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Author Topic: Anybody use a drum sander?  (Read 10214 times)

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Offline rutkom

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Anybody use a drum sander?
« on: September 24, 2008, 08:52:44 PM »
Curious if any of you have any experience with a drum sander. I was considering it for doing a final sanding after planing to eliminate tear out and save time. I would also like to use it for sanding panels flat after gluing. Would the open sided ones work good on panels?

What do the sanding rolls cost? Is it easy to change grits?

What brands are good? I saw a delta on craigslist a while back for $400. Does this sound resonable?

thanks


Offline tyb525

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2008, 09:07:24 PM »
Grizzly has a "baby" 12" drum sander for $525 new. $850 for an open end 18", which can actually sand 36". The replacement rolls are around $3.50 each.

The make drum sanders up to 51" wide, which the bigger ones are actually belt sanders but are essentially the same as drum sanders.

I have heard of a lot of woodworkers that use drum sanders in place of planers, especially on glue ups and figured wood. All of the info is in Grizzly's catalog. I'm sure other companies have similar products.

I have never used a drum sander, but I have heard good things.
LT10G10, Stihl 038 Magnum, many woodworking tools. Currently a farm service applicator, trying to find time to saw!

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2008, 09:29:46 PM »
I have the Performax 22-44.  It is a wonderful machine - when used in a reasonable way.  This is a finishing machine and leaves a sanded finish that can then be polished with a ROS.  I have sent a 2" x 32" x 8' table top through it all the way down to veneer less than .010".  It is my favorite tool in the shop.  Surfaces come out so flat that a stack of sanded boards suction to one another when lifted.  It's amazing how unfinished a board out of a planer really is.  Every board that goes through my planer makes a pass through the drum sander.

Its limits are that it removes just a sandings dust worth of material at a time.  You need to be careful with glue ups that all surface glue is removed.  Otherwise, the glue will scorch the sanding belt and it will be ruined.  Changing belts is a snap on this tool, but a little practice will be needed.  The belts are not what I would call cheap, but the quality surface the drum sander leaves far outways the expense.  If you are careful with the depth of cut (an 1/8th of a turn of the crank) and surface glue, a belt will last a really long time.
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline tyb525

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2008, 09:43:08 PM »
I also saw that they sold a sheet of the rubber sandpaper cleaner that you send through it like a board to clean it.
LT10G10, Stihl 038 Magnum, many woodworking tools. Currently a farm service applicator, trying to find time to saw!

Offline Grawulf

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2008, 09:53:54 PM »
rutkom,
I've used the Delta machine for 5 - 6 years and am very happy with it. You can load it with 30 grit and score the snot out of a board or down to 220 and burn the snot out of the wrap. I've found that 120 or 100 grit is about as fine as you want to go. Closed grain woods like maple and beech tend to burn easily if you take too big of a bite. They seem to be a little underpowered as you can stall out the drum if you don't pay attention. If the machine on Craigslist is less that three years old, I'd say the $400 was a decent deal.... I still finish my panels and boards up on a stroke sander but the drum sure makes shorter work of it.

Offline Ironwood

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2008, 10:17:39 PM »
I would look for an older Beach if you have the room for one (they are fairly large) but well powered and BIG drums, which helps w/ paper longevity AND burning issues discussed earlier. I have several that I would let go fairly cheap, IF you are near Pa. as they are $$$ to ship. a couple of dual 37's, and a single 50" (this one is more expensive as I have use for it)

        Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline ladylake

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2008, 06:28:07 AM »
After using mine and talking to my friend with a dual drum Griz I found you can't take off much material with out burning the paper and worse if you hit a knot. Maybe a big old one that turns slower might be better.  I'd look for a used wide belt sander or get a good random orbit sander.    Steve
Timberking B20 15000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Suffolk  setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline Ed

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2008, 08:31:09 AM »
I've got a 38" Woodmaster, it's 4 years old now and has been an excellent machine.

