How to Make a DIY Drum Sander — A Step-by-Step Overview

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Drum sanders are power machines for refinishing wood. The debate about whether making your drum sander is more cost-effective than buying an already made one has left people confused and unable to decide. The truth is buying a drum sander is slightly costly. Why spend money when you can build one affordably? Here, our technicians explains the steps on how to make a portable drum sander. 

Tools and Materials

When building a do-it-yourself drum sander, you have the option to get a DIY kit that has all the materials and specific instructions. Generally, here are the essential tools and materials you will need for the project:

How to Build Your Own Drum Sander

Step #1: Plan and Measure the Size of Drum Rounds and Table

The first thing to do is to get the correct measurement of drum rounds and the table. There are many plans available online that have templates for the dimensions. But, if you don’t want to opt for this, you can create your dimensions according to your liking.

material required

Step #2: Cut Uniform Pieces for Your Drum Rounds

After getting the dimensions, cut out the pieces for the drum rounds uniformly on the MDF. You can use Inventables X-Carve or any other cutting tool to cut out the dimensions for your drum rounds. Our experts suggest you create rounds that are big enough for your shaft and key. 

Once you have successfully made these cutouts, you should glue them together. First, put the collar, the melamine board, the pillow block, and the pulley onto the shaft and key. Make a mark on where each material is positioned, take them off, and glue all of them together so that they can stay straight. To avoid making them fall apart, glue them in halves. 

Step #3: Trim the Pieces for the Table

For the table of your DIY drum sander, you should use melamine sheets. Trim the sheets to length with a circular or table saw so that all sides are accurately cut out to fit the bolts that will hold the pillow blocks. 

trim the pieces

Step #4: Collect and Attach the Pieces Together

Drill some holes for the screws and add PVC edge banding to all sides on the melamine board. Once you do that, integrate the piano hinge to the back and tabletop for the table to adjust on all sides. 

Next is to drill a hole in the board’s front to fit the switch. Doing this will allow the wire to pass through the motor conveniently to the switch on the front. 

Now that you are done with the switch, next is to add the drum. You’ll need to take off one side of the table to integrate the drum and fit in the screws. Before doing that, attach the pillow blocks from the outside using bolts and ⅝ wrenches to tighten them [1]. Then slide the drum in place. 

Screw the side back and tighten the collar. Now, slide the pulley in and tap it against the collar. Lock the pulley outwards. 

Step #5: Place the Motor Inside

Next is to place the motor inside the box with the hinge.

Step #6: Add the Drums and Belt

The motor and the belt should be aligned so that the motor can pull down on the belt. It will make putting and removing the belt easier. 

Step #7: Assemble the Covers

Make the drum and belt covers using MDF, and ensure it doesn’t sit on the sandpaper. Instead, they should sit on the pillow block bolts. 

drum sander piece

Step #8: Wrap the Drum Rounds with Sandpaper of Your Choice

You can use any sandpaper-grit on the drum, be it 80-grit, 120-grit, or 2020-grit. Place the sandpaper into the drum’s grove and screw-down small wood pieces to hold both ends of the sandpaper in place. 

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Making a DIY drum sander isn’t the easiest of things to do. But, our team of experts has tried their best to simplify the steps and make each more understandable. Making your drum sander isn’t only cost-effective, but you get to design your tool according to your preference. So, gather the necessary materials and start making your tool with the steps described in this post.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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