Home Made Drum Sander

I recently purchased a new bench pillar drill model AC315PD. Has anyone got any advice or experiencing using it as a drum sander. I have made a simple drum but haven’t used it yet. It occurred to me I might damage the quill/spindle assembly.

Hi George, although the bearing system in a drill is designed to take end thrust in the main the lower bearing / bush will also keep the drill bit running true and stop it spiraling out of control. The amount of pressure normally applied to a drum sander will not have any adverse effect on your drill spindle. The more accurate the bobbin runs the better not only to put less stress on the quill but makes shaping easier. You might be better off looking at the Axminster Large drum sander for your drill.

Hi George, I completely agree with Mike. I have used fairly large drum sanders on my 20year old Axminster pillar drill for a number of years without too much problem. Using a coarse grit means that material can be removed effectively without applying excessive lateral pressure. I would also advise allowing the base of the drum to sit in a suitable recessed hole in a secondary bench to allow better access to the drum.
I would say though, that a few years ago I purchased a bobbin sander, which I have found far more effective and easy to use. You usually have a much greater selection of drum sizes, and the movement of the bobbin allows more even wear on the sandpaper.

Hello George, I am no expert but have used my Drill Press as a Drum Sander for a few years. I, like Steve, have made a number of tops with recessed holes to fit different sizes of sanding spindles as I find that the drum only needs about 1 cm clearance all-round to be most effective. The only problem with a drill press drum sander is that it is difficult to achieve vertical movement - you need three hands so you wear out the bottom of the sand paper quickly. One can add another recessed table top to use the middle part but… When I can afford one I will buy a Bobbin Sander but at the moment the drill press sander works fine.

Hi George,

I agree with Stevefell regarding the use of a coarse grit abrasive to keep the load on the machine to a minimum and would suggest 80’s and 100 grit aluminium oxide for initial shaping of curved work, then final finishing by hand. I would not bother to use it for anything straight.

Regards Jeff

Hello Everybody

Thanks for your contributions, every one of the suggestions has been helpful and will apply them as I proceed. For the time being and since I have made a drum, I will give it a go but I like the idea of a few bobbins of different sizes and will probably make a purchase in the not too distant future. Again, thanks for your help. George

This could be a good one for you George. I have a couple of Carroll drums, almost the same as the Axy ones. Had them for a lot of years and when I managed to damage the rubber surface on one of them I contacted Carroll and they sent me enough to do several repairs as it is a stick on covering. When I change the drums I just spin the one in use off of the mandril and the other one on in its place. It only takes a few seconds and the abrasive change is also very quick too. The Axy ones are a lot cheaper than the Carroll and I have no idea what they are like but I would think they would do the job you want at not too many beer tokens.

The sheet abrasive is a lot cheaper than the ready made drums too.

Hi Jonzjob
Not sure if its an offer you are making for some surplus drums you have or a suggestion to try the Axy drums. Either way, I’m happy to be on this forum and enjoying the banter.