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Thread: Building a 37" drum sander

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Building a 37" drum sander

    I am wanting to build a large drum sander so I can sand glue ups and stuff like that. I have been looking on the web for ideas. So far I want to do the powered conveyor feed, probably stationary table height so table extensions are easy to do. Any thoughts as to what the max workpiece thickness should be. Is there a standard? I'm thinking around 6" should be enough Red Hill corporation/supergrit is just down the road so all the sanding stuff including a conveyor belt is easy to get. I am on the look out for threaded rod for the height adjustment, and a good size motor. I think a 16 TPI threaded rod would be good or should I get something finer. If anyone has a motor that needs "disposed of" let me know. Any other thoughts in general. This is going to be a long project and needs to be on the cheap so I think I will be looking to cheap materials and gathering them slowly before I start. If a motor showed up at my doorstep mysteriously I wouldn't complain
    Last edited by Dave Black; 10-13-2010 at 10:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    build 2 dave, Im looking for one also. Id prefer mine able to handle 42 wide tops.

  3. #3
    I am currently making a 16inch one. Using a combination of designs from Shop Notes and from a design on Sketchup. Using a 1HP electric motor off of an old rusted table saw I had and the conveyor motor is off of a very old garage door opener.......Conveyor material is a 16x48 Sanding belt.

    Kind of like these....Except mine is free standing

    The design on Sketchup could be scaled to something of the size you need.....should not be an issue
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails EDTSander01.jpg   EDTSander02.jpg   EDTSander03.jpg   EDTSander06.jpg   EDTSander05.jpg  

    EDTSander04.jpg  

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dom DiCara View Post
    I am currently making a 16inch one. Using a combination of designs from Shop Notes and from a design on Sketchup. Using a 1HP electric motor off of an old rusted table saw I had and the conveyor motor is off of a very old garage door opener.......Conveyor material is a 16x48 Sanding belt.

    Kind of like these....Except mine is free standing

    The design on Sketchup could be scaled to something of the size you need.....should not be an issue
    Is your conveyor going to be fixed speed or variable speed? What type of height adjustment are you using? I was going to use 4 threaded rods to raise/lower the the drum so that the conveyor would stay the same height from the floor so using roller stands would be easy. It seems that it would be easier to raise/lower the conveyor in regards to fabricating the machine, maybe not?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Black View Post
    Is your conveyor going to be fixed speed or variable speed? What type of height adjustment are you using? I was going to use 4 threaded rods to raise/lower the the drum so that the conveyor would stay the same height from the floor so using roller stands would be easy. It seems that it would be easier to raise/lower the conveyor in regards to fabricating the machine, maybe not?
    Dave, If you look at the 5th picture you will see how the feed belt if raised and lowered. The two wedge blocks are used.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    Dave, If you look at the 5th picture you will see how the feed belt if raised and lowered. The two wedge blocks are used.
    It was my understanding that he was building a combination of the pictured one and a sketchup plan so I wasn't sure if he was using that or something else

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Black View Post
    It was my understanding that he was building a combination of the pictured one and a sketchup plan so I wasn't sure if he was using that or something else
    correct. The Height adjustment is the block system pictured. The reason I am combining the 2 designs is that I wanted a curved Lexan top with Dust attachment and I wanted the sander to be free standing, with totaal height at 50 inches, due to a bad back. The conveyor is a 16 x 48 sanding belt.

    As for the speed of the conveyor, there are 2 ways to handle it. I got a speed control at a flea market, and am able to use the garage door opener motor at any speed I want. If you look at the pics, I am using that old garage door opener chain and sprockets. They are 1/2" bore so I used 1/2" steel rod for both rollers on the conveyor along with 1 1/2" MDF circles inside of 1 1/2" PVC. Cloth electrical tape is covering it to allow the sanding belt something to grip.

    The 1HP motor off of the table saw is connected with a 4L v-belt, 5" pulley up top and 2" at the motor.

  8. #8
    here is a link to get you going. It includes a cutlist, but just scale it to what size you want

    http://www.mimf.com/archives/thickness_sander2.htm

  9. #9
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    would a router speed controller work to control the conveyor speed? I have a gear reduction motor that I can gear down slightly with the chain drive to give me a good speed with the motor at full speed. I want a variable speed so I can run things though really slow if needed. Here was what inspired me to build one.
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=146427

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Black View Post
    would a router speed controller work to control the conveyor speed? I have a gear reduction motor that I can gear down slightly with the chain drive to give me a good speed with the motor at full speed. I want a variable speed so I can run things though really slow if needed. Here was what inspired me to build one.
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=146427
    I got a speed controller to work with an old Craftsman Garage door opener. I got it at Mcmaster As for being a "good" speed.....different woods, different grit, etc....requires you to be able to adjust the Conveyor track IMO.

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