V-Drum Sander

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Project by Paul Pomerleau posted 12-21-2011 04:15 AM 17193 views 70 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My next project that I want to make are end-grain cutting boards.
But I heard the horror stories of flattening them through the thickness planer.
I needed a drum sander and saw a lot of plans for home made ones.
I drew up some plans using Sketchup and started to build one.
Picked up all the hardware locally and I already had all the wood in my shop.
The drum is 25 pieces of 3/4” MDF on a 7/8” solid steel shaft.
The 1/4hp 1725rpm furnace motor is linked to the drum via a 1/2” power-link belt.
I even added a safety toggle switch to match the other tools in the shop.
The only thing missing is the sandpaper rolls.
I have looked and found that no one carries it in the Ottawa area.
I finally found some online from a store located around Niagara Falls.
I ordered a few rolls of different grits, but being this close to Christmas I fear that it will be in the new year before arriving at my place.
I can’t wait to make a few cutting boards, so I hope they arrive soon.
Thanks for looking.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

25 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118240 posts in 4815 days

#1 posted 12-21-2011 04:18 AM

Wow Paul this is one cool sander.


View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4926 days

#2 posted 12-21-2011 05:24 AM

Very nice build : ) I hope you get your paper sooner than later !!

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

View Brian Strothcamp's profile

Brian Strothcamp

114 posts in 3931 days

#3 posted 12-21-2011 05:25 AM

Dont forget dust collection ;)

View rweitz's profile


140 posts in 4316 days

#4 posted 12-21-2011 07:22 AM

Nice job – wish I had room for all the tools I wanted to have.

-- You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. - Henry Ford

View SisQMark's profile


384 posts in 3838 days

#5 posted 12-21-2011 08:30 AM

Outstanding build! Let us know how it works, after you get your paper that is. Very useful tool.

-- Don't waste today, it is yesterdays tomorrow!~SisQMark

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4042 days

#6 posted 12-21-2011 03:49 PM

nice project. I agree with Brian about the dust collection. let us know how it does

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5456 days

#7 posted 12-21-2011 04:18 PM

I’m definitely wanting to make one of those. Nice job!

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

View BrianA's profile


129 posts in 4267 days

#8 posted 12-21-2011 06:37 PM

I built one also. Love it. Mine has a 30” PVC drum. Most that I have seen (mine included) has the motor in the back and spins toward the front. Did I miss something or is your set up different?

Brian A

View BigRich's profile


24 posts in 3665 days

#9 posted 12-21-2011 06:52 PM

Nice project build. I also was wondering about rotation. My other thought was about holding the work piece tight against the sanding drum?

View SnowFrog's profile


102 posts in 3784 days

#10 posted 12-21-2011 07:06 PM

Very nice and simple. I like the elegance of simpler solution.

On that subject, I noticed looking at a few people that have built these types of drum sanders that some like you have the drum below the table and some have them over the table. The over the table model require table height adjustment.

So my question is : functionally are there any differences between the two types? Are the results or capabilities different between the two?


-- One can dream, about a passion not yet fully fulfilled!

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 3931 days

#11 posted 12-21-2011 08:37 PM

@ Brian & Roger: I forgot to mention that I have a dust port in the back that my shopvac attaches to. Since the entire box is closed, the only place for air to go in is through the drum opening. It makes for a great downdraft table while sanding.

@BrianA: You are right, the drum spins toward the front, so you feed against the rotation. I could have put my motor in the back, but I wanted the box to sit flat against the wall when not in use and the motor would have been in the way.

@ SnowFrog: The two types of drum sanders that I am aware of is the Thickness sander and V-drum sander. The thickness sander has the drum above the moveable table. This would be the workhorse of drum sanders as you could take off a lot more material than the v-drum. Feeding the stock through is probably more difficult and usually need a type of treadmill belt or something for auto feeding like the planers. The v-drum is just barely touching the stock and is mostly meant for fine finishing. When the drum is stopped, the stock should not be touching the sandpaper. When the drum is spinning, the sandpaper pushes away from the velcro by a hair and sands the stock that way. If you want to take off more, then simply change the paper for a coarser grit. The top-dead-center of the drum and the table remain the same. You can also micro-adjust the table top via two screws on the front of the box to raise or lower the top, the hinge at the back stays the same.

I hope that I explained a few things for you.
Thanks everyone for the great ideas on this site, I could not have gone this far in my first year of woodworking without you.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View DamnYankee's profile


3320 posts in 3800 days

#12 posted 12-21-2011 09:02 PM

Thanks for the post and the explanation. Nice work, let us know how it works out.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View JReed3's profile


81 posts in 3609 days

#13 posted 12-21-2011 09:06 PM

I would like to see a photo looking down to see the mechanics of it.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26774 posts in 4343 days

#14 posted 12-21-2011 10:39 PM

Nice sander! What did you use for bearings?
It looks like the two pulleys are the same size. Then your drum is running 1725 RPM. How does that work out?
How do you hold the ends of paper on?
I’m trying to find out as much as I can before I design and build one, too

Thanks, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Damien's profile


21 posts in 3626 days

#15 posted 12-21-2011 10:41 PM

Nice looking tool!

I have made about a dozen end grain boards and planed them all without any issues at all. I had heard horror stories too, but decided the time that it would save would be worth risking it in the long run.

Lots of glue, solid wood, lots of curing time and small bites with the planer!

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