4 Ways to Customize a Drum Sander
A drum sander can be customized to be a more effective tool for the avid woodworker. There are basically three great features in a drum sander: spindle speed, versatile abrasives to be used and allowing the operator to use two hands. There are a number of optional attachments that can enhance your drum sander use. There are a number of enhancements that can turn other power tools into a drum sander.
Drill Press Adapter
Sanding curves in wood cut by a jigsaw or a band saw can best be accomplished through use of an oscillating spindle sander. If you do not have a spindle sander, you can adapt other power tools to fit your sanding needs. If you do not own a dedicated spindle sander, you can convert a drill press or router table into one to get the job done. A drill press is the better choice since its variable speeds can be set lower than a router table. However, either choice will work. Sanding drums for a spindle set up come in a variety of different diameter sizes. You can find the most popular sizes (3/4 inch and 1- 1/2 inch) that accept a range of different grits like 50, 80 and 120. Simply place the selected drum with your choice of sandpaper and tighten it to the spindle according to the manufacturer’s directions. Attach the drum to the spindle. Raise the table to just below the spindle before turning it on to sand whatever object you need sanded.
A sanding sleeve is a piece of abrasive material that slips over the sanding drum. These interchangeable sleeves allow the user the opportunity to customize different methods for sanding an object. A typical sleeve kit for a drum sander would include a rubber material sleeve, a diamond-surfaced sleeve, various sanding discs and others used for polishing items.
Another way to customize the use of your drum sander is to include a 5-horsepower dust collector. This would be a separate “tool” that is attached to the drum sander to eliminate much of the sawdust produced during operation. The attachment could use eco-friendly dust bags that make disposable easy and efficient. Using a dust collection system will help improve the efficient use of your drum sander while providing a safer operation for the user when eliminating what could be harmful dust. Although the dust collector system is a great customized accessory, caution should always be employed by wearing the appropriate safety gear such as eye goggles and a breathing mask.
Sanding Other Material
There are several drum attachments for your oscillating spindle sander that allow you to sand other than flat or curved wood objects. Specially designed drums can be used to customize your sander to sand items like gourds used in home decoration. Additionally, special drums can be used for sanding plastic or metal objects as well.