Building a drum/disc sander #4: Gathering materials, making parts, prototyping

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Blog entry by WoodenSoldier posted 03-14-2012 05:10 AM 14775 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: It's getting out of hand. Part 4 of Building a drum/disc sander series Part 5: Table assembly »

The last two weeks I’ve been gathering some of the materials and prototyping some of the parts.
I picked up a 1.125 HP two speed pool pump motor along with a hand full of pulleys and belts for only $22 on Craigslist! I tried to give the guy $30 and he wouldn’t take it. What a steal!


Does anybody know where I can get a custom sander paper belt made? It will need to be about 16” wide x 66”.

First I glued up the main drum onto a .5” steel rod. I left the ends long because I’m not completely sure how long I’ll need them yet.

Using 1.75” OD PVC I made the conveyor pulleys. I used a hole saw to cut little blocks out of maple that fit perfectly inside each of the PVC pipes.


For these I used steel pipe instead of rod. I don’t think it needs to be as strong as the main drum.


I was thinking of putting a layer of rubber on the pulleys to grip the back of the sand-paper conveyor belt and keep it from slipping. Does anybody know if that would be necessary? My belt sander just has hard plastic rollers so I’m thinking the answer is no.

By looking at other people’s designs I figured out how to make the mechanism that will put tension on the conveyor belt. Before I spend a lot of time machining aluminum I prototyped it out of some scrap oak this evening. Seems like it will be a pretty straightforward build.


The 1/4-20 bolt on the end will adjust the tension. The piece that the bearing sleeve is in will slide inside the track.

This week I’m trying to finish the conveyor table, but I don’t think I’ll be able to since I don’t have one of the sprockets I need yet. I can do the rest of it I guess.

Thanks for looking and any advice you’ve got I would appreciate. You guys always think of things that I miss.

-- Create something everyday.

3 comments so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 2816 days

#1 posted 03-14-2012 02:10 PM

A very ambitious project.

Good Luck with it.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View DIYaholic's profile


19878 posts in 3218 days

#2 posted 03-14-2012 02:45 PM

I ain’ts gotz no idears or critisizms!!!

Looking good. The mock up out of wood is smart. Its cheaper & easier than wasting precious aluminum.

Keep up the good work. I’m following intently!!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3530 days

#3 posted 03-14-2012 08:25 PM will make custom belts. They are not too expensive but require a minimum order of 3 on custom belts.
Here is a blog showing how to true your main drum.
On the conveyor I built I put a layer of double sided tape then fine sand paper on top of that to prevent the conveyor belt from slipping. You might get by without the sand paper if you rough up the pvc with sandpaper so it is not so slick.

Good Luck

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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