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The drum sander
is a handy sanding device that's used to smooth regular or irregular
concave or convex edges, cabriole legs and other odd shapes, and
internal cutouts - it can even be used for edge sanding and surfacing.
The drum sander mounts on the MARK V main spindle or the belt sander.
On the MARK V it may be used in the vertical or horizontal position,
whichever mode is more convenient for the job at hand.
of Drum Sanders
The drum sander is 2-1/4" in diameter and 3" long.
It mounts on the Mark V main spindle or the belt sander auxiliary
The drum sander
is 2-1/4" in diameter and 3" long (Figure
18-1). Abrasive sleeves are easily mounted or removed by loosening
the hex bolt that is in the base of the drum. This action relaxes
or expands the drum's rubber cylinder to either grip or release
the sleeve. The grits are available in coarse (60#), medium (80#),
and fine (100#)
The drum sander is used with the drum sander/shaper insert.
Model 500 is shown.
The drum sander
mounts on the Mark V main spindle or the belt sander auxiliary spindle.
The special shaper/drum sander insert (Figure
18-2) is used for most operations. The shaper or rip fence,
when used with the drum sander, can accurately control the drum's
depth of cut when it is used to do edge sanding on straight edges.
sanders are available in sets that include drum diameters of 1-1/2",
1", 3/4", and 1/2". They are mounted in a three-jaw chuck
or 1/4" routerchuck. Warning: Smaller drum sanders should be
used with the special insert shown in Figure
18-3. The special insert provides support for the workpiece.
Make the special insert and drill the mounting holes by using
a drum sander insert as a pattern. All disks have a 2-1/2"
outside diameter and: (A) a 1-5/8" inside diameter; (B)
a 1-1/8" inside diameter; (C) a 7/8" inside diameter;
or (D) a 5/8" inside diameter.
Before using the drum sander, read and understand these important
danger zone on the drum sander is the area 3" around the drum.
- Wear proper
eye and ear protection, and a dust mask.
- Do not
stand directly in line with the workpiece.
- When using
the rip fence, avoid sanding workpieces with inconsistent widths.
- Do not
sand more than 1/32" off the workpiece in a single pass.
the workpiece against the rotation of the drum.
drum sander at the speed recommended in Table 18-1. Start at a low
speed and gradually increase to where you are getting the smoothness
you need. The problem with excessive speed is that enough friction
can occur to burn the wood unless the feed pressure is feather-light.
Also, since friction heat can draw pitch or resin from the wood,
excessive speeds cause more rapid filling and clogging of the abrasive.
So work wisely at a reasonable speed and use only the amount of
feed pressure required for the abrasive material to do its job.
18-1: Drum Sanding Speed Chart
These speeds are for 60 hz. operations.
Work this way when sanding edges. The setup assures that sanded
edges will be square to adjacent surfaces.
Most edge sanding
is best done with the machine in the vertical position (Figure
18-4). The setup assures that sanded edges will be square to
adjacent surfaces. Move the workpiece slowly, but keep it in constant
motion. The drum will continue to sand if you hold the workpiece
still and this will cause indentations that will spoil the edge.
Move the workpiece from left to right, against the drum's direction
will be most efficient and abrasive materials will last longer if
you do initial cutting so there is the least amount of material
for the sander to remove. When you are doing a lot of sanding, occasionally
adjust the drum's vertical position so you will be using all of
the abrasive surface.
To sand internal edges, position the stock before extending
are sanded in a similar fashion, the only difference being that
you position the work piece before extending the quill (Figure
18-5). The drum sander's position is maintained by locking the
Sand straight edges as shown when you wish to sand workpieces
to an exact width.
You can smooth
straight edges freehand by passing them across the drum; but a more
efficient technique, when stock width permits, is to work with the
rip fence as shown in Figure
18-6. The drum's depth of cut must be very light, only enough
to smooth the edge. When the fence is situated between the drum
and the way tubes, the pass is made from right to left. This setup
is also used to edge sand any number of pieces to exactly the same
The same setup
can be used if you work with the shaper fence. The amount of material
to be sanded off is controlled by adjusting the infeed fence as
you would when doing a shaping cut that removes the entire edge
of the stock. There is no limit to how wide the stock can be when
you are using the drum sander/shaper fence arrangement.
You can do surface sanding by passing the stock between the
drum and the table. Keep the stock moving and don't try to
remove too much material in a single pass.
is done with the Mark V set in the horizontal position. Place the
stock at the edge of the table; then position and raise the table
so the stock just touches the abrasive sleeve. Remove the stock
and turn on the motor; then feed the stock, between the drum and
table, against the drum's direction of rotation. This means standing
behind the Mark V and moving the stock toward the speed dial side
of the power plant (Figure
18-7). Warning: Do not stand directly in line with the stock.
