Make Your Own Handy V Drum Sander with This Simple Guide

Need to sand down timber? Why not build your own V drum sander?
Christopher McFadden

If the video player is not working, you can click on this alternative video link.

If you love to do a bit of woodworking in your spare time, then this little DIY project will certainly be up your street. Make short work of sanding wood with this handy DIY V drum sander.

Follow this simple guide to find out how. 

v block sander complete
Source: Junkyard - Origin Of Creativity/YouTube

As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.

Materials and gear needed

With all the gear and materials ready, it's time to get on with this great little build. 

Step 1: Make the main sanding rollers

The first step is to create a series of small disks of wood to the dimensions provided in the video. Using the disks, glue them together to make a series of long cylinders of wooden disks. Then thread a long bolt through the center of each cylinder. 

Using a lathe, or simple power drill, sand down each cylinder so that all disks are the same dimensions. With that done, wrap the entire cylinder(s) in sandpaper, as shown. This will form the main sanding drum for the machine. 

v block sander cylinders
Source: Junkyard - Origin Of Creativity/YouTube

Step 2: Make the main body of the sander

Next, measure and cut a series of pieces of wood to form the main boxing of the V drum sander as shown in the video. Take your sprockets and chain, place them on one of the pieces of wood and mark out the positions of their axles. 

v bar sander ball bearings
Source: Junkyard - Origin Of Creativity/YouTube

Drill holes, and countersink the points for the ball bearings, etc, as needed too.

Next, using wood glue and screws, assemble the main body of the machine. Then slot in the ball bearings as shown. 

With that done, mount the two sander cylinders between each pair of ball bearings. 

v block sander cylinders mounted
Source: Junkyard - Origin Of Creativity/YouTube

With that done, complete the main boxing of the sander. For the lid of the box that will sit above the sanding cylinders, cut a pair of slits so that the sanding cylinders are exposed.

Add a pair of hinges to one end of the lid so that the piece can be opened when needed. 

v block sander lid
Source: Junkyard - Origin Of Creativity/YouTube

With the lid in place, test the action of the rollers - they should freely rotate. If not, make the necessary adjustments. Build out the base as shown. 

Step 3: Build and connect the power drill mount

With the exposed edges of the roller shafts, mount the sprockets and chain, as required. These will act as the driving wheels for the sander when completed. 

With that done, measure and cut another series of pieces of wood for the power drill bracket. Shape and cut as needed, and then glue it into position on the base of the main sander boxing. 

v block sander power drill mount
Source: Junkyard - Origin Of Creativity/YouTube

Mount your power drill into its bracket as needed, and make adjustments as needed, if any. Secure the nearest cylinder axle into the teeth of the power drill chuck. 

After that, create a small wooden block to act as the power button lock for the drill to ensure it stays on continuously once set. 

 Next, add a supporting flange to the inside of the box, as shown in the video, to support the lid when closed. 

Step 4: 

With all that done, take your L-bracket length of metal and mount it above the chain and sprockets. Next, cut a larger disk of wood and cover it with sandpaper. 

Once done, mount the sandpaper-covered disk to the other free axle of the sprocket and chain. With that done, build a small platform from more wood, and glue it to the base of the machine adjacent to the sanding disk. 

v block sander platform
Source: Junkyard - Origin Of Creativity/YouTube

With that done, cut another length of wood, cut three thin slits along it, and mount to the rearmost side of the lid, as shown. Next, take three rubber-coated rollers, and mount them to each of the vertical slits, as shown. 

These wheels will be adjustable so that different thicknesses of timber can be passed over the top sanding cylinders. 

Next, core a hole through one end of the main V drum sander's boxing. Insert a plastic elbow into the hole, and other lengths of plastic pipe and tubing to act as the sawdust extractor. 

v block sander extractor
Source: Junkyard - Origin Of Creativity/YouTube

With that complete, your brand new V drum sander is not complete. To use it, simply adjust the rubber rollers on the top of the machine, tighten the power drill screw, and sand away!

If you enjoyed this little DIY project, you might enjoy making another DIY piece of gear for your workshop. How about, for example, your own rotary tumbler?

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