To all you LJs with shop-built drum sanders - a couple of questions

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Forum topic by PurpLev posted 02-04-2013 03:46 PM 3087 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3885 days

02-04-2013 03:46 PM

Hi gals/guys,

I’ve been toying with the idea of building a shop made drums sander and one of the things that would change the design considerably is adding an automatic feed conveyor belt system. I see some people added something like that, while the majority didn’t and simply push the parts by hand.

My first question for you: if you are feeding by hand – do you now wish that you’ve had a feed belt? or is feeding by hand working perfect as is? for those with a belt – do you find it more troublesome? would have you omitted it from your sander?

Question #2: what is the drum shaft diameter that you’ve used? do you find it adequate? would you change it (to what)?

Thanks in advance!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

17 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19043 posts in 2804 days

#1 posted 02-04-2013 03:53 PM

I just finished mine a few weeks ago, so I’m probably not the best to comment, but here’s what I see so far.

I’ve run some pieces through and its important to keep a consistent feed rate. I’m sure I’ll get better at it with a little time, but its something I have to pay attention to. A feed system would help eliminate that.

So would it have been worth the extra complexity? I’m still leaning towards no.

I also need to make a nice thin push stick for it. That will help as well.

I made a 5” drum. It seems to be perfect for me.

Edit. I misread the post. I used a 5/8” shaft. Seems good so far.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Kirk's profile


116 posts in 4290 days

#2 posted 02-04-2013 03:56 PM

I have a feed table that is motor driven or rather driven by the drum. 3 different belts. The table belt is 80 grit sand paper belt.
Building the feed belt table was a challenge. Height adjustment sucks. Otherwise it works.
My drum shaft is 1”. I want something that would flex. Also it’s a little like a flywheel.
My worst problem, finding pulleys with ID’s that fit the different shafts.
Over all, I would use any shafts less the 1/2”. Bigger the better.
By the way, you can find it on Youtube.

-- W. Kirk Crawford - Tularosa, New Mexico

View shipwright's profile


8185 posts in 3034 days

#3 posted 02-04-2013 04:47 PM

I hand feed my shop made sander (Az shop) and have a commercial dual drum sander in my home shop (BC). Hand feeding works just as well as the power feed but requires care in that you have to keep the feed speed uniform in order to prevent little gouges (grooves). If the things you are planning to sand are easily handled and controlled, then while it’s nice to have, I don’t think that power feed is necessary.

There’s a video of my hand fed sander in use in this blog.
(my apologies, the second of the three video sequences is repeated, but do watch the third)

My sander has no drum shaft as it is lathe mounted and doesn’t require one.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4455 days

#4 posted 02-04-2013 04:55 PM

I don’t have on, Sharon, but this is just a common-sense thought:

Any variation in feed rate is going to affect the flatness of the piece to some degree. It might not be noticeable to the naked eye unless you practically stop the feed and get a groove as Paul describes, but it will still be there.

A good, steady hand feed would most likely ensure that it wouldn’t be an issue. But it’s still something to consider if you are a stickler for getting a dead flat surface.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4035 posts in 4300 days

#5 posted 02-05-2013 02:07 PM

I would avoid a DC motor. My Jet 10-20 had it’s motor and controller fry out. At upwards of $400 to repair, I will be rigging something to hand feed. I’m thinking about putting drawer slides and a tray under the drum.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3885 days

#6 posted 02-05-2013 02:42 PM

Thanks for the responses thus far.

While I have no problem rigging this with a DC motor, I just happen to have an AC motor laying around that I would like to repurpose for this. I’m thinking of using a single motor to drive both drum and feed with a pulley system if that would be the path to take… still letting the idea simmer…

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3990 days

#7 posted 02-05-2013 03:33 PM

Has anyone ever used a Rotisserie Motor for the feed table? That has been one of the thought banging around in my head. Havent dont a lot a research into one at this point but if I were to use one of these for a drum sander I would perfer that it have a built in on/off switch.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View b2rtch's profile


4868 posts in 3285 days

#8 posted 02-05-2013 03:41 PM

I would think that it would be too weak and too slow.
I would look at using my old belt sander with variable speed or to get a variable speed conveyor belt from work.

-- Bert

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2346 days

#9 posted 02-05-2013 03:48 PM

I always wondered if an internally geared bicycle hub and chain drive could be used on a shop -made sander to vary the speed.

A human can generate a decent amount of torque, so the hub should be up to the task, and the drive itself would be dead-simple to build.

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3885 days

#10 posted 02-05-2013 03:52 PM

Barry – that’s a cool idea, but in my mind since we’re talking sander and fine dust, I’m not sure the gears would like that – considering that the chain on bicycle should be well lubed which will only attract the dust and make it into a slurry.

I think simplicity is king. just have to figure out if it’s worth it as opposed to hand pushing parts.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View b2rtch's profile


4868 posts in 3285 days

#11 posted 02-05-2013 04:00 PM

I believe that the best bet is to get a used conveyor belt.
They come in all size and all power.

-- Bert

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2346 days

#12 posted 02-05-2013 04:00 PM

Internally geared hubs are sealed. Modern versions are installed on commuter bikes that even see action in the rain.

The chain is a good point. One answer would be a dry lube, very popular in mountain biking as trails are really dirty. Another is a toothed belt, which is already available. Nowadays, there are belt driven bicycles.

Just tossing it out there for those designing from scratch.

View b2rtch's profile


4868 posts in 3285 days

#13 posted 02-05-2013 04:01 PM

A good 1/2” drive cordless drill would probably have enough torque.

-- Bert

View Charlieham42's profile


5 posts in 1980 days

#14 posted 10-03-2015 09:16 PM

Can anyone tell me where to get the pad part of the “hook and loop” sandpaper? I can find many sources for the sandpaper, but where does one get the pad that is glued to the drum?



View sras's profile


4969 posts in 3366 days

#15 posted 10-03-2015 09:35 PM

The second part of Shipwright’s blog (link is posted above) has a link to a velcro conversion kit from Grizzly

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

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