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Drum-sander adapter breaks thickness barriers

I love my drum sander for thicknessing lumber and leaving a smooth surface. But sometimes, I want the same finish on workpieces larger than the machine’s 3" maximum thickness, such as when sanding dovetails flush on a drawer. So, I adapted my drum sander to sand on the top of the drum by building the box at right. It just fits the bed, with the ends protruding down to keep it from moving. It’s high enough to accommodate the opened sander.
To create the slot for the drum, I installed 36-grit paper, clamped the box in place, turned on the drum (but not the feed belt) and raised it until it touched the underside of the tabletop—just enough to leave a mark. Then, I removed the top, and cut 34 ×1" slots through the top at either end of the mark to accommodate the exposed ends of the drum where the sandpaper doesn’t reach. I replaced the top and slowly raised the sanding drum until it protruded slightly from the top.
—Paul Milo, Glendale, Ariz.  

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