit board) is just what is needed for the slower blade speeds.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Steve's profile


2 posts in 2547 days

#2 posted 06-28-2011 03:24 AM

Hi, I believe it’s Paul who’s building a drum sander.
I recently built a duel drum sander, and power and drum speed is everything when it comes to these machines working correctly.
If you can get a 5HP 220 V air compressor motor which runs 3280 RPM you have something to work with that will allow you to build what you need. Its always better to gear down when possible than gear up. Gearing down to an appropriate speed won’t rob you of torque, and is simple to do using V belt pulleys.
You can get step pulleys which are common on drill presses to allow for your variable speed. You should have enough power left to design an in-feed table using a treadmill or build your own.
I got an old dough sheeter from a bakery for free, and I have built a duel drum sander with in-feed conveyor, variable speed and 4 extra drums $250.00 for the velcro and sandpaper. It has a 40 inch capasity by opening the end of the dough sheeter similar to the performax sanders or radial arm conversions. Which by the way is another way you could go. Radial arm saws are a dime a dozen now that the sliding Miter sawa have flooded the market, and they are easy to convert into an open end sanders. The old craftsman were 2 hp and solid units.
I hope something in this note is helpfull. My shop is full of home built equipment including my century old sawmill operation which I have brought into the 21 century. from flat belt steam engine to continetal deisel, home made edger, and 24 inch planer. I’ve built wheeled off road vehicles, lawn tractor with a 72inch mower deck. The fun never stops when I get ideas rolling in my head. The gift of dyslexia I’m told.
Good luck in you fab.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3670 days

#3 posted 06-28-2011 03:58 AM

You need some serious horsepower for the drum motor. Nothing
that normally runs on 110 volts is really going to do the trick for
a wide drum sander. Think 3-5 HP on 220 volts.

For the conveyer motor 1/2 HP is probably adequate.

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