Help: drum sander makers & wood working engineers

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Forum topic by Jeremiah posted 884 days ago 999 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 926 days

884 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: jig question sander drum sander sanding

I’ve been doing my reading and amassing parts to build a shop made drum sander, when suddenly i had an interesting idea:
”why not making a duel drum sander?”
Having a 2 grit step down seemed very logical, since i was planning on using it to save me time sanding, not really for planing down stock.

I have yet to see anyone make one. So i had to ask, why is that?
-dose it require too much HP from the motor?
-dose it require 2 motors?
-dose it change the over all design? or is it just not really something most people want?

Any thoughts or input would be most appreciated.


8 replies so far

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1276 posts in 1599 days

#1 posted 884 days ago

Just from the first pass at thinking it over, it would work “ok” but the different grits drums would be hard to align and the two drums would create a lot of power pushing the work back out if they both engaged the workpiece.

Other than that, I don’t have a clue.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Jeremiah's profile


73 posts in 926 days

#2 posted 883 days ago

i wonder if having the 2 drums moving at different speeds would help

View rance's profile


4125 posts in 1762 days

#3 posted 883 days ago

Making the homebuilt drum sanders is somewhat easy with a single drum since you can just pivot the table for thickness. Once you add a 2nd drum, then 1) you have to raise/lower the table while keeping it parallel and 2) you have to get(and keep) the table parallel to both drums. I’m not saying it is not possible, but it makes it more than twice the effort.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Tyrone D's profile

Tyrone D

314 posts in 934 days

#4 posted 883 days ago
That’s a link to the General International 24” sander. I’ve used it at college, but I’ve never looked inside.
It has three pressure rollers on it. It looks as if the table is raised using two threaded rods and two shafts.

By the exploded isometric drawings, I can see the rollers are moving at the same speeds.

As far as the conveyor, that’s easy. You do need to have the variable speed on it, if you are using the full capacity of the sander, it’s a good idea to go slower.

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View Jeremiah's profile


73 posts in 926 days

#5 posted 883 days ago

Thanks rance and tyrone.

I don’t trust my machining skills (or complete lack there of) to build something where the table not only has to move perfectly parallel to the drums, but do so easily. Lets not even mention the cost, of having to buy all the components needed….

Thanks for the input. any other thoughts are still very welcome,

View Danpaddles's profile


534 posts in 913 days

#6 posted 883 days ago

Performax used to make one. I recall using one, someone else had set it up. It was a big honkin machine.

The design issues that will come up making any drum sander without a full machine shop to back you, would be somewhat daunting. I know some guys have made some pretty fancy machines in their home shops. A big drum sander would certainly be a challenge to anyone.

Adding a second drum, in my opinion, would increase the difficulty exponentially.

BTW- every performax type sander I’ve seen uses a DC controlled feed, the belts are usually large sandpaper (not doing any actual sanding on the bottom side- just for traction).

This would also not be a cheap thing to build, that feed system will cost you, no matter how much you build yourself. Unless you just go for manual feed. And dust collection is pretty much required.

IIRC, someone made plans to mount a large sanding drum to a RAS. That might be a worthwhile addition to your planning notes.

Let us know what you decide!

-- Dan V. in Indy

View shipwright's profile


4843 posts in 1399 days

#7 posted 883 days ago

I have a dual drum sander and it never has paper on the second drum. It’s a finishing tool, not a thicknesser so the second one has always seemed to me to be just redundant.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View Danpaddles's profile


534 posts in 913 days

#8 posted 881 days ago

Yes, Paul, the time I used that big double roller, the first drum was probably doing ore roughing than smoothing, I had already had a pass thru the planer.

-- Dan V. in Indy

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