One way to surface sand wide stock. After making the first
pass, turn the stock end-for-end and make a second pass.
Stock that is
wider than the drum can handle in a single pass can be sanded by
making additional passes. An example procedure, with the fence used
as a guide, is shown in Figure
18-8. Assuming that the width of the stock is less than twice
the length of the drum, set the fence to accommodate the width of
the stock and make one pass with the stock riding against the fence.
Then, after turning the stock end-for-end, make a second pass.
This is about the only way you cna surface sand thin slats
so all will be of equal thickness throughout their lengths.
thin material can be difficult to do, especially if you want the
slats to have a uniform thickness. As long as the slats are not
wider than 2-1/2", the work can be done accurately and efficiently
by using the setup shown in Figure
18-9. Position the fence so the drum will bear lightly against
the slat. The slats are fed in at the rear and pulled out at the
front of the machine. Be sure to keep them moving. Any hesitation
will cause the drum to form an indentation.
Drum for Thickness Sanding
You can make a drum sander that can be mounted between the
lathe centers and used, as shown here, for thickness sanding.
Here, even more than on other operations, the pressure against
the drum must be very light.
A drum sander
you can make, and which is used with the Mark V in the lathe mode,
is shown in Figure
18-10. The drum affords several advantages: It can surface sand
material more than 12" wide; the large table surface provides excellent
support for the workpiece; and if the drum is accurately made and
the table's alignment is correct, the material will be sanded to
a uniform thickness.
Use a hardwood
like maple or birch. Construction details of the drum sander are
shown in Figure 18-11.
Construction details of a special drum sander. Click image
to see larger view.
Don't use excessive
speeds, feed too fast, or try to take too deep a bite. Light passes
will do a much better job than a single heavy one. Warning: If
you try to remove more than 1/64" of material at once, you might
cause the drum to be thrown from its mounting or the stock to be
pulled from your hand and thrown.
A special insert, with a disk that is centered perfectly under
the drum, is needed when the drum sander is used for pattern
is done by making a special insert with a guide disk having a diameter
equal to the drum's diameter (Figure
18-12). It is important that the disk be centered exactly under
the drum; therefore, when making the insert, be sure to follow the
instructions shown in Figure
To make a special insert for pattern sanding, use a drum sander
insert as a pattern. Locate the position of the guide disk
with the drum sander mounted on the spindle. Attach the disk
with glue and 1/2" brads. Click image to see larger view.
The pattern, with work attached, rides against the guide disk
so the work is sanded to duplicate the shape of the pattern.
Click on image to see larger view.
18-14 shows how the sanding is done. The pattern, which is the
shape of the work you need, rides against the guide disk. The rough-cut
work is held to the pattern with small brads or is impaled on brad
points that project from the pattern. As you make the pass, keep
the pattern in constant contact with the guide disk so that the
work will be sanded to match the pattern.
on the drum will work only if you accept it as a smoothing operation.
When you rough-cut the workpieces, be sure they are not more than
1/16" or so oversize.
The drum sander is used to smooth surfaces of elaberately
contoured projects like the cabriole leg.
surfaces of workpieces like the cabriole leg is typical of sanding
operations best handled on a drum sander. Because of the project's
elaborate contours, it is difficult to provide a support surface
for the workpiece; so the operation is done freehand with the operator
moving and guiding the workpiece (Figure
Keep a firm
grip on the workpiece and move it along steadily so the drum can't
dig in at any point. Avoid excessive feed pressure. If necessary,
go over an area several times. Warning: Always move the workpiece
so you are feeding against the drum's rotation.
Leg to a Round Column
How to form a cove so a leg can fit against a round column.
Usually the cove won't be exactly the correct size, but you
can make it right by doing some additional work by hand with
sandpaper or a file.
leg that must fit against a round column must have a radius formed
on the edge that mates with the column. This can be accomplished
by setting up the Mark V as shown in Figure
18-16. The table's height is set so the centerline of the workpiece
is on the horizontal centerline of the drum. It may not be necessary,
but the rip fence or a fixture can be used to keep the work square
to the drum.
Move the workpiece
forward so the edge to be sanded will be parallel to the surface
of the drum. Don't force; let the abrasive work at its own speed.
The cove that is formed in the workpiece will be determined by the
diameter of the drum. If it isn't suitable for the connection you
must make, you can modify it by hand with sandpaper or a file.