Reply by RogerBean

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Posted on I'm thinking of buying a drum sander. Is it really as useful as many say?

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1605 posts in 3194 days

#1 posted 08-09-2014 03:24 PM

I’ve been following this thread with interest. I think one needs to ask: what am I going to use this thing for? If the goal is to make a lot of square footage smooth, then a stroke sander may be just the thing. But, in my case, it’s more about precision and dimensioning, as with boxes and marquetry, most of the final work is, and must be, done by hand. Slowly.

For example: When making decorative banding such as that I used on the Lynnette’s Document box, and the Pepperwood burl box, it consists of a solid wood core and two layers of black/white veneer on each side prior to slicing. To fit in a 3/8” routed cavity it must be extremely accurate. I mic ed the veneer subtracted from 3/8” and came up with a core that must be about .237” . I cut the piece on the table saw (or bandsaw) and ran it through the drum sander to dimension it. It was easy to get within a couple thousandths. Fit perfectly. A stroke sander will not do that.

Again, if the goal is to make a lot of wood smooth, then there may be other alternatives. (Though my little 10-20 Jet will probably work fine for any projects I’m likely to do in boxes, furniture, or marquetry.) So, the real question is:
“what am I going to use this thing for?”

Some folks will come out that Loren’s suggestion is just the thing for them. For me, it would not work at all. It depends on what you’re making. Or, am I missing something big here?

Also: Paul’s comments are on the money.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

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