How to Install Sandpaper To a Drum Sander

Installing sandpaper on a drum sander is a necessary and frequently repeated task each time you operate a sander. Typically, the leading and trailing edges of a sheet of sandpaper are secured to a slot on the drum by some type of gripping mechanism. In some cases, a set of three screws with a securing bar will hold the paper edges in place. Only the edges are secured. The remaining part of the sheet come in contact with the drum surface area but is only wrapped – not glued or otherwise adhered to the drum surface

Snap Bar

If your drum sander employs a spring activated snap bar at both ends of the drum. Pull the trailing end secure bar up and insert the end of a sheet of sandpaper under the raised bar into the slot until it can no longer push in anymore. Release the bar to secure the end of the sandpaper in the slot. Tug on the paper slightly to eliminate any slack. Pull the leading edge secure bar up and place the open end of the sandpaper into the slot as far as the paper will go, Release the secure bar to keep the sandpaper in place.

Screw Tight

On some models of drum sanders, there are three set screws per each side – trailing and leading. To install a sandpaper sheet, remove the screws on the trailing side to release the paper secured by the top bar. Slide the sandpaper sheet across the bottom part of the paper secure bar into the slot until it stops. Replace the bar and tighten the three set screws. Remove the three set screws from the leading edge side of the drum, pulling the top secure bar off. Pull the sheet tightly while inserting it across the bottom secure bar and into the slot as far as it can go. If the sheet is too long, trim it. Once any slack is eliminated, hold the sheet firmly while replacing the leading edge top secure bar.

Belt Replacement

Often a retractable drum allows for use of a belt that must be slid over one end when the other is supported by a heavy bearing. The retractable part is removed from its pivot and a belt is placed over the drum and then the drum is inserted back on the pivot bearing to operate freely.

Frequent Changes

All drum sanders use the machine weight in association with the rotating drum to remove material from the floor surface. A little bit of skill is necessary and will develop with use. Sanding sheets are consumed frequently, even with advanced users. Therefore, installing sandpaper sheets or belts on a drum sander is a task that has to be performed accurately or the sheets will deteriorate quickly. The actual securing attachment mechanism will vary from brand to brand but there are two important factors to remember: 1) secure the trailing edge first and 2) do not allow too much “play” in the paper when sanding or it will tear, rip or become completely destroyed. There should be no more than a 1/8 inch to a 1/4 inch play regardless the method for securing the paper.

Refer to your owner’s manual for specific paper installation.