BUILD A POOL TABLE – Mesquite and a Woodmaster Drum Sander

 

1 Mesquite pool tableCharles (Chuck) Phelps tells us he’s a self-taught woodworker. Well, he obviously a good teacher and a good student. He recently completed his “dream project,” a regulation-size pool table. His strong math background played a big part, as did  his Woodmaster Drum Sander. Here’s Chuck’s story…

“I was an economics and math major in college and I use geometry to plan many of my projects, figuring out what angles to cut and how to achieve them repeatedly. I’m a self-taught woodworker, I never had woodworking training. I work by trial and error, trying things out on scrap wood. And I use a lot of scrap wood!

Chuck's pool table is a beauty. His Woodmater Drum Sander and Woodmaster Molder/Planer helped  him turn a long-time dream project into a reality.

Chuck’s pool table is a beauty. His Woodmater Drum Sander and Woodmaster Molder/Planer helped him turn a long-time dream project into a reality.

I recently built my biggest, most difficult woodworking project, a regulation-size, 4’ x 8’ pool table. I couldn’t have built this pool table without my 38” Woodmaster Drum Sander.

Mesquite’s very stable — doesn’t shrink or expand with moisture

Chuck runs one of his solid wood backgammon boards through his 38% Woodmaster Drum Sander to get a perfectly smooth, even, perfect surface.

Chuck runs one of his solid wood backgammon boards through his 38″ Woodmaster Drum Sander to get a perfectly smooth, even, perfect surface.

I’d had a slate pool table bed for years just waiting for this project. I found plans on the internet and chose to build my pool table it from mesquite. It’s a pest tree in the south where huge areas are overgrown with it. They just bulldoze it out. But it’s a great wood to work with because it is very stable and doesn’t shrink or expand with moisture. I found a woodworker who salvages, saws, and sells it. Besides my Woodmaster Drum Sander, I have a Woodmaster Molder/Planer. I ran the wood through it to get it all to uniform thickness.

Right rail heightIt was really crucial to have the Woodmaster Drum Sander for this project because it gives you extremely precise, repeatable thicknessing. For example, the pool table’s rail height must be exactly 63% of the diameter of the ball so the rail’s ‘nose’ is just above the ball’s center. If the rail hits below center, the ball will fly off the table! The rail height works out to a very odd and precise measurement and you can’t create that height by stacking commercially made lumber.

SAVE BIG NOW on Woodmaster Drum Sanders – sale prices, online specials

SAVE BIG NOW on Woodmaster Molder/Planers – sale prices, online specials

1/6 turn equals 1/100″ sanding depth adjustment

The Woodmaster Drum Sander is extremely precise. When I turn the height adjustment crank one full turn, it changes the sanding depth exactly 1/16”. To change the depth just 1/100” I turn the crank just 1/6 of a turn, the equivalent of 10 minutes on a clock face. This drum sander’s precision is really quite amazing.

For the side panels, I chose highly figured wood and it needed a lot of attention from my drum sander. The legs are all glue-ups. I have a Woodmaster Molder/Planer, too, and I used it to get really smooth surfaces.

Anyone for backgammon? Commercial boards' diamond-shaped pieces are laminated to a substrate. Chuck makes his of solid wood. It takes real precision to do this kind of work!

Anyone for backgammon? Commercial boards’ diamond-shaped pieces are laminated to a substrate. Chuck makes his of solid wood. It takes real precision to do this kind of work!

I make backgammon boards, too. The design is very elaborate with lots of diamond shapes. Commercial backgammon boards are laminated but I make them from solid wood. I use three woods and put them through the drum sander. I cut all the diamond shapes and pieces, glue them up, and put them through the Drum Sander again to get a perfectly even surface. This would be impossible to do without the Woodmaster Drum Sander.

“Woodmaster’s obviously the best on the market”

I do lots of research before I buy tools and I try to buy the best. Woodmaster equipment is obviously the best on the market. You can’t get Woodmaster’s throat width on equipment from Home Depot. I looked at a drum sander that had a cantilever head — it was attached only on one side. I rejected it simply because of that design.

charles cardI’d advise others to not skimp on inferior equipment. If you get a machine that doesn’t work well, it’ll drive you crazy. It’s simply a mistake to start with imprecise tools. The Woodmaster Drum Sander has tremendous durability, strength, and it’s very safe to use. I have no ambiguity at all – it’s by far the best drum sander available.”

— Charles Phelps, Woodmaster Owner, Gualala CA

SAVE BIG NOW on Woodmaster Drum Sanders – sale prices, online specials

SAVE BIG NOW on Woodmaster Molder/Planers – sale prices, online specials

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