On any drum sander a good dust collection system is a must! Woodmasters system picks the dust up from the bottom of the drum as soon as it comes off the wood. It really reduces the sandpaper loading up.

Variable speed is required also, different woods & grits require different feed rates to control finish quality and sandpaper life.

If you don't let the paper get real loaded up, it can be powerwashed at least once to get more life.

When sanding glue ups, I always skew the board slightly when it feeds through the sander, the prevents the glue joint from running in one spot on the drum and loading up the paper.

You will still need to finish sand after using a drum sander, I start with the same grit that the sander was loaded with.

Ed

Offline rutkom

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2008, 12:47:50 PM »
Does Performax still make drum sanders? The only thing I see on their website are little cheap homeower tools. The closest thing I can find is the JETs which look exactly the same.

Is there anything special about the sanding rolls? It looks like it is just a roll of hook and loop paper that you wrap around the drum. Are they all like this? I guess I was expecting it to use an actual sleeve like a spindle sander.

I've never seen one work. Approximately how long/ how many passes would you take to sand a 12x24 oak board to get a nice surface that can be finnished with a ROS?

Unfortunately I'm halfway across the country from you. Know any good sources of used machines near Kansas City? What are some good brands to look for?

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2008, 01:15:06 PM »
The Jet group purchased Performax along with Powermatic a few years ago.

The paper rolls attach with a clip on either side of the drum - not hook and loop.  A 12X24" piece of oak will go through in 10 seconds, maybe with two passes per side.  this of course depends on the amount of tearout or other defect you need to remove.  The feed rate on the 22-44 is variable, so it can be adjusted to the optimal speed for the hardness and width of material as well as the depth of cut.

Is there a Woodcraft store in KC?  They may have one set up in there classroom thsat you can test drive.

The Performax is not what I would call an industrial sander.  I would not want to run thousands of square feet through it.  But for the volume of material I use in building personal projects, it is a nice value.
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Ed

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2008, 02:09:16 PM »
rutkom, Woodmaster is right in your backyard.  ;D

http://www.woodmastertools.com/

Ed

Offline rutkom

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2008, 06:02:18 PM »
If I found a good deal on a woodmaster, I'd be all over it. There is a lumber dealer around here that has a woodmaster planer. He planes alot of lumber and seems to do a good job.

This is just a hobby, so it would be just occasional use. It's one of those tools that would be nice to have if I can find one for the right price.

Offline Larry

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2008, 07:00:09 PM »
IMO all drum sanders are hobby machines...I had a Performax for a while and now have the dual drum 24" Grizzly G1066R.  It comes with clips to hold the sandpaper...but it is almost a two man job to change paper.  They sell a hook and loop conversion kit which is a big improvement.  I paid something like $350 off CL and got the machine plus $350 worth of sandpaper.  Knowing what I know now I would never pay for a new machine from either Performax or Grizzly.

I know nothing of other machines but canít see where they would be a big improvement.

Bottom line...they are useful and if you can pick up a used machine for small cost it may be worth while.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline Ironwood

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2008, 07:59:18 PM »
Buyer beware on "oldish" wide belts, they can be expensive, and finincky to get working. Personally I would never buy on I could not see run (for an extended period). The old Beach and Smith drums were the industrial standard for decades andd decades, probably 90 years or more. They are big and CAN get the job done. One mill near me has a 1880's osillating Egan (before Fay and Egan). It is going strong and gets the job done (watch yer fingers though) lots of exposed gears and such. Don't let the others disswade you, thay are simple powerful and inexpensive, you just need to get it mobilized and have space for it. You will find these tucked away in numerous corners. I could direct you to 6 or so tucked away in old museum wood shops (when the work was done in house) and also in a few monestary setting where the fathers did woodworking pre turn of the century. Sniff around they are out there and at a hobbists budget. Personally, when I need one I grab a forklift and get one of the three here that are palletized and bring them over to my outside loading dock to plug them in and use them. I kiinda work like the Amish, when it rains I work inside and when sunny I use my extended shop space outside ;D.

 Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2008, 09:55:04 PM »
On the Performax...
I worked in a shop that had the smaller one . A 16-32 I believe.  This machine was infuriating.  The breaker switch (?) on the motor would trip constantly.  If the depth of cut was too deep, it would trip.  If the feed rate were to fast it would trip.  If it ran too long (20 min) it would trip.

The 22-44 that I purchased has never tripped in the three years that I have been using it.  And I would use it for hours at a time. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Robert Long

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2008, 09:08:37 PM »
Nice to see this thread!

I too have questions on a drum sander.

I see and add for a Craftex 13" table top (so to speak) with a 1hp, 110v motor, with a conveyor belt speed from 0 to 22 fpm up here in Ontario, Canada.  It sells for $848  Is this a good deal and can it do the job on light weight tasks?  abrasive rolls are $7.99 each.

Robert


Offline srt

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2008, 02:03:44 PM »
I have a Grizzly 24" drum sander.  Bought it used about 8 years ago.  It works ok, and is a bridge from a hand held belt sander to a wide belt sander.  It does need really strong dust collection, and the paper loves to clog on pine.  One other thing about the Grizzly (at least the old ones, don't know about the newer ones) is that the drums seem to rotate in reverse of the direction they should. 

It's a bit fussy to run, but does the job as long as you don't try to take too big of a pass. 

For me, it's right on the border between a hobby machine and a real woodworker machine. 

Obviously, they're cheaper than a wide belt.  Also obviously, a one or two man shop would have a difficult time justifying the 10K or so for a small wide belt.

From my involvement with other professional wood working forums, it seems that whenever a shop is big enough to justify a wide belt, it does so much sanding so fast that it replaces one whole person in the shop.

I like what Ironwood has to say about the Beach sanders - I've heard this echoed for years now, they must be a good unit.
There's just something real nice about a big old cast iron machine that quietly does it's job without excess strain or protest.  My Grizzly strains and protests (sometimes howls a bit).

Offline getoverit

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2008, 06:17:56 PM »
I use the Performax 16/32 for my guitar building. I like the machine and it does a good job, but can only take a few thousands off at a time. It is dead true though and does a wonderful job for a cantelevered drum sander.

When I replace it, it will most likely be with the Grizzly G1066R 24" drum sander because of it's wider width and ability to hog off more material at once.
I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok, I work all night and sleep all day

Offline ladylake

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2008, 07:09:40 AM »
Does Performax still make drum sanders? The only thing I see on their website are little cheap homeower tools. The closest thing I can find is the JETs which look exactly the same.

Is there anything special about the sanding rolls? It looks like it is just a roll of hook and loop paper that you wrap around the drum. Are they all like this? I guess I was expecting it to use an actual sleeve like a spindle sander.

I've never seen one work. Approximately how long/ how many passes would you take to sand a 12x24 oak board to get a nice surface that can be finnished with a ROS?

Unfortunately I'm halfway across the country from you. Know any good sources of used machines near Kansas City? What are some good brands to look for?


If you have some fairly deep tearout after planeing it would take a lot of passes to get it smooth on my RBI (simular to Woodmaster) drum sanded. When planeing I can turn the crank down 2 turns, with the drum sander on at the most 1/8 of a turn and then it likes to burn, 1/16 of a turn is safer. If you get one get the biggest diameter roll you can find.  I just bought a spiral head planer with a Byrd head on it. It does away with almost all of the tearout in figured wood.  I took a look at a old Beach drum sander, the drums are huge on it.   Steve
Timberking B20 15000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Suffolk  setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline Burlkraft

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Re: Anybody use a drum sander?
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2008, 08:27:50 AM »
The 22-44 that I purchased has never tripped in the three years that I have been using it.  And I would use it for hours at a time. 

I have a 16-32 and most times I want to throw it across the yard  >:(  >:(  >:(
I thought the cuircuit breaker thing was something wrong with my machine, until I contacted Performax.

Does the 22-44 have any problems with accuracy on large panels  ??? ???

Why not just 1 pain free day?


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