Figure 18-15. The drum sander is used to smooth surfaces of elaberately contoured projects like the cabriole leg.
Smoothing the surfaces of workpieces like the cabriole leg is typical of sanding operations best handled on a drum sander. Because of the project's elaborate contours, it is difficult to provide a support surface for the workpiece; so the operation is done freehand with the operator moving and guiding the workpiece (Figure 18-15).
Keep a firm grip on the workpiece and move it along steadily so the drum can't dig in at any point. Avoid excessive feed pressure. If necessary, go over an area several times. Warning: Always move the workpiece so you are feeding against the drum's rotation.
Fitting a Leg to a Round Column
Figure 18-16. How to form a cove so a leg can fit against a round column. Usually the cove won't be exactly the correct size, but you can make it right by doing some additional work by hand with sandpaper or a file.
A furniture leg that must fit against a round column must have a radius formed on the edge that mates with the column. This can be accomplished by setting up the Mark V as shown in Figure 18-16. The table's height is set so the centerline of the workpiece is on the horizontal centerline of the drum. It may not be necessary, but the rip fence or a fixture can be used to keep the work square to the drum.
Move the workpiece forward so the edge to be sanded will be parallel to the surface of the drum. Don't force; let the abrasive work at its own speed. The cove that is formed in the workpiece will be determined by the diameter of the drum. If it isn't suitable for the connection you must make, you can modify it by hand with sandpaper or a file.