Woodworking Tips
Woodworking Tips Index
Drum Sander Vacuum
Mounting a drum sander on a drill press is a great way to sand the edge of a curved workpiece. But it produces very fine sawdust that’s unhealthy to breathe -- and a nuisance. So to cut down on the sawdust, I built an auxiliary drum sander table that works with my shop vacuum, see drawings below.
To make the table, I built an H-shaped frame first. All the frame pieces should start out 3/4" thick and 3-1/2" wide (high). The two cross members are cut to length so they’re 1-1/2" less than the depth of the drill press table (front to back). But the front and back pieces are cut to length so they’re about twice as long as the table.

After the frame pieces are cut to size, cut a hole in one of the cross members, see drawing at right. Size the hole to accept the hose from your shop vacuum or dust collector. (It should be a friction fit.)

The last two pieces to make are the top and bottom. These are cut from a piece of 3/4" plywood, and while they’re both cut to match the depth of the drill press table (front to back), their lengths are different. The bottom is the same length as the width of the drill press table. The top is the same length as the long frame pieces.

Before assembling the box, I cut a square hole right in the center of the top to accept sanding drum inserts. Then, to keep the inserts from dropping through the hole, I screwed two cleats under the hole at the sides.

Now assemble the box. First, screw the front and back frame pieces to the bottom so the bottom is centered along their length. (Note: There aren’t any screws in the art, but I used #8 x 1-1/2" Fh woodscrews.) Then to provide a lip so the box can be clamped to the drill press, attach the cross members in about 2" from each end of the plywood bottom. Finally, glue the top down to the frame.

DrawingYou can make any number of inserts to fit the various drums you have. I cut mine from 3/4"-thick plywood to fit the square hole in the top of the box. Then holes can be drilled in the center of the inserts 1/4" larger than the sanding drums, see drawing at right. This will leave extra area for the dust to be pulled through and will also allow space so the drum doesn’t have to be perfectly centered in the hole.

Using the box is simple. Just clamp it to your drill press and lower the sanding drum so it’s just inside the hole. Then lock down the quill, and you’re ready to sand.
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