Drum Sander Surgery

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Blog entry by closetguy posted 05-08-2010 04:57 AM 2031 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There quite a few Jocks on here that have the Jet/Performax drum sanders. I bought my 16-32 about two years ago and don’t know how I survived before it. It runs just about every day for hours. About 6 months ago it started making a strange noise, like a quick clunking sound, when I turned it on. The smooth sound when running a piece of wood through it slowly changed to chatter and I noticed a slight snipe on each board that I had never experienced before. This went on for a couple months until it got so bad that I finally took the time to start looking inside for the source of the problem.

What I discovered was the rubber bushing that connects the drum shaft to the motor shaft had cracked and was disintegrating. There is no hard mechanical connection between the drum and motor. Each shaft has a collar and the rubber bushing, or “spider” as Jet calls it, sits between the two and absorbs shock when you try to take too big a bite on a board. My machine gets a heck of a workout each day and the occasional user may not experience this problem for a long time, but if you do, it’s harder to get the part than to replace it. The one on the left is the old one.

I found a local Jet parts dealer in Atlanta and ordered the spider. I was told it would arrive in about three days. Of course, multiple phone calls and three weeks later, I finally received it. I figured something like this would happen when the dumbest country boy I every met wrote the part number and my name down on the wrong side of a post-it-note. I won’t go into this story, but the part end up costing $5 and Jet charged $14 to ship it in a little envelope. What a rip off!

This is the two collars with the spider removed and the four motor screws that need to be loosened.

Anyway, it’s pretty easy to change this bushing. Loosen the two set screws on the collar attached to the motor shaft. Loosening the one on the drum shaft does nothing because it can only move toward the spider. Once the motor shaft collar is loose, slide it as far as it will go toward the motor. It won’t move far enough to pull the spider out. There are four bolts that hold the motor to the frame. Loosen all four (I had to back them out about a half an inch) and pull the drum frame away from the motor enough for the spider to fall out. Don’t take the motor screws all the way out. You just need enough to space to get the spider out. Put the new spider in and screw the motor bolts back in. Slide the motor shaft collar over the spider as far as it will go and tighten the set screws. Re-adjust the drum parallel to the bed and you are done. It took me about 30 minutes and it now runs like it did when new.

I don’t know what method that the rest of you use to level the drum with the table, but I use this Angle Perfect that I bought years ago. I no longer use it since getting a Wixie, except for aligning the drum sander occasionally. It has a contact point on top and a wire that connects to the drum. I crank the drum down just until the light comes on then move it to the other side and repeat. It only takes a couple of tries using the adjustment screw to get it level, or quickly test for level.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

5 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3379 days

#1 posted 05-08-2010 07:41 AM

Some thing to look forward to… I use my 16/32 a lot … not every single day but most days.. and I have a mate who makes use of it too..but that is ok.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3906 days

#2 posted 05-08-2010 01:44 PM

Thanks for the blog. I love mine.

Those spiders are real common, and you don’t have to get them from Jet. A real popular brand name is Lovejoy. The come in many different shapes and types of materials.

Good job,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3948 days

#3 posted 05-08-2010 05:20 PM

Good timing because I am getting ready to buy one. I did not care for the idea that it was only 1.5 HP 110VAC so I was thinking “Hey this is a one time purchase” why not go for the” Jet 649600 Pro 3HP 1Ph Dro Tables and Casters. It Includes 4 lockable casters to mobilize, infeed & outfeed tables, digital readout, SandSmart Infinitely variable-feed control with a max board width 44” & Max thickness: 4”. Granted its twice the cost of the 16/32 but I thought it may be the way to go.
I’m not so sure about that now, Do I really need this large of a samder? the 22/44 has a 4” capacity vs. a 3” on the 16/32. Is it worth 2X the cost? So if you had it to do over would you spring for the larger machine? Any one have any thoughts on this?. I will be using it mostly for cabinet doors, blanket chest lids and pre-assembled parts for patio furniture and an estimated user time of 6 hours a week I am going to order one or the other based on what advice I get here.

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3916 days

#4 posted 05-08-2010 09:55 PM

If had to do it over again, I would have bought the 22-44 for the extra width.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3948 days

#5 posted 05-10-2010 03:35 AM

I will be ordering it next week. I found some cherry for $3.50 a board foot so it will get a good work out sanding doors, face frame and draw fronts for the new kitchen after I joint and plane it of course.

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