Introduction: DIY Drum Sander

This is only a short guide to help with something a don't like doing Sanding

I think sanding is not the most interesting part of the project, unfortunately its the part that can either make or break the look of the finished job.

On several occasions I have found a need to sand around corners or to sand an edge so that the resultant surface was square to the sides of a piece of wood. That's why I came up with a couple of ways to do most of my sanding quickly and to a high standard using variations on a single drum sander design. This can be used on either bench drill or lathe.

I used both on the Hobby Horses I made for my daughters see instructable

Step 1: The Drum

From the drum you have a three three possible options


You can get some fairly large size diameter dowel - the benefit is that its already round, the drawback is that you have to find a way to center drill it so that you can mount on you tools. My suggestion would be to use this as a hand sanding tool - cut a length long enough to give you a handle as well as space for attaching the sand paper - good for sanding awkward parts.

Bench Drill

If you don't have a lathe this is a relatively quick way to make the sanding drum.

Use a large hole cutting wood bit and drill into a piece of wood ( for deep sanding drums you might have to double up or use a thicker bit - drilling from both sides) this will give you the round drum already with a center hole. The attach a bolt through the center with a large washer on each side of the drum.

Next mount it in you bench drill and sand the drum while it is spinning.


If you have a lathe you don't need to do either of the above. Mount a bit of stock between centers on the lathe and turn it to a drum (sanding as required. If you want to mount it on a drill you can either use the marks left by the lathe centers to drill the enter, or turn a spigot on one end and the remount the piece on the lathe using jaws and once centered drill the center while it it on the lathe.

Note: for drum sanders to be used on bench drill you need to consider the capability of the drill - the sander can not be as large as it would be if used on the lathe

I first of all turned a scrap piece of wood into a drum and then glued sandpaper to it. With the pieces still centred on the lathe this makes an excellent drum sander for small pieces of work where fine control is required. I used this to help finish a hobby horse for my two year old daughter. This idea can also be adapted – by drilling a hole through the centre and securing a bolt through the hole you can mount the sander on a bench drill, if you countersink the head of the bolt it will not interfere with the base of the drill. I used the sander in this format for smoothing a coat hook board (this was a large pieces of MDF and needed to be held flat to the drill base. For both types you could either use a single grade of sandpaper or vary the grades to give a multi purpose device. One word of warning both sanders are reusable, but make sure that you get the centring correct or the vibration can be annoying or possible damage your project.

Step 2: Attach the Sand Paper

Once you have the drum for either use on the drill, lathe or by hand attaching the sand paper gives a couple more possibilities.


You could just make a number of drums and attach different grades of paper to each using glue - this is good for one off use, but does mean that you have to swap drums to change paper.


If you have sand paper that has the Velcro backing then glue the hook part of the Velcro to the drum this gives you a sander that does not need to be removed from the drill or lathe to change the sanding grade - simply replace the paper for finer grit or as it wears out

This was just a quick Instrucable If you like this please take a look at my other instructable (so far) a motorbike and Hobby Horse

Or at my web page:

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