Another V-Drum Sander

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Project by SPalm posted 01-26-2010 09:06 PM 11340 views 40 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I hate my brain sometimes. A couple of months ago I started building a Lingerie Chest. I bought some cherry and planed it down. It was cheap cherry from the ‘shorts’ pile. It was too wide for my jointer so I had to play with jointing wide boards. It did not have the best grain. (i.e. SWMBO did not like it), so that got me all involved in veneer which led to a vacuum pump and bag press and then a vacuum controller and then a veneer press. Then came the holidays and gifts. That led me to making cheese slicers. Then I noticed the concept of an endgrain inlay cutter, and I had to make one. Then I had to make something to use inlay from the cutter. Then I saw the posts on LJs of V-Drum sanders and I had to make one. Who knows what my brain will want to do this weekend. I need to get back to that chest I suppose.

Does anyone else go through life like this?

I picked up (I mean ordered) a V-Drum sander kit at the wood show. It consists of the Velcro drum, some paper, bearings, and a link belt. (Link belts are cool, first time user.) I found a 1/3 hp motor on my once-used sewer drain auger and stole it. It came with a cord mounted GFI and an attached switch box with FOR, OFF, and REV. Sweet. I hope the sewer stays clean.

I built a box out of 3/4 MDF, with a slant mount board inside for dust collection. I am just shimming the top height for now as I see this as critical to the operation. I still need to drill a hole for the vacuum. I am debating having it on the side or the back.

The top was the trickier part. I glued a sheet of Formica to 1/2 inch MDF with wood glue in my vacuum press. Slick. No smell of contact cement, and I know it is flat. After drying I rough cut the hole with a jigsaw. I double sticky taped some scraps to the top exactly where I wanted the sides of the hole, and used a chamfer bit with a bearing that rode on the scrap in my router table to cause the nice clean and beveled edges. This was slick. Then added a second layer of MDF to the top in the vacuum bag, and finally added the cherry edge banding. I also cut a stepped channel for belt clearance. A piano hinge holds the top in place.

I really like it, but I have not used it that much. I do already have a Performax drum sander which I just love, but I see this more as an abrasive jointer. I plan to add vertical guides for edge sanding. I guess I really see this build as a prototype and plan to incorporate it into a larger top after I get used to it and what it can do.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

35 comments so far

View Karson's profile (online now)


35279 posts in 5691 days

#1 posted 01-26-2010 09:23 PM

Steve: looks like a great purchase. I have a friend that has the sandflee. Boib the owner of Sandflee lives in New Jersey and I used to see him quite often. The last show I saw him at his son was managing the booth and he could hardly walk.

I didn’t see him at the Baltimore show this year.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 5176 days

#2 posted 01-26-2010 09:27 PM

Nice job!
My stepson and I both built these last year and use them quit a bit.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Wade's profile


18 posts in 4335 days

#3 posted 01-26-2010 09:30 PM

I like it Steve. I too am going to build one of these but am debating on buying the kit (for the drum) or making my own drum. I pretty much have everything to build one other than the drum. I have looked high and low for a company that will just sell a drum… no luck. How wide is yours? I am wanting one between 30” and 48”...preferrably the wider the better. What company did you get your kit from? Thanks for posting your project.


-- " I do what the vioces in my head tell me to do...HAHA"

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5509 days

#4 posted 01-26-2010 09:35 PM

Very slick, Steve.

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

View jm82435's profile


1286 posts in 5033 days

#5 posted 01-26-2010 09:38 PM

cool tool, I love to see shopbuilt machines. Every time i see one of these I think I need one too. I have an edge sander and a drum sander… As far as A.D.D. yeah, I am pretty random with my projects too. This site doesn’t help with that I start one thing then find something else cool and off I go…

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5173 days

#6 posted 01-26-2010 09:41 PM


Wade: it is from Stockroom Supply
I bought the 18 inch version.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 4778 days

#7 posted 01-26-2010 09:55 PM

Nice cherry…
Just kidding, nicely done. Do you know what rpm your motor runs? I was thinking of using a motor from an old bench grinder, but may have to use a step down pulley to bring the rpm’s down from 3500. I would think you would want it between 500 and 1000?

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View jerryw's profile


158 posts in 5207 days

#8 posted 01-26-2010 10:03 PM

i added an auxiliary table and fence to the drum sander i built last summer so i can edge sand/ joint. it sets on the drum sander table so i can ajust the depth of cut. 4 screws holds it to ajustable table. it works great. the only problem is i have to remove the dust hood to use it. i have to rig up some dust collection for it.
great built steve enjoy.
oh yes my mind is always dreaming up a new tool to build also.

-- jerryw-wva.

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5173 days

#9 posted 01-26-2010 10:09 PM

Hey Rich,

I talked a bunch at the woodshow with the designer of this machine. He was pretty adamant about drum speed. The motor is 1750, the motor pulley is 2 inches, and the drum pulley is 1.8 inches.

The whole thing is very unique. The drum is lower than the table by just a whisker. When you spin it, the paper lifts off the drum (kinda) and sands just to the thickness of the grit of the paper. Change grit and you change the thickness of the cut. There is very little heat generated, as compared to my Performax which generates a lot of heat. Also not a lot of dust is airborne, it all just falls in the box.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 4336 days

#10 posted 01-26-2010 10:16 PM

Very cool idea.

-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4979 days

#11 posted 01-26-2010 11:15 PM

That’s got to be fairly heavy using the MDF which probably will reduce any little vibrations and give you a great finish sanding : ) Excellent build , Steve….nicely designed and clean : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5114 days

#12 posted 01-27-2010 12:29 AM

Sweet looking v drum Steve, be care not to thump a thumb with thin stock…ouch. I notice you didn’t add the leveling screws. They really come in handy to fine tune the top to the drum. I bore a hardwood dowels and then add the flat top screws. I knew the mdf would be to unstable for repetitive uses. Nice find on the motor and switch. The demo expert said all you have to do is look around the household and it will appear. You’ll be surprise how fast the box will accumulate dust, the dust port work great. I think the dust deputy is next on my list since this really clog up the vac filter fast. Oh well the next project is in line, enjoy…Blkcherry

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 4586 days

#13 posted 01-27-2010 03:04 AM

Your brain ? Sounds more like my brain !! LOL
I’m always having to build a project to make a project….
Love the sander, it looks like a sweet addition to your shop.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4868 days

#14 posted 01-27-2010 03:15 AM

Looks like a great idea


View treeman's profile


208 posts in 4740 days

#15 posted 01-27-2010 01:12 PM

I hope you like yours as much as I like mine.

Great build job too.

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