View Full Version : woodworking sanding question

Alistair Hosie
06-25-2007, 12:37 PM
HI I am thinking of buying a woodworkers drum sander or wide belt sander for sanding wide panels up to 25 inches anyone have one or have knowledge of how good they are the drum uses ordinary 4 inch rolls of sandpaper wound onto the drum like this Alistair excuse my poor typing


06-25-2007, 02:24 PM
I have the Delta 31-250 and the biggest problem I've had with it is the belt loading up and burning the wood. If you are working with soft woods such as pine the problem is obviously worse. Also, you have to make extremely small depth changes on each pass unless you are using the 60 or 80 grit paper. Aside from that it works pretty well but I still find that I run an orbital sander over the finished work to mitigate the straight sanding marks.

06-25-2007, 02:37 PM
Don't know the quality of the one you linked to, Alistair. In general, folks tend to be unhappy with the cheaper hobbyist units; since it's often hard to get the rollers perfectly parallel, feed problems, etc. This is especially true with the open-sided ones. A 4" roll with spiral-wrapped abrasive tends to suggest this is a hobbyist unit. Also be advised you'll get tired of changing abrasive -- wears fast and you need different grits.

Good commercial units work fine and are especially suited to handling figured woods, where you get tear-out with a planer. You'll want plenty of dust collection. Commercial units tend to use wide belts.

mister honey
06-25-2007, 04:33 PM
I had a Performax 16-32 open-sided unit,which worked OK. Parallelism of the drums required some tweaking, though. It really depended upon the width of the panel being sanded. For full width panels, the drum alignment had to be "pinched" a bit on the open end so that the panel was sanded nearly parallel.

I now have a General International 25" dual drum and it is a superior machine. There is a similar unit, branded Steel City, that will handle a 12" thick workpiece.


Alistair Hosie
06-25-2007, 04:46 PM
I notice the loadings for the wide belt sanders quite expensive so I thought the wind on 4 inch models would be cheaper .Alistair

06-25-2007, 07:38 PM
Alistair,those units are pretty popular around here,they do a better job than the widebelts in the same class in terms of accuracy.The abrasive is cheaper than the belts by far so even if you have to change it two or three times as often it still works out cheaper.

Dust collection and plenty of it is the trick to belts or drums,the dust has to be removed before it has a chance to come around and get trapped between the work and the abrasive,otherwise it will load the grit and start burning.

06-26-2007, 08:22 AM
I have been using a Performax 10/20 for about two years and have been very satisfied. It only took about five minutes to adjust my drum and it has not moved once adjusted. The only issue I have had is the conveyor belt was a real pain to get adjusted. The adjustment slides are basically junk in my view.

As mentioned these machines are not designed to hog off lots of material. One needs a very good dust collection system and lite cuts to prevent sandpaper loading.

I would not want to be without mine for most woodworking projects.

dan s
06-26-2007, 11:52 AM

Have you considered a large planar? My grandfather had a large (26" I think) one with multiple feed settings, and when he set it on low and used finishing blades, the wood looked like someone went at it with 320.

06-26-2007, 02:42 PM
Seems to me the seller is leaving out a lot of information that should be easy to come by. Expecting parts to be missing might be acceptable if you knew which ones, and how much replacements might cost. I wouldn't buy it at that price unless they can give you a complete list of defects.

Alistair Hosie
06-26-2007, 03:12 PM
Chipmaker they have a new one on offer just now for 872.00 plus 45 shipping this might be better, as they won't ship the used one .He said the don't travel well I pointed out to him if I bought new it would travel ok as there was delivery on them. Anyway figure the delivery would be about 100 plus 515 assuming it goes for that plus 17.5% v a t it is not worth buying the used one. Anyway I would prefer single phase.Alistair