View Full Version : need to make sanding drum/spindle 4" Dia

Jim Darrah
07-14-2014, 10:19 PM
I'm working on a project where I need a sanding drum 4" in diameter but will only be about 1 1/2" wide. My plan is to use replaceable pieces cut from a sheet of sandpaper. Since the circumference of the 4" drum is longer than a sheet my plan is to cut two slots in it and have two pieces of sandpaper each covering half the circumference. I need close tolerances so I plan on making it from wood so that there is little give which is why I can't use one of the foam backed ones, even if I could even find a 4" drum . I'd like to know if anyone has successfully made a drum from wood that has a mechanism to hold the sandpaper like this sleeveless sander from the woodworkers site? If not that, then I'm open to other ideas other than gluing the paper on. Thanks.

Jamie Buxton
07-15-2014, 1:52 PM
Yes. I've made a drum sander somewhat like that. I wanted a sanding drum about ten inches long and 3" in diameter. I turned a cylinder on the lathe. Then I cut a channel along one side. It was about 3/8" x 3/8" or so. The walls were not parallel. They were radial on the cylinder. Then I made a retainer stick which fit the channel. Actually it was a tad narrower than the channel -- about two thicknesses of sandpaper less than the channel. Wood screws go through the retainer to hold it in place. A sheet of sandpaper wraps around the drum, with the ends of the sheet in the channel. As the screws tighten into the channel, the retainer traps the ends of the sandpaper. Works like a champ.

I don't see any reason why you couldn't use two sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 sandpaper in this approach. But larger sheets of sandpaper do exist. You can easily buy standard belt-sander belts to get 3" or 4" wide belts that are 18" or 21" long.

Art Mann
07-18-2014, 3:39 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by "close tolerances" but from my perspective, close tolerance does not equate to wood as a construction material. I think I must be misunderstanding what you are saying. Why worry about making a complex dual sheet clamping structure when buying sandpaper in narrow rolls is so easy and so cheap? For a mounting strategy, I would re-evaluate adhesive backed material. You can get it in rolls that are designed for quick replacement. I could envision some sort of radially oriented screw and threaded insert retained wedge mechanism using plain paper similar to what Jamie described if you absolutely can't tolerate adhesive backed media.

Jamie Buxton
07-20-2014, 6:59 PM
Here's two pics of the drum I was trying to describe in my earlier post.



John Tenny
10-16-2015, 11:26 AM
For sandpaper use the belt from a 4" belt sander. That will be long enough so you can get by with one piece.

Marvin Hasenak
10-16-2015, 3:59 PM
I would use a 5" long 3/8" diameter lag bolt, screw it in the appropriate sized blank. Cut off the head of the lag bolt and turn it to shape on a lathe using the lag bolt shank as my mandrel. Then glue on the sandpaper, which I would buy in rolls from Kilingspor Woodshop. The lag bolt with the head cut off as a mandrel to turn and then as the mandrel for the sanding drum will run about as true as you can get. To replace the sandpaper will be a pain, you can use double sided tape, but it won't run as true as glue.

Lee Schierer
10-18-2015, 5:29 PM
Using a lag bolt for the shaft would potentially be a problem as it will want to un-screw as you are sanding. Use a through bolt and double nuts to lock it in place. I have and use those sanding drums. The shafts are 1/2" diameter solid steel. The slot is a thin saw cut that is the same width as two thicknesses of sand paper. The paper is cut to length so the ends will go into the slot and partially curl around the hole for the aluminum tube. The tube is flattened slightly so it acts as a cam to draw the paper tight. Note that there is foam rubber on the O.D. of the drums to cushion the sanding and let the paper conform a bit. Leaving out the foam would give you a hard surface to press against.