Sand to the beat of a lathe-mounted drum
I made a few of wine bottle holders, shown at near right, from WOOD® magazine issue 167 (November 2005, page eight) for Christmas gifts. After cutting out the holder on my bandsaw, it was easy enough to sand out the outside curve with my belt sander, but the inside curve was a different story. The crescent measures about 10" in diameter and the largest sanding drum I could find had only a 3" diameter, which made it difficult to get a smooth surface. Then I realized a 3x24" sanding belt would work if I created a mega-sized sanding drum.
First, I glued up a 3"-thick blank out of 2x10 stock and bandsawed it into an 8" disc. Next, I mounted the blank on my lathe and turned it to 79⁄16 ", with a slight round-over on the edge of the drum to ease belt installation.
One thing I've learned after using the drum for awhile: Not all 24" sanding belts are created equal. If the belt is too tight, turn the drum slightly smaller. A slightly loose belt is better because the diameter can be increased or reduced with layers of masking tape.
—Jerry O'Banion, Meadow Grove, Neb.