Shop built Thickness-Drum Sander

I’ve decided to build a thickness planer. There are many posted here on the net and I’ve looked at a lot of them. (maybe all, at least all I could find)


-Thank You for all those that posted their builds. The ideas and processes have been very helpful.


the drum will be made from 5” maple disk. Total sanding width will be 18”


I seen one model built with the pulley built right into the wood drum. The more I though about it the more I liked the idea. This allows the drive force to be on the drum itself. The shaft is no longer driving the drum, the drum drives the shaft, which is just there to keep it in place.

You’ll note the drum hasn’t been trued up yet. My original plan was to glue 2 un-drilled ends and turn it on the lathe, but once I got that far I realized there was a good chance the holes wouldn’t get lined up right. I’ll true it once its on the base.

So a few other questions.
I plan to set the pivot point of the deck on a full length 5/8” shaft at the back of the unit. I’ve got a few pieces of harden shaft laying around and figured the full length will help racking a little.

I also figured I could make a series of holes so the shaft could be pulled out, and the deck could then be moved to a lower or higher position for thicker or thinner pieces. My concern is I haven’t seen this done, and it seems logical. What would the negative be?

There is one sander made that has a plexiglass dust shield. I like the idea, but plexiglass is getting pretty expensive locally. Besides the “cool” factor, what are the advantages?

I was thinking of painting (easy Smit) the sander, maybe a machine grey. Thoughts. Should I paint it or leave it natural and just oil it.

For now I only have a 1/6 hp motor. I know that won’t cut it, so I need to find another. What is the smallest you would use, and what’s recommended?

And here is truing up the drum


Here is the deck, all glued up.

And as the glue was drying I made the scissor lever for the height adjuster. I got them cut and welded together

And progress otherwise.

Not much left to do until I get some sand paper and decide on a motor

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