Homemade Drum Sander

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Project by Sinister posted 09-13-2010 04:49 PM 22449 views 79 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Inspired by many fellow LJs, I recently built this 18” drum sander. I was able to cannibalize the motor, bearings, and lift mechanism. The only materials I needed to buy were a sheet of MDF (for the bed and drum cylinder), some countertop veneer, a piano hinge, a sheet of plexiglass, and the adhesive back velcro and sandpaper. Approximately $150-200.

The primary plan sources I used were from and but there are many other homemade drum sanders on lumberjocks from which one can draw inspiration.

It’s constructed out of a mishmash of oak I had in my wood pile. There is white oak, red oak, pallet oak, and some nice quartersawn oak. The mobile base is a bit over-engineered but it works well. It’s finished with danish oil.

-- Patrick, Iowa City

25 comments so far

View Nick's profile


87 posts in 3361 days

#1 posted 09-13-2010 05:02 PM

I really like the way it turned you for you. I am planning on building one of these in the next week or two myself. What thickness can yours handle and where did you get the velcro and sandpaper?

-- Nick, AZ. Wood is a canvas for God's art work, it is our job as woodworkers to figur out the best way to display it.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3544 days

#2 posted 09-13-2010 05:03 PM

Looks a good job. Fun building one, isn’t it? I particularly like the castor arrangement.

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

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3740 days

#3 posted 09-13-2010 05:16 PM

I have posted this as one of my favorites. Basically speaking, add 6” to the drum width and you have the sander I am planning on building. I need to get a bigger motor for my band saw though, as I am planning on stealing the motor from that for the sander…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3421 days

#4 posted 09-13-2010 06:01 PM

I’d like to have one of these! Nice Work!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4390 days

#5 posted 09-13-2010 08:02 PM

WooHoo. You did it. Congrats.
And a very nice build. Looks good all around.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4755 days

#6 posted 09-13-2010 11:25 PM

I keep saying I’m going to make one of these and I am by golly if it takes another 5 years. I got just about all the stuff just need to do it. What is that thing hanging down that looks like a of hanging magnet or something on a bar with a big washer at the end? What does it do a counter weight?

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

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3482 days

#7 posted 09-14-2010 03:44 AM

This is so cool

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Crushgroovin's profile


234 posts in 3432 days

#8 posted 09-14-2010 06:15 AM

Aww Dang I am sooooo Jealous!!! I have one of these on my list to build. Wonderful job!!

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

View toyguy's profile


1697 posts in 4345 days

#9 posted 09-14-2010 11:33 AM

Nice job…..... I really must build one of these smeday.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View Sinister's profile


60 posts in 3978 days

#10 posted 09-14-2010 04:50 PM

Jockmike – I’m not 100% sure I know what you’re describing. I think it might be the hand crank on the threaded rod that controls the height of the bed. My pictures aren’t the best. The crank came off a broken Dewalt 13” planer (DW734). That planer has received some great reviews on LJ but mine was a lemon.

Woodminister – It can handle about 5.5 inches thick. I ordered the velcro and sandpaper online a couple months ago and I can’t remember where. I searched through my emails but I must have thrown away the conformation. I’m sorry that’s not helpful. I’ve heard other people say they ordered it from Grizzly. The trouble is, the picture on their website doesn’t match the description so I wasn’t sure of what I’d get. If I had it to do over again, I would just call their customer service and order it over the phone. They are usually pretty helpful.

-- Patrick, Iowa City

View Bluebear's profile


417 posts in 3405 days

#11 posted 09-18-2010 12:41 AM

very very fine drum sander :)

-- -- It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3615 days

#12 posted 09-29-2010 05:05 AM

It appears that the pulley ratio is 1:1, what is the RPM? What is the HP of the motor? Rand

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3583 posts in 3617 days

#13 posted 09-29-2010 05:11 AM

I gotta make one of these, it seems cheaper than a spiral planer to replace the regular one I bought recently.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Sinister's profile


60 posts in 3978 days

#14 posted 09-30-2010 03:16 PM

lilredweldingrod – The ratio is ~1:1. The pulleys are both close to 5”. It’s a 1 HP motor that runs at 1725 rpm. I have no idea what is an ideal speed for a drum sander. That’s just what I ended up with with what I had on hand.

-- Patrick, Iowa City

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3375 days

#15 posted 09-30-2010 03:24 PM

That is a real nice shop built sander. Good work.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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