Drum Sander Shopsmith Style

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Forum topic by Tuuek posted 02-02-2010 05:03 PM 10692 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 4439 days

02-02-2010 05:03 PM

Ok perhaps this was obvious for many Shopsmith owners but had completely eluded me for the many years I have owned my Shopsmith. Because the Shopsmith has the lathe capability it can be used as a drumsander and Shopsmith even as a couple pdf’s (Download here) on how to set it up to do so. Now granted, based on what I have seen it is by no means the safest drumsander available, however in a pinch it can be done. I would not use it without someone else available to assist on large pieces and I am sure with a little inventive spirit a jig to make it safer could be created. I should state that I was aware of the small drum capability but I refer to the larger ability to sand surfaces larger than 12” in width.
Have any of the Shopsmith owners ever used/using this method? If so, what is your take on it?

-- Kelly -- Common Sense, Isn't Common to Everyone. - Me

11 replies so far

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4769 days

#1 posted 02-13-2010 04:08 AM

Many years ago, when I first got my model 500, I made a 15” by 2 1/2” drum sander according to the plan shown in DeCristoforo’s “Power Tool Woodworking for Everyone”. Holding an entire 8 1/2×11 sheet of sandpaper, It is set between lathe centers. The board is fed between the table top and the drum against the direction of rotation. This was of course a type of thickness sander. It worked well, but engulfed the shop in fine choking dust. when I got my planer the drum was not used again.

Enter the modern era. The sand flea accessory will do a better job of sanding a boards surface;

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 4437 days

#2 posted 02-13-2010 02:16 PM

I have and use a 3” and a 6” drum for surface sanding of small pieces only. I use them mostly for free hand sanding. If you get the stock wedged between the table and the drum you are likely to have a well sanded projectile. Be careful.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

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56 posts in 4439 days

#3 posted 02-13-2010 03:08 PM

Thanks guys. I had thought about the safety of it and plan to design a table to sit above it like the sand flea. Because I work in a garage shop dust is an issue so I will take that into account. Thanks again.

-- Kelly -- Common Sense, Isn't Common to Everyone. - Me

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869 posts in 4327 days

#4 posted 02-13-2010 06:46 PM

I’m currently experimenting with a horizontal drum sander design with my shopmith, but instead of using my tapered bearing. I’m making a plug to go in my tailstock which I’m going to put a bearing (ala a pillow bearing) and build a horizontal drum between that and the headstock. I’m thinking of making a housing that will making an “over the top” style sander, rather than a thickness sanders between that table and drum type. Like the sand flea. I think this will give me less chance of getting a kickback.

I’ll lte you know. It’s one of a hundred projects I’ve got going right now…. ;-)

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View reible's profile


34 posts in 4769 days

#5 posted 02-16-2010 07:53 AM


When I first got a shopsmith in 1976 I was already experienced with with other tools but want to take some time to get to know the shopsmith so I built a lot of the jig, fixtures and attachments our of the
‘Power Tool Woodworking for Everyone”. This included the sanding drum under discussion. The drum had no cushion so it was thin sandpaper on wood. It was hard to adjust, noisy and dusty and those were some of the good points. Paper didn’t last long either and even after building a “sled” to pull the work piece though it was only a short time before I gave up on the process.

The other method shown by using the drum sander (3” long at that time) didn’t feel very safe either. I don’t think was a wise thing to show people but they did. I know when I got my 6” drum sander the instructions showed the picture with a big cross across as in don’t do this.

I own a drum thickness sander which works well enough so I have no interest in building one of those for the shopsmith but I believe in one of Nick Engler’s books he has a design.

I did a very simple and design called a “sand almost free” that does very much what the sand-flee does but in a much smaller scale. It works with either the 3” or 6” long shopsmith drums, you can mix 2 3” grits on the 6”, and you can even hook it up to your oscillating sander attachment. It uses shopsmith parts and a bit of plywood and some masonite(or similar material for a top). It takes no more then an afternoon to make and it works great. The info and lots of pictures can be found at:
(A couple of other have made concept version but I don’t have links for them.)

I have an 18” design in progress, est cost at below $200 for everything and it is not a kit but is being designed so that everything can be done on a shopsmith. If things work out I’ll most likely share the design.


-- Knight of the Shopsmith

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56 posts in 4439 days

#6 posted 02-16-2010 07:19 PM

Nice design and very close to what I had imagined for my concept. It is nice to see there are still a few of us SS’ers out there still kickin. I have a ton of stuff to do to get my shop ready to do some serious work but as with always starting a new shop it takes time.

-- Kelly -- Common Sense, Isn't Common to Everyone. - Me

View Jpalmer59's profile


3 posts in 3673 days

#7 posted 02-08-2011 09:58 PM

I designed this surface sander to fit on the SS saw table using Sketchup

I plan on making the top out of Formica or an aluminum sheet. The rest would be MDF for weight.

I plan on making the drum out of PVC with round wood inserts for strength or turning it out of wooden disk glued together. I have not found time to build it yet.

View Tuuek's profile


56 posts in 4439 days

#8 posted 02-09-2011 04:12 AM

Awesome. I will have to keep that in mind this spring when I can get back in the shop.

-- Kelly -- Common Sense, Isn't Common to Everyone. - Me

View Mike R.'s profile

Mike R.

214 posts in 3653 days

#9 posted 10-01-2011 10:45 AM

any word on this ? im thinking of building some sort of a drum sander on my ss and was wondering what you guys got

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8678 posts in 3806 days

#10 posted 10-01-2011 01:28 PM

Hi Mike

This is something I mused about a while back that I may be attempting to build this winter. Maybe it will interest you.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12301 posts in 4436 days

#11 posted 10-01-2011 02:44 PM

The Stockroom Supply “V” sander can be easily adapted to the MKV.
With their accessories, it can serve as a thickness sander.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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