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camface
12-22-2010, 09:59 AM
I am attempting to build a thickness sander. I am planning on using a 1 3/4 HP router to power the thing, and I was wondering what diameter the drum should be. The router has a 1/2" collet, and I was thinking I would get some 1/2" metal rod and have the drum on that. Does this sound like it will work? And be safe?

Pete Howlett
12-22-2010, 10:13 AM
If you have a pedestal drill I have a suggestion that would cost you $5 and was used by the great classical guitar luthier John Gilbert...

Timbuck
12-22-2010, 10:18 AM
Just off the top of my head.. I believe ... you will need a roller drum of about 4-5 inch dia..with a rotation speed around 1400 rpm...I think a router will be too fast....unless you use pully's and belt to gear it down....I built one at the begining of the year and documented the build... if it's any help you can read about it here.
http://www.ukulelecosmos.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=16343&hilit=thickness+sander

tattwo
12-22-2010, 10:56 AM
If you have a pedestal drill I have a suggestion that would cost you $5 and was used by the great classical guitar luthier John Gilbert...


Im all ears Pete ;)

drumgerry
12-22-2010, 11:08 AM
another reasonably cheap option for the drill press is the wagner safe t planer

tattwo
12-22-2010, 11:18 AM
another reasonably cheap option for the drill press is the wagner safe t planer

Do they work well?

drumgerry
12-22-2010, 11:30 AM
There are pretty detailed instructions on how to use it if you buy from stewmac. There's also a good video you can get from the lmi site on using one - it's also on youtube. I've only newly got mine and haven't sanded tops backs and sides with it but I have just thicknessed an ebony fingerboard blank and it worked really well for that. It is a compromise though - I would use a proper thickness sander in preference to it if I could afford one. Properly set up and sharpened (the disc for sharpening it is included and is used in the drill press also) IMHO it's a better option than hand planing/hand sanding. I'm certainly glad I bought mine and until I can buy a proper drum sander it's what I'll be using.

mzuch
12-22-2010, 11:43 AM
I used my Wagner about three times before I broke down and bought the Jet 10-20 drum sander. The Wagner will work, but it does not leave a particularly smooth surface. It wants to suck the workpiece into the cutters, which would be fine for a heavy board but not so good for a relatively thin piece of tonewood.

Ken W
12-22-2010, 01:29 PM
18709I have a Wagner Safe-T planer that I use in my drill press and have had great results. I've had no problems feeding the wood with the set-up pictured. A proper fence and hold-downs have prevented any feedback (or "feed-forward"). The surface is rougher than sanding. I thickness to within a few thousandths and then finish up with the sander attachment I made for my lathe. The O'brien demo can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=OBrienGuitars#p/u/38/hfaLmBGKjJY

camface
12-22-2010, 08:19 PM
Mmm I was worried there would be something wrong with using the router. I can't seem to find a cheap motor anywhere...

But I do have a drill press...

Michael Smith
12-22-2010, 09:47 PM
It won't work and it isn't safe.
A router spins in excess of 10,000 rpm. You will not be able to control that type of speed and it will tear anything you build into pieces and you will very possibly be hurt in the process. If you slow the router with a speed contol you won't have enough power. Abandon this plan. If you wan't to make your own drum sander use a regular 1 horse motor. I'm not against guys making tools but you will not be able to make a decent drum sander for the price you can buy a used jet 10-20 if your time is worth anything at all.

Timbuck
12-22-2010, 10:22 PM
Mmm I was worried there would be something wrong with using the router. I can't seem to find a cheap motor anywhere...

But I do have a drill press...
Another design is a roller in the drill chuck running alongside an angle plate..its called a "Luthiers Friend" http://www.luthiersfriend.com/ I made my own bigger one "like this" but with a longer 8 inch roller and a shaft support bearing in the drill press table.... but I dont use it anymore.

Pete Howlett
12-22-2010, 11:55 PM
'Cheap' is the wrong route if you are building a drum sander unless you are Ken Timms who can make anything out of a pile of junk :) Use the Safe-T planer and a little tool, the design of which I adapted from John Gilbert's gizmo - I'll shoot some video of it for you in the New Year. Total investment - about $60 and you have a safe alternative to the rather scary proposal you currently have on the table!

Tarhead
12-23-2010, 01:53 AM
Do you have a tablesaw? You can run a DIY drum sander off of it with a removable belt. Plans were in Shop Notes #86.
Here's a link to a photo and a cut list but you'll have to pay for the full plan. http://www.shopnotes.com/issues/086/extras/thickness-sander/ http://www.shopnotes.com/plans/thickness-sander/

drumgerry
12-23-2010, 02:08 AM
One thing about the Wagner planer (as illustrated in Ken W's photo) is that it helps if you cut your material only using half of the width of the planer. With this method and with sharp cutters my ebony fingerboard had very few marks that needed to be sanded off after.

zwwizard
12-23-2010, 07:31 AM
Hi Tattwo, I have one if you want it. But for some reason I can't find the arber for it yet.

zwwizard
12-23-2010, 07:42 AM
Oopps, This one is to used on a radial arm saw. Still it yours if you can use it.

tattwo
12-23-2010, 07:45 AM
Oopps, This one is to used on a radial arm saw. Still it yours if you can use it.

