Making Thickness Sander


I can't find anyone in Ottawa to thickness sand my table top, so I've decided to make my own thickness sander. (Yes, it will be alot of work, but hey, I need a new project to work on anyways).
I'm currently investigating the drum of the sander. On the web, a lot of people mention they use well-casings or steel pipes for the drums. I'm a little weary of the thought of using a solid metal drum though -- First, when the metal gets hot (and it will get hot), it will expand. I'm worried that the expansion may lead to an uneven thickness in the final product. Secondly, I'm not sure what type of adhesive to use with metal and sandpaper such that you can remove the sandpaper easily when it's done, and that won't give way when the metal expands...
It would be nice if I could use an expandable rubber drums like the ones on an oscelating sander. This would make it very simple to replace the sandpaper -- just buy oscelating sander sleeves. Unfortunately, I want the drum to be 22" wide, and I'm worried that the standard 1/2" shaft may flex over that distance.
Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?
Thanks
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
julvr wrote:

http://www.rockslide.org/drum%20sander.html Phil
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Very neat... Does it make more sense to turn a roller on a lathe rather than making a bunch of rings?
Phil at small (vs at large) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Here's mine!!!
http://www.areddy.net/wood/tools.html

It's not as hard as you might think.

Ok, the drum is a 1/2" steel bar, with MDF circles sandwiched together. I used 3/4" MDF, and the drum is approx 24" long. It spins on some pillow block bearings.
To "true" it up so that it's parallel to the table, make a board about 18" long, 3" wide out of mdf, and cut a belt sander belt (100 grit should do the trick) so it's one big strip, and use some spray adhesive to glue it to the board. Turn the drum on and take a pencil and mark up the entire drum. This will give you an idea of when you've sanded enough. Adjust the height of the table so that it barely is touching the board, and move the board back and forth through the length of the drum so that you are sanding the drum. With the pencil marks, you'll be able to see the high and low spots as you sand off the pencil.
Don't try to true up the whole drum at once with a sanding board as wide as the drum. When I tried this, the drum would just go nuts and start deflecting as the sanding belt grabbed too much drum. Reminded me of the washboard effect on a dirt road.
The sandpaper for the drum is the velcro strip variety. You buy a strip of the "hook" side of velcro which has adhesive backing, and you spiral that onto the drum. Then the sandpaper spirals on going in the opposite direction, at least, that's what I did.
Replacing the sandpaper should be a snap, however, I STILL haven't replaced it after many board feet. I bought two different grits, and I believe I had 100 on there right now.
Take a look at my site and I have resources for all the supplies listed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Larry Bud (in snipped-for-privacy@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com) said:
| Here's mine!!! | | http://www.areddy.net/wood/tools.html
Good web page! I think I'll add this to my "TO-DO" list.
Thanks.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
julvr wrote:

I was looking through some old issues of _Fine Woodworking_ yesterday, and came across a design for a drum-based thickness sander in the Nov/Dec. 1990 issue (#85).
This one had a drum made from particleboard cut into rings and layered, with the occasional solid slab for solidity (actually, I think it was narrow enough that they only had solid slabs at the ends, but on something wide enough for a table, I'd think you'd want some in the middle too).
The sandpaper was attached by clipping it in place with a dowel that fit into a groove in the drum and was held in place by springs. Also, the drum was covered in permanently-glued-on rubber sheet.
It seemed like a pretty useful article, and probably worth tracking down a copy if it's anything close to what you're looking for -- there was a lot more information in it than I can write here!
- Brooks
--
The "bmoses-nospam" address is valid; no unmunging needed.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm pretty sure I saw a thickness sander the last time I was at Clarence Creek Wood Select (http://www.woodselect.ca/fr /), just east of Ottawa. I don't know how wide it was, but it could be close to your 22". Call and ask.
- Owen -
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.