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Author Topic: Wide belt sander vs drum sander  (Read 5359 times)

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Offline oakiemac

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Wide belt sander vs drum sander
« on: April 18, 2011, 08:51:34 PM »
I want to get a wide belt sander but the cost is expensive. Drum sanders are much cheaper but I guess my question is are they worth the extra money? Anyone know the pros and cons of both?
Mobile Demension sawmill, Bobcat 873 loader, 3 dry kilns and a long "to do" list.

Offline Larry

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Re: Wide belt sander vs drum sander
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 09:24:42 PM »
I have a 24" dual drum Grizzly.  Itís ok for hobby use.  The best attribute is that it doesnít take up much real estate.  I picked up a Performax at auction for resale a while back.  It appeared to be a higher quality machine but I didnít use it much before selling it.  Either one can gum up sandpaper if not watching what your doing.

IMO a stroke sander, even though an antique, is several steps up.  Most are big enough to do a full size door or table.  They sand fast and a belt change is fast and easy.  They can do a few things (contours) that the rest canít.  Dust collection is poor and ya better have a big shop to fit one in.

Wide belt is the Cadillac and great for a production shop.  Lotsa juice...like 20 hp 3-phase required for most, plus some need a big air compressor.  Iíve seen a couple of near new machines sell for around $3,000 at recent auctions and there always on IRS auctions.  I found a shop where I can rent time at $60/hour with a helper.  Iíll probably go that route when I have the doors ready to sand for the new house.
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 red oaks lumber

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Re: Wide belt sander vs drum sander
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 06:17:48 PM »
go with the wide belt. w.b. can handle more materila removal without the belt building some much heat. most wide belts the feed converor is variablre speed.
 if you buy a wide belt make sure it has a platten, with out a platten you can't do any finish sanding.i really like my wide belt, its only a 25" but when sanding 6" stock runiing 4 boards wide at a time it doesn't take long, also you can take r.sawn materila and put a light sand on the board, looks real good.
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline rph816

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Re: Wide belt sander vs drum sander
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2011, 12:53:37 PM »
I agree that widebelts (preferrably multi head with platen) are better machines that can make single pass finish sanding possible, however, they come at a price (purchase, maintenance, real estate, consumables, i.e. belts).  I have a Woodmaster 38" single drum that works pretty dang well for a drum sander.  I prefer that the sander head is supported at both ends.  Woodmaster also offers 26" 38" dual drum and 50" single and dual drum sanders as well.  Don't work for/with them but between my dad and I we have 4 woodmasters and like them a lot.

Ryan

Offline Just Me

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Re: Wide belt sander vs drum sander
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 06:43:54 AM »
 I had a drum sander and found it created just about as much work as it saved. Always gumming up and burning pieces, once in a while it would slip the feed and dig a hole. I gave it away. Still haven't got a wide belt though.....

Check out Timesavers. They have a Import that is about $7k, A friend of mine has one and has had good service with it. Or as Larry mentioned there are the IRS auctions. Scares me to buy a wide belt at an auction, repairs can be expensive, so I am waiting till I can afford new. I will most likely go Timesavers or SCM.

Offline Handy Andy

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Re: Wide belt sander vs drum sander
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2011, 12:14:20 AM »
  Check out the Grizzly catalog.  I bought the small open end machine, sands 15" wide, and just turn the panel around and do the other half.  It ran about 3500 delivered, then I had to hook up the air, and #8 wire, and air to it. Took about a week to get the thing hooked up, but it sands great.  Grizzly has the cheapest belts I can find, down side is they are just taped together belts, but haven't seen any that are overlapped and glued like the old 3M ones. Scrape off all the glue from your panels, cause glue plugs the paper up.
My name's Jim, I like wood.

Offline oakiemac

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Re: Wide belt sander vs drum sander
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2011, 10:10:31 PM »
I loooked at that Grizzly for $3500 and I really like it but the price is a little steep right now. I found one on another sight that a cabinet shop was selling for $1500, like new condition but before I could get hold of the guy he had sold it. >:(
Anyways, I'm still looking but not extermely seriously at this point.
Mobile Demension sawmill, Bobcat 873 loader, 3 dry kilns and a long "to do" list.


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