I sent you a PM

SweetWaterBlue
12-23-2010, 09:17 AM
Mmm I was worried there would be something wrong with using the router. I can't seem to find a cheap motor anywhere...

But I do have a drill press...

Old washing machines are a great source for motors, I have always found.

wally242
12-23-2010, 10:48 AM
I too am in the process of building a thickness sander. I have collected parts for some time. It will be a more elaborate version of the shop notes sander. 1 1/2 hp 3450 motor (farm sale 5.00). 1/4 hp dc conveyor motor and drive (100). 5 1/4"x24" drum ( home made). I think I have more invested in itthan a 18" sander and it still isn't built. :-) fifty here a hundred there adds up. The most expensive items were the gear motor for the automatic feed belt, the sandpaper, and the conveyor belt ( 36" wide sander belt ). I cheated and bought the conveyor lift mechanism (acme screws, 24" rollers, tensioning mechanism (80.00)from grizzly ( for their 24" sander) With some search the shopnotes plans can be had for the time of looking online, they're out there. (miro/ torrent). This is a DANGEROUS machine and should have safety features built in (emergency shutdown switch, and guards. There is a photo of a man that got his hand stuck in one (pretty nasty). I have a welder and electrical experience, and it is still a daunting endeaver. I will have a 2000 sander for maybe 500 in parts+time. I would consider a cheaper 18" from craigslist ( have seen them for 400-500). or a safety planer as suggested. Or pay someone to sand the wood for you. Good luck

Michael Smith
12-23-2010, 10:56 AM
and there is always the consideration of a potential problem if you don't use and explosion proof motor. Dust can be explosive at times.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
12-23-2010, 11:18 AM
Maybe it's just me but anytime I see one of these home made sanders I get nervous.

ukulele-melee
12-23-2010, 03:05 PM
I made one of the ShopNotes sanders. It works great. Just don't be tempted to use without the dusthood, which also doubles as a guard to keep fingers away from the drum. The adjustment is a little stiff with weight on it so I lift the table while turning the knob. After using it for 2 years on my table saw I made a dedicated stand for it with its own motor. I'm thinking about automating the feed as well. You can plan on spending about $200 to build one per the plan.

uke51
12-23-2010, 03:43 PM
I used a washing machine motor & a 4" drum on a thickness sander I built. It works fine. I believe that a router would be way to many RPMs.

Tarhead
12-23-2010, 06:03 PM
and there is always the consideration of a potential problem if you don't use and explosion proof motor. Dust can be explosive at times.

Huh? I don't think it's an issue unless you're spraying lacquer. Now gumming up the motor with dust and causing problems with a non-sealed motor...yes. Explosions? I can't say I've ever heard of one in a woodworking shop involving a dust and a totally enclosed, fan cooled motor found on every commercial drum sander. Please educate me if I'm wrong but I've been making sawdust for a lot of years. The only explosion proof motors I know of are in spray booths powering the exhaust fans.

Dominator
12-23-2010, 06:04 PM
Maybe it's just me but anytime I see one of these home made sanders I get nervous.

Chuck,
Why is that? I made the one in the attached link and, yes, I could have done a few things better during the process but it works just fine. And with the 1 HP motor the couple times I did let a piece go the kickback was not very significant. I realize no kickback should be tolerated when we are working in our shops but will probably build another in the future and try to improve upon it.

http://www.rockslide.org/drum%20sander.html

Hope you have a great Christmas, Chuck.

Timbuck
12-26-2010, 07:12 AM
Hey Dom!..I'm planning on improving my sander in the new year as well..I'm going to fit a bigger motor..and make a conveyor belt system for it ..I have a 130 Volt DC motor with reduction gearing for the conveyor..but I dont yet have a Diagram for the variable speed circuit to drive it..So to start with it will have to be hand cranked...And I don't know where I can get a rubberised conveor belt..so I have decided to use three 4 inch wide sanding belts instead. I'll post pic's of the mods as I go.

dave g
12-26-2010, 07:33 AM
rubberised conveor belt..so I have decided to use three 4 inch wide sanding belts instead. I'll post pic's of the mods as I go.

The "real" ones I've seen use big wide sanding belts as the conveyor.

