my thickness sander has a wood spool that I made by grinding down two two by fours bolted together. Thought I could attach velcro to the wood spool and then use hook and loop sandpaper rolls to simplify changing paper for it.
Curious about this myself.
I have an old Ryobi drum sander and although it does the job pretty good, one drawback is loading the paper and getting good tension on it is hard. Then, due to use, it can slip & start to unroll from the drum a bit. I had thought about H&L too, but I figured that would introduce a layer of compressible fabric between the sandpaper & the hard metal drum. That cant be good can it? I'm thinking everything you run through it will be tapered at the edges if there is any softness to the drum surface? Anyone do this with success? Let us know & you could save 2 of us from a unnecessary job of scraping adhesive off a drum if it doesnt work!
Irrespective of the drum material, I think what we're really wondering here in this thread is:
Is hook & loop backed sandpaper used by any luthiers to affix the sandpaper to the sanding drum surface?
If folks are doing it this way & it works good, Id sure like to make my life easier as I find plain cloth backed sandpaper difficult to load on my drum & keep it where it should be. i'm just thinking the hook & loop material amounts to adding 'play' into the depth gauging and possibly causing uneven sanding across the plates? -i'd think theyd get thinnned more at the edges if you follow...
I have both a home made hook and loop sander and a Performax sander. My advise to to cut your losses and get a real sander. I may use the hook and loop setup twice a year for fine adjustment, light sanding (binding/purfling)or sanding that I need access to get close to the drum (bridges). The hook and loop is best used for very light surface sanding only. It is not desirable to have a cushion underneath sand paper to do accurate thickness sanding. You will get an uneven result. That has been my personal experience.
I'd use an old rolling pin before tryin' to make a drum out of 2x4's. In fact an old marble rolling pin would work even better.Wifey might protest though.H/L wears out too quickly convenient as it is.IMO.
I'm aiming for a thickness planer type neway.I'll keep using belt sander for now.
Thanks to all for your input. I have decided to abandon the hook and loop idea because of the uneven results that the hook and loop cushion would give. I found archived discussions of this on the MIMF web site and the experts there mention using cloth backed drum sanding rolls wound around the drum. My machine is patterned after the UKELELE thickness sander designed and used by David Hurd for many years. I just made it bigger to accomodate joined guitar backs and soundboards. If you are interested looking at the David Hurd thickenss sander and his instructions here is the link http://www.ukuleles.com/BuildingHowTo/sandthck.html