Combo Drum Sander #1: Concept and making the drum

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Blog entry by tyka posted 02-20-2011 06:48 AM 9205 reads 34 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Combo Drum Sander series Part 2: Thickness reducing sander »

This is my first blog and I hope it will go over well. This sander was inspired by models on the Internet but mostly by Blake: and by Bob: I would like to thank them both for their posts. Without them this project would have been very difficult to complete.

Concept: My intentions are to make a 20” +/- wide drum sander that will easily switch from thickness to surface sanding. I would like to be able to reduce stock up to 18” wide and 3”-plus thickness. The extra width will also allow up to three grits of sandpaper on the roller at the same time. This will make sanding of smaller stock without having to change the paper each time. The surface sanding feature will have almost unlimited width by making several passes and a fence to sand edges. The combo drum sander design was conceived in ScketchUp 8 (first time using this wonderful software).

The drawing will be mainly used as a reference. Things will change as I go along. There are too many unknowns at this time. I plan to provide step by step information as much as possible. The materials I will use are not always going to be the best choice but rather materials I have on hand. Return trip to the closest Home Depot or a major supplier is over an hour’s drive from my home. So I tend to make things with what I have when I’m missing stuff.

Part 1

The Drum: The drum was made with 26 pieces of 4” x 4” x ¾” MDF discs. The shaft is 5/8” medium hard shaft material bought at our local country machine shop. It was a deal breaker at $5.00.

The MDF was cut on the tablesaw.

Drilled on the drillpress.

Rounded on the bandsaw using a jig I made fast for this project.

The jig was was also used on the sander.

Note: There was no need to sand at this point but I wanted to try the jig on the sander.

The shaft was rough-up with a file before glue-ups.

I used Gorilla Glue to glue the discs to the shaft (dampening the inside hole prior to gluing)

and Titebond III to glue the discs to each other.

I glued one disc the night before to have a good square base to start the next day.

When adding discs to the shaft I noticed the glue starting to dry on the first discs as I got to 13 discs. I decided to clamp at this point to make sure to get a strong glue-up. The remaining discs were glued about two hours later.

This is it for Part 1. I would appreciate any comments to make sure I’m on the right track. Is it to detailed, too many pics, not enough information, etc.. Thanks for looking.

-- Paul, Plantagenet, Ontario

11 comments so far

View sras's profile


4822 posts in 3182 days

#1 posted 02-20-2011 07:11 AM

You’re off to a great start! The description is excellent – a very easy blog follow. I’m looking forward to the next post already.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Brit's profile


7396 posts in 2895 days

#2 posted 02-20-2011 11:19 AM

I agree with Steve, you’re writing a very informative and easy to follow blog – spot on! I’m going to follow this one with interest. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View tyka's profile


142 posts in 2746 days

#3 posted 02-20-2011 07:53 PM

Thank you Sras and Brit for the words of encouragement. I will be posting more info this week.

-- Paul, Plantagenet, Ontario

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4299 days

#4 posted 02-20-2011 09:14 PM

I like it! This will help me get my butt in gear and do the same.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2896 days

#5 posted 02-20-2011 09:48 PM

Thank you Paul, for a great post. Nikola Tesla could “see” designs in his mind before he built them, mere geniuses use SketchUp. I’ll be watching for the next one. Thanks again. -Jack

Granite(tile) drill press table? Nice idea.

View tyka's profile


142 posts in 2746 days

#6 posted 02-21-2011 03:24 PM

Thanks for your comments Jack. I just “Googled” Nikola Tesla… what a brain this man had. Tks. BTW the drill press table is made with a piece of Formica left over from my kitchen counters. You can see the kitchen in my projects. It reasured me that we got the look of granite :-)

-- Paul, Plantagenet, Ontario

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2896 days

#7 posted 02-22-2011 06:15 PM

Ahhh, Formica makes a lot more sense. Looks, function, price, can’t improve on that one. I’m happy to have introduced you to Nikola Tesla. He was on my mind the other day. Wonder how things would have turned out if he was a patent attorney? -Jack

View HerbC's profile


1772 posts in 2912 days

#8 posted 02-23-2011 10:02 PM


“too many pics” ????

By definition you can’t have too many pics.

Nice project, look forward to following the blog to completion.

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Chefshep's profile


121 posts in 2735 days

#9 posted 04-09-2011 08:16 AM

Happy the you did it like this… I don’t need to make my own visual, (mental picture), I have the detail to come back to any time I want… In my favs… good job BTW…


-- Chefshep :) "When we allow our present to quarrel with our past, we risk jeopardizing our future.” - Winston Churchill

View tyka's profile


142 posts in 2746 days

#10 posted 04-09-2011 01:59 PM

Glad I could help.

-- Paul, Plantagenet, Ontario

View luthiergeorge's profile


4 posts in 2118 days

#11 posted 11-07-2012 02:36 AM


I would like to thank you for your kindness sending me a sketchup copy of your drum sander build. I just ordered the pillow blocks and a 3/4 hp motor today. I need to find a 3/4” shaft & pulley’s yet.

God Bless you for your help!


-- George,Shelbyville,Tn

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