Timbuck
12-26-2010, 08:11 AM
Thanks for that info Dave..Now I know i'm on the right track..I hope I can find 3 belts all the same length:).....otherwise more thinking required.:confused:

Dominator
12-26-2010, 03:59 PM
Hey Dom!..I'm planning on improving my sander in the new year as well..I'm going to fit a bigger motor..and make a conveyor belt system for it ..I have a 130 Volt DC motor with reduction gearing for the conveyor..but I dont yet have a Diagram for the variable speed circuit to drive it..So to start with it will have to be hand cranked...And I don't know where I can get a rubberised conveor belt..so I have decided to use three 4 inch wide sanding belts instead. I'll post pic's of the mods as I go.

Ken, looking forward to seeing your mods come together. If anyone can upgrade this thing with a motorized belt drive, it is you.

wally242
12-27-2010, 07:28 AM
Here is a link I found where a guy upgraded the shop notes #86 sander to have a larger motorized conveyor. He used a 25" wide sanding belt from Klingspor's woodworking shop. I will cut mine down to 24".
http://www.woodworkstuff.net/EDTSander.html
This next link is pretty heavily engineered. His conveyor vertical mechanism is different. I can't find the acme nut brackets that he used for cheaper than 400 a set (bronze acme platform brackets. Mcmaster Carr). Does anyone know where to get these? My plan is to use the grizzly design that incorporates a standard acme nut. I also am going to use infeed and outfeed rollers. (1/2" round rod with EPDM foam tubing from Mcmaster Carr)
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/10106
Timbuck, I am not sure if you plan to run three belts side by side, but if you do there may be a problem with belt tracking. If you see the shop notes plans there is a tracking mechanism you will need to keep the belt from going to one side or another. I chose to use the grizzly sander type tracking. I have seen this type accomplished several ways. Mine is similar to this.
http://thewoodwhisperer.com/wp-content/uploads/Drum-Sander-16.jpg
I tried to upload another image of the grizzly type. If you google grizzly sander and look at images, there is a nice pic of the mechanism.

Timbuck
12-27-2010, 08:10 AM
I'm not too keen on the multiple belts either..but the tracking/tensioning system will be more or less the same type of thing..i'll have a look around for a broad sanding belt supplier in the UK...If I can't find one i'm sure i'll work something out...the weather is not very good at the moment, so I won't be starting on it for a while.

Sven
01-03-2011, 03:13 AM
I just got very very tired of my two home made thickness sanders. I had a Safe-T-Planer knocking about since a shopping spree last year, but I found my drill press being a tad weak. Went up to 2760 rpm's. I think it would work better with a faster and stronger one.

So right now I have no good way of thinning the stuff.

Tish.

Sven

Pete Howlett
01-06-2011, 04:51 AM
Sven - I have the answer. Go to my other youtube channel to see - 3rd video in series...

tattwo
01-06-2011, 05:13 AM
Sven - I have the answer. Go to my other youtube channel to see - 3rd video in series...

Which youtube channel?

thistle3585
01-06-2011, 05:30 AM
I just got the new Grizzly catalog and they are now offering a 10/20 sander for $345. Its hard to build one from scratch at that price. I haven't had much luck with an open ended sander because the drum tends to sag over time and needs to be shimmed but they did include a removable support piece on this unit. With that said, I did find a new 18/36 drum sander for sale for $500 so I think I'm going to spring for it. It is the same as the Grizzly 18/36 unit but is marketed under another name. I will most likely put some sort of support on the open ended side of this one since the conveyor moves up and down versus the drum.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-06-2011, 06:20 AM
I just got the new Grizzly catalog and they are now offering a 10/20 sander for $345. Its hard to build one from scratch at that price. I haven't had much luck with an open ended sander because the drum tends to sag over time and needs to be shimmed but they did include a removable support piece on this unit. With that said, I did find a new 18/36 drum sander for sale for $500 so I think I'm going to spring for it. It is the same as the Grizzly 18/36 unit but is marketed under another name. I will most likely put some sort of support on the open ended side of this one since the conveyor moves up and down versus the drum.

Well now that makes the most sense of anything I've read so far on this thread!

curlykoa
01-06-2011, 07:46 AM
I've used a Grizzly 12" drum sander with the velcro covered drum and it works fine for me. I use it hard and have had to repair/replace a couple of components but still like the machine better than the open ended one I had previously. The one drawn back to me is that the table moves up and down instead of the drum.

thistle3585
01-06-2011, 09:37 AM
I've used a Grizzly 12" drum sander with the velcro covered drum and it works fine for me. I use it hard and have had to repair/replace a couple of components but still like the machine better than the open ended one I had previously. The one drawn back to me is that the table moves up and down instead of the drum.

Interesting. I prefer that the table move because the drum tends to sag over time as a result of the adjustment mechanism. Why do you like the drum to move? Also, how do you like the hook and loop system for the paper? I would assume the hook and loop paper is more expensive.

curlykoa
01-06-2011, 11:13 AM
I like the drum to move so having an infeed/outfeed table is easier, although I seldom sand something more than 3' long. I love the hook and loop paper. Stays on great. Probably is a bit more expensive but I'm only half way through my first roll I think.