American Woodworker

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Winter 2013-2014

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Wide Belt Drum Sander


I've finally completed my wide belt drum sander. It is a hybrid of one found in another magazine. I purchased a 16" wide 100 grit belt from Supergrit for the conveyor. I had a 1/2 HP compresser motor,  2" & 5" pulleys with a belt. I scavenged and found an old Dayton gear motor for the conveyor. Hardware for this project was minimal and can  be found at most big box stores. I bought a roll of 100 grit sandpaper from  Harbor Frieght to wrap the drum. As for the drum, it consists of  23 3/4" disks cut out of MDF. They are Gorilla glued to a steel shaft . Two 1/4" bolts with heads cut off are sandwiched between the last two disks on each end. This is to help lock the drum to shaft. For height adjustments I modified the plan a little. Originally called for a hand-cranked threaded rod to push or pull a wedge against the bottom of the conveyor table. That worked, but  call me lazy....I wanted automation!! So instead I took apart an old variable speed drill stripping the trigger from the handle and rewiring it. I chucked the end of the rod in the drill, set the trigger on the slowest speed and squeeze. This works pretty well but I think I need a fine tuning adjustment. So much for automation!! The Drum is covered by a hinged hood made out of aluminum flashing with a dust collection port centered. I use a household  vacuum for the collector. I rewired everything to a single  plug and the drum, conveyor, collector to their own switches. The conveyor is controlled by a potentiometer  so I can adjust the speed to whatever is best. It's basically a bathroom fan switch. I mounted the whole thing on casters so I can move it where ever I need to. I need to add a belt guard still. Also I I need better sandpaper around the drum. That HF stuff just doesn't hold up to well. Here's some pics, let me know what you think.





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