Larg(er) Drum Sander




So I am making a couple of canisters and realized I didn't have an easy way of sanding the inside. Since I don't like to spend money if I don't have to, I thought I would try to make my own drum sander with stuff I already have around my shop.

Step 1: I Used

The biggest tube I could find was 1 1/4" PVC, so I used that, 2 pieces of hardwood for caps, threaded rod, nuts, sand paper

Step 2: Cutting and Assembling

I have a big drill press, so I made my drum about 10" long and the bolt about 12". The OD of the pipe is just over 1 3/8" so I used an 1 3/8" forstner bit to drill a hole about half way through 2 pieces of 1" maple then a 1/2" bit to drill the rest of the way through for the threaded rod. I sanded a slight bevel on the ends of the pipe so the caps would fit, then tightened the nuts to hold it all together. Then just sand the caps to make them look decent. My chuck will handle the 1/2" threaded rod, but depending on what you have you may need to use 3/8".

Step 3: Cutting, Gluing, Wrapping

I have sand belts from a dead sander so I used one of them. I cut the sandpaper for a good fit then spread glue on the back of the sandpaper, wrapped it around the pipe and wound about a mile of string around that to hold the paper tight until it dries. If you have directional paper, make sure it goes on the right way. Note: you wont be able to see the arrows anymore after you spread glue. I made sure to wrap the sandpaper so that any slight lip at the seam is the right way so the edge doesn't catch on the work piece. Also, when you cut sandpaper, turn it over and cut the back. You will get straighter cuts and your blade will thank you. I want to be able to peel the paper off when it is dull so I am trying wood glue. I figure it won't stick to the PVC too hard so may not be too bad to remove.

Step 4: The Trial

I let the glue dry overnight, drilled a 1/2" hole about 3/8" deep in a piece of scrap to hold the bottom of the threaded rod and clamped it to the drill press table. All was well for the first couple of minutes, then one of the pieces of sandpaper came off. The other 2 held well so I think it was just a lack of glue. I have re-glued it so I will post my results. With a side by side comparison after a quick sanding around the top half, I think I can call this a win. If anyone can think of a better adhesive that will allow me to remove the sandpaper, please let me know.



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    4 Discussions


    Tip 1 year ago on Step 4

    I use spray adhesive when I make sanding drums. Just spray both the drum and the paper and press on. You can use immediately.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you. I'll have to try that. Any special type or just spray adhesive?


    1 year ago

    Update: I re-glued the 1 piece that came off. I roughed up the PVC pipe a bit more, gave the sandpaper a good coat of wood glue and let it sit for about 5 hours. This pic is after about 10 minutes of sanding and it works great. If I was doing a few large canisters, I would use a larger diameter pipe. I think about 3" PVC should work well in 4" to 6" canisters.

    1 reply