using treadmill as a base for drum sander?

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Forum topic by moshel posted 07-20-2008 12:27 PM 8821 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View moshel's profile


865 posts in 3683 days

07-20-2008 12:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drum sander question

Hi everybody,

all this DIY drum sanders got my appetite going. However, getting the parts and the motor here is very expensive and hard. I was thinking about getting a used treadmill (they are pretty cheap) that usually has torn belt and salvaging the motor and drums from it. Being a very unfit person, I was wondering if anyone there that has a treadmill or knows about treadmills can verify if the motor would be suitable or any other comment.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

13 replies so far

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3799 days

#1 posted 07-20-2008 01:48 PM

I don’t think that this motor will work. Might be too weak. There must be a way for you to order an appropriate motor from an Internet company.

-- making sawdust....

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 3683 days

#2 posted 07-20-2008 02:11 PM

some of the treadmills have 2hp motors. i might be able to get the motor, but all the stuff around it will be harder.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4021 days

#3 posted 07-20-2008 02:44 PM

They are probably your cheapest source of variable speed motors and the controller.
If you have a sports equipment repair store near you you might want to give them a call . The one here had dozens of wrecked machines when I went there on a differnet matter.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3712 days

#4 posted 07-20-2008 03:20 PM

Hmmmm, some of these are build on pretty rugged frames also. That might be a good platform to build up from. The end rollers might be too small of a circumference to make the sanding drum from but the mounts, bearings etc could be re-purposed with a little cutting and welding…. after I build my lathe :-) I think this is the next tool to build…thanks for the idea about the treadmills!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3885 days

#5 posted 07-20-2008 06:19 PM

Good idea now I’ll be watching used treadmills… if I need another project right now.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 3683 days

#6 posted 07-20-2008 10:42 PM

i wonder… some of these also have electronic height adjustment. but i think its not accurate enough. basically i think that every treadmill has a drum sander lurking inside, waiting to be found…

Thanks for all your replies. anyone knows whats the rpm of the motor on treadmills?

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3988 days

#7 posted 07-21-2008 12:08 AM

Might be interesting to look into this for a stroke sander.
Check out this Grizzly one:

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View rizay's profile


73 posts in 3086 days

#8 posted 12-13-2009 05:18 PM

I have seen this done by a lot of people online. I am thinking of converting my lathe this way. They say that the treadmill motors get up to 5hp.

-- Come visit me at WoodChux and see my work, get free woodworking plans, and find the lowest priced bottle stopper kits around.

View JasonIndy's profile


187 posts in 3435 days

#9 posted 12-14-2009 12:22 AM

Hmmm, for what it’s worth: when people rate treadmill motors, I think the philosophy is that you want FEWER rpm’s so that you can get more torque. A higher RPM motor would burn out quicker, obviously, and treadmill engineers worry more about how well that motor will run under load (i.e. with somebody running on it), than it will at ‘top speed’ without load. Depending on how heavy the sanding is you’re planning on, I would think speed would be more of a concern.

A good treadmill will probably have an RPM of about 4000 or lower.

Actually, looking at the time stamps I just realized this thread is 2 years old. Well, lol, if you’re still looking I hope this helps.

View SteveMI's profile


1094 posts in 3294 days

#10 posted 12-14-2009 12:44 AM

In thinking about building a drum sander, I looked at several treadmill that were in local thrift stores. Many were over 3/4 hp and 1,725 rpm, which is what many of the drum sander DIY use. I couldn’t find one under $80 or I would have gone that route.


View jtdyal's profile


74 posts in 3649 days

#11 posted 04-18-2011 02:46 AM

Saw 2 tread mills in the neighborhood “for free” on yard sale day. So I Googled “treadmill drum sander” and found this thread. I am kicking my self because I think it would have been a good way to get a variable speed motor for a drum sander.

-- ~jtd

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2667 days

#12 posted 04-18-2011 03:59 AM

Wow, a wide belt Sander, put some cloth on that baby and use it for a big buffer
All joking aside that is a really good idea
I’ve seen them on craigslist for free, people just want to get rid of them, they take up a lot of space

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View bvdon's profile


482 posts in 3015 days

#13 posted 10-16-2011 08:24 AM

I just paid $100 for a used Pro Form 725TL, 2.5 HP, 18×55 surface. I will be converting it to an Edge Sander. I was thinking it could also make for a nice conveyer table for a drum sander.

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