|Review by Bob Kollman||posted 05-22-2011 06:31 AM||13345 views||1 time favorited||16 comments|
I bought this drum sander about a month ago. In that time I have sanded about 200 board feet of wood.
This is the first and only drum sander I have ever used, so some of you more experienced users may be
able to help me. The jet 16-32 and 22-44 seem to be the most popular drum sanders. I choose the
Grizzly because of it’s differences.
1) It is heavier, which equals rigidity.
2) It gave me 4” more of sanding surface compared to the 16-32.
3) The drum is stationary.
The Jet 22-44 has an oscillating head and my understanding is that really makes a difference in the finished
product, but for me the additional cost is prohibitive at this time.
As a test for the Grizzly 0458, I sanded 60 board foot of lumber. I had a mix of hard wood and soft wood.
I had about 18 board foot of pine and about 42 foot of hard wood Cherry, and oak. I left .03 thousands of
stock on each board….015 stock removal per side. With a new 120 grit belt I started by sanding 12” wide
boards about 26 board feet. I then sanded another 16 BF of Cherry and oak about 6” wide.
The skid mark on the right appeared toward the end of doing the one foot stock. So after the first 26 BF
I was unable to use the 4” width at the right of the drum sander. When I was at the end of the 42 BF
the other burn mark at the left appeared. So after 42 board feet, at .03 thousands of stock removal I
had two substantial burn lines. The last 18 BF of pine I was able to sand with no damage to the belt.
Many reviewers of drum sanders complain that there machines are to slow. I sanded 4 boards at 4 foot
length, and 18 boards at two foot in length in 1 hour and 15 minutes. This was with a total stock removal
of .03 thousands. I thought that was really fast.
The sander did leave lines in my stock, this is illustrated best with the pine boards:
I will use my hand sander with a 180 grit to remove the lines. The drum sander brought my material
down to plus-minus .005 thickness variation. It does an incredible job at making the wood flat and parallel.
The Grizzly G0458 collects a large amount of dust. I thought the side discharge with the impeller would be
great for dust collection. Unfortunately, I think they should have put the discharge shout at the top of the machine.
As you can see a lot of dust collects over the drum, in turn that dust falls on the conveyor and it could drop
debris on top of the wood between the stock and the drum.
Burning of the stock or sanding media seems to be the biggest issues with then drum sander. I think mostly
these problems can be avoided by having a clean work surface area….The drum and conveyor surface must
be perfect and clean as you work. I think my results could have been better had I been more diligent.
Tracking of the conveyor belt is an issue with some folks, I have found that a twist of the adjustment screw to
one side or another keeps the belt dead center on the rollers, the veers to the left or right take a long long
time – about a half hour… keep the Allen wrench out …adjust as you work…no big deal…works fine!!!!
At each time I adjusted the drum down, I ran the board Thur twice. 1st run Thur, flip 180 second run Thur.
I flipped the part right to left…not back to front. The idea behind this is that if the drum is slightly out of
parallel, you will maintain the same thickness on both sides. I also run the board Thur twice because you
can hear the machine removing material even on the 3rd or 4th pass.
One full turn of the height adjustment wheel equals .06 thousands I think (never read the instructions).
I turn the height adjustment 1/8th of a turn each time which should equal about .007, then run the board twice.
Approaching this sander with a slow pace is much faster than using a hand orbital sander.
For guys that think like me (cheap), just buy the dust collector. It is extremely important to keep the
drum and work surfaces completely clean.
Some folks don’t like this sander because they have the need for an adjustable out feed table. The conveyor
speed is slow at it’s fastest…Make an out feed table 4” lower than the conveyor. and let the boards drop,
it will work fine your boards will not be damaged by such a small drop and you can also catch the part to
minimize the impact if you want. The one advantage to this sander in my small shop is that it runs the
boards Thur over the height of my table saw and tables.
I also liked the idea that one motor runs the drum and the out feed via a reducer, one less motor to replace
in the event of a failure.
I am a happy camper, and I believe that this sander is worth your consideration.
-- Bob Kenosha Wi.