Dave's Wide Drum Sander Build. #4: The drum build. Closing in on decision time!

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 01-31-2012 07:28 PM 2058 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Sources for the parts. Part 4 of Dave's Wide Drum Sander Build. series Part 5: Digging through the lumber racks to fish out the 2x6 stock... »

As you know from my earlier posts, I have been teetering between using a wood plugged / PVC pipe based drum, or an all wood, laminated drum… The 2 options have pros and cons to consider.

PVC based drum would have the potential of suffering distortion damage due to sanding heat. However those that have done this already haven’t seen such a problem. Likewise PVC due to the lower weight would have less inertia to help with actually doing the work. Again I don’t think that’s a problem. And lastly, PVC comes in a very limited range of sizes, now we run into a problem…

The wood laminated drum poses its own set of problems, not the least of which is complexity of build. Simply put, I would have to prep the stock to cut the disks, glue them, perfectly center bore them, and attach to the shaft. While not impossible, I see an abundance of opportunity for failure with this approach…

I think that once the cons and weighed against the pros, for me anyway, the PVC based drum just makes the most sense to me. Easy to build, easier on the motor to get it spinning, comes in the diameter I am looking to work with etc…

One of the reasons I am babbling out loud so much about this process is that hopefully those interested later on can learn from my successes, and mistakes. And I am trying to keep an eye open for budget issues as I know that if it weren’t for budget, most of us would just buy the machine anyway…

So the old brain has been considering using like I had mentioned previously, 2x stock. Specifically face jointed and then thickness planed 2×6. Why? Because it’s dirt cheap to free depending on your situation, almost anyone should have access to it. Just slice it to length, glue it up to make your basic blank, lop the corners off so you son’t have so many lobes to turn off, and get busy on the lathe!

Now why not just do the laminated drum again? My biggest concern is being able to get that center bore, well… centered through the long run of a drum. With the plugs, I can turn a tenon, and chuck it up in my lathe, I would have no clue how to keep that hole perfectly centered along a complete drum assembly. I could do it in chunks, but then what to do with the tenons? I guess I could slice them off, just seems like more work than I want to do…

So the tasks to tackle for this when I can weasel some shop time? Face joint and plane some 2×6. I have plenty in the shop, just need to clean it up and get it ready to go on the lathe!

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6 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19877 posts in 3215 days

#1 posted 01-31-2012 07:52 PM

Thanks for taking the time to document your thought process! Your right, it will help those that follow in your footsteps.

I know that I WILL build a drum sander, once more pressing shop projects are completed. I am following your progress with great interest. Please, feel free to continue “babbling out loud”! The Pros & Cons of each descision IS extremely helpful. I’m sure you already know, “A picture says a thousand words” & Video speaks volumes!

Eagerly awaiting “The Build”!

-- 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 lew's profile


12881 posts in 4295 days

#2 posted 02-01-2012 06:15 AM

I, too, was concerned about the heat build up from sanding. Seems like this can be reduced by using the hook and loop system. Now I haven’t sanded above 120 grit but so far no burning and no clogging. Also, I think the mostly hollow drum has the ability to dissipate heat more readily than an all solid drum.
For what it’s worth…..


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 3519 days

#3 posted 02-01-2012 10:18 AM

I have been keeping half an eye on your thread on the drum sander. I saw a plan in ShopNotes mag a few years back and was thinking of building one muyself as I appeared to have most of the parts lying about the shop.

Time being my enemy I eventually bought one second hand a year ago (Jet 16-32) It was like new came with all the accessories and two boxes of unused belts. I bought it for a song. I tried it out the first time on Saturday to sand some wide boards. What a machine it is, a joy to use although I did stall it a couple of times trying to take too muck off at once.

I’ll post a thread on it to explain my own findings with this machine.

In the meantime good luck and have fun building yours

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3771 days

#4 posted 02-01-2012 04:49 PM

No problem. I actually spent some shop time last night doing some cleanup out there so I can get the camcorder to the shop and maybe do some short videos of the build… I am literally working on no less than 5 projects right now, and the mess is building up. 3 of those projects are waiting on materials I don’t have the funds for yet, so they need to get shelved for a while. The remaining, a plywood lawn ornament scroll saw project, and of course the drum sander build, I can make progress on…

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View Sarit's profile


551 posts in 3679 days

#5 posted 02-06-2012 06:01 PM

to make a centered hole in a plug, can you can chuck the plug in a 4 jaw chuck and use a drill chuck in the tail stock of your lathe?

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3771 days

#6 posted 02-06-2012 07:28 PM

That’s my plan…

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