Drill Press drum sander

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Forum topic by Oldschoolguy posted 11-25-2018 06:45 PM 1433 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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108 posts in 809 days

11-25-2018 06:45 PM

Hey Lumberjocks, hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving. A great time to be grateful for all that we have. Me, I’m very thankful for all you great people on here, who so willingly pass along your knowledge to someone else. A couple of weeks ago I joined and posed a question, along with information about myself as being learning disabled. My comprehension level, ability to think outside the box is extremely limited and not very talented. Anyhow, I am in the process of starting my first ever project. It is a doll cradle and made of birch ply and have to do sanding of cutouts I cut with a jig saw. I was thinking of using a drill press drum sander because I have very limited space and budget. Any thoughts on this method or ideas about a low cost spindle sander.

13 replies so far

View mel52's profile


1857 posts in 1237 days

#1 posted 11-25-2018 08:31 PM

I had one when I first started. If you can make a little box type table with an interchangeable piece with a hole sized just a smidgeon larger than each drum you will be using you can hook up shop vac or whatever to the back or side and you won’t have much of a dust problem. Have a friend that just puts a cheap box fan up close to the sander with a furnace filter to suck dust away. I have a Wen osc. spindle sander that works well, but I was thinking that Harbor Freight might have one cheaper. Not as expert on this but it worked for me.

-- MEL, Kansas

View Planeman40's profile


1532 posts in 3734 days

#2 posted 11-25-2018 09:10 PM

Been using one of these successfully for the past 60 years or so. Like mel52 above says, just make a recess hole in the table for the end of the sander to drop into. It helps a lot to have a spindle lock on the drill press to lock the height of the spindle in various vertical positions so you can use other parts of the sanding tube after the used area gives out.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View WoodenDreams's profile


1224 posts in 884 days

#3 posted 11-25-2018 10:04 PM

The spindle sanding bit for the drill press is not that expensive. Your drill press table probably has a slot to remove, for drilling through holes. just remove that slot for the sanding bit to fit down in, allowing full use of the spindle sanding bit. The drill press is designed to go up & down, so this would put a side pressure on the press, possibly shortening the life of the bearings on the press. Occasional use like this should be alright. Purchasing a oscillating spindle sander for around $150 is the better way.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2866 posts in 3895 days

#4 posted 11-25-2018 11:07 PM

I use a pneumatic sanding drum on my drill press with great results. The hard ones , not so much.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View BurlyBob's profile


8283 posts in 3238 days

#5 posted 11-26-2018 06:47 AM

This past summer I bought a Wen oscillating spindle sander from Walmart for under $100. It pretty much fills my needs. It doesn’t take up much space either. The only negative is that it’s a tad noisy. It might be an option for you.

View HokieKen's profile


16027 posts in 2111 days

#6 posted 11-26-2018 03:45 PM

I’m with BurlyBob. I’ve been very happy with the Wen OSS.

Prior to picking up the OSS, I used sanding drums in my drill press successfully. Long-term it could cause bearing failure as WoodenDreams points out above. Also, if you put too much pressure on the drum, it can loosen the taper fit of the shaft in the spindle and cause your chuck to fall out.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View splintergroup's profile


4388 posts in 2195 days

#7 posted 11-26-2018 04:40 PM

I have (and use) them. but they are not the greatest. A dedicated spindle sander would be much better.
Of course the drill press drums are inexpensive and well worth a try, just don’t expect miracles 8^)

View ChefHDAN's profile


1792 posts in 3822 days

#8 posted 11-26-2018 09:01 PM

Used one before getting my Clayton OSS, did a good job at least until I found out how much better the OSS is, but $100 is $100 and unless you see the need in the future the $20 kit at Lowe’s can do what you need for now, be sure to remember to let the sand paper do the work, don’t put alot of pressure against the quill.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View bilyo's profile


1256 posts in 2075 days

#9 posted 11-27-2018 04:03 PM

As mentioned above, a sanding drum on a drill press does work and is an economical approach. Also, as suggested above, because the drum on a drill press does not oscillate, it takes more side pressure to get the job done. Just keep this in mind and don’t force it. Also, as mentioned, it will create lots of very fine dust. Just work out some way to collect it and wear a dust mask.

View MrRon's profile


5975 posts in 4216 days

#10 posted 11-27-2018 10:32 PM

I have always been opposed to using a tool in a way which it wasn’t designed for. A drill press is designed to drill holes with the loads applied vertically. The bearings for a DP are not designed for side loads and will eventually fail.

I have used the DP for sanding, but very sparingly. I bought a Wen OSS for $100 and it does what I need it for.

View WoodenDreams's profile


1224 posts in 884 days

#11 posted 11-28-2018 08:45 AM

Home Depot has a Wen spindle sander for $99. Might be your best choice to keep your cost down, and a sander designed for spindle sanding.

View eflanders's profile


332 posts in 2823 days

#12 posted 11-28-2018 06:44 PM

I’m with Mr. Ron. Drill presses especially small bench top ones, will quickly lose their ability to drill a straight accurate hole when used as a a spindle sander.

View Andybb's profile


3065 posts in 1576 days

#13 posted 11-28-2018 07:03 PM

I have a Wen osc. spindle sander that works well, but I was thinking that Harbor Freight might have one cheaper.
- mel52

That WEN is a deal. The HF one is $144 – 20%.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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