The Basement #12: Major Drum Sander Improvement!

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Blog entry by JL7 posted 02-13-2011 02:44 AM 5753 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Incra Router Table - Bit Storage Part 12 of The Basement series Part 13: Shop Closet - Redux »

Today was a good day for progress…...I have a semi-homemade low budget drum sander setup in the basement shop but the dust collection sucked…..or more correctly, didn’t suck…..

You can see the original setup in these 2 earlier posts:


Out with the old – in with the new:

The new version has a 4” dust port hooked up to the dust collector – I still need to do some plumbing in the ceiling to reduce the amount of flex hose, but that’s not a major issue.

The build started (as usual) with no solid plans – just a squared up 2×4 with slots cut into the ends to wedge between the cast aluminum end supports of the sander and then rip bevels on both sides. I didn’t photograph very well, but those vertical supports have a web of cast material that the 2×4 locks into:

I was really struggling to figure out how to put the second angle into the design so it doesn’t just end up being a pyramid – then it ocurred to me that the beveled cutoffs from the 2×4 would be the exact angle needed for the second angle:

To get the clearance necessary for the 4 ” port, I cut an arch in the 2×4 to get max air flow – also shows rig with access door open:

With the door closed:

I would have preferred to have the dust port on the in-feed side, but after some debate, it went on the out-feed side because this allows cleaning the drum without shutting off the rig and the dust collection will pick up most of the debris. Paper changing is the same as the stock shroud.

There are no mechanical fasteners, glue or otherwise holding the shroud to the drum sander.

Initial testing indicates a 1000% improvement! I find myself using the drum sander almost everyday so this was an essential improvement.

I should add that with the sled design I have, flatting twisted (oversized) stock is a huge bonus for this setup….... I have less than $100 invested….gotta like that.

Got a new camera recently – so here’s the bonus panorama shot of the shop….........


Re-routed the dust hose – minimum length of flex hose:

Thanks for looking and appreciate your comments.


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

9 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3749 days

#1 posted 02-13-2011 02:57 AM

great you have figured out to improve the dustcolection so much Congrat´s
and congrat´s with your new camera :-) nice shop you have there

take care

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3671 days

#2 posted 02-13-2011 04:58 PM

Thanks for this. I’ve been looking to improve mine for ages, dust collection that is. Good post.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View jeremyslat's profile


21 posts in 3585 days

#3 posted 02-13-2011 05:29 PM

Great job fellow woodworker. We thank you for the clear pictures that mean more than a thousand words. Keep up the good work.

-- Jeremy, Gary,Indiana

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 4077 days

#4 posted 02-13-2011 07:09 PM

Nice looking shop. Good place to spend the winter!

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View bues0022's profile


250 posts in 3794 days

#5 posted 02-14-2011 04:03 AM

That looks like it should work much better than the last time I was over! Awesome idea.

-- Ryan -- Bristow, VA

View kbree's profile


1 post in 2669 days

#6 posted 10-30-2012 07:12 PM

I just got a performax s/t with a ras but the guy I got it from didn’t have the pulley. Do you know the size and where I might find parts?
Thank you any help would be greatly appreciated.

View JL7's profile


8763 posts in 3599 days

#7 posted 10-30-2012 09:41 PM

Hey Kevin – the pulley that came with the sander is 5” and I used a 2” (I think) on the motor. I don’t think the pulleys should be too hard to track down, Graingers will have them if all else fails. I haven’t sourced any parts for it so can’t help much there. I use mine a lot so hope you get the same mileage…..Good Luck!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View ScottySchrimpf's profile


1 post in 1918 days

#8 posted 12-05-2014 02:23 AM

I recently bought a Performax S/T and Performax conveyer and am looking forward to using it. After reading the manual, I am figuring I have enough lift on my RAS for about 2” stock… Not happy now! Looking at your photos, you seem to have an abundance of room for thick stock…. What RAS do you have? Did you modify it at all? Suggestions? I have Craftsman 113.29411 – Scott

View JL7's profile


8763 posts in 3599 days

#9 posted 12-05-2014 02:45 AM

Hey Scotty, I have a 113 saw as well. The height is limited so I removed the table from the RAS so I could get the max height. The table is still on in these photos, but I’ve modified it since then, and the blog series is here:

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

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