Flatmaster 24" Drum Sander

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Review by retfr8flyr posted 01-13-2014 02:30 PM 7804 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Flatmaster 24" Drum Sander No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I know there are a couple of reviews on the Flatmaster Sander but I thought I would give my impressions of my new 24 inch Flatmaster. I have had this sander for about 4 months now and have run many different projects and wood types on it and it does a great job. Unlike most drum sanders, it is a hand feed sander so some will be turned off immediately but they would be missing a great sander.

I purchased the ready made metal cabinet version. There are other various forms of the sander in kit form. The sander came almost completely assembled, you need to add your own motor and control switch. I used a Grizzly 1/2 HP motor and switch. This sander uses hook and loop on the drum and when it is set up correctly does not create any heat in the paper, so no resin buildup. I made several end grain cutting boards for Christmas presents and the Flatmaster was a life saver, sanding these smooth and flat.

The great thing about this sander is it will make things flat, thus the name. Everything registers off the flat metal table top, so it will actually work to make something flat. As you know when you have a thinner piece of wood, that is cupped or warped, it will flex when you work with it and it’s almost impossible to make it flat again. This sander can actually make it flat again, without vastly changing the piece, if it’s not to badly out of shape.

I did a photo transfer to a piece of 3/8 in Birch and after the procedure it had a slight cup to it. I was able to use light pressure, so the piece wouldn’t flex and brought it back to flat with my sander. The sander also doesn’t leave any dust in the grain of the wood, so a quick wipe and you can go right to the finish process. Dust collection is also very good. Everything falls into the V shaped bottom and is easily pulled out with your DC. I highly recommend giving this sander a try, if you are looking for sanding help in your shop.

-- Earl

View retfr8flyr's profile


316 posts in 755 days

8 comments so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

7022 posts in 2515 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 02:35 PM

Great review, Earl. Mine is from their kit, and I echo everything you said. It’s a great tool.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Ottacat's profile


403 posts in 938 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 08:01 PM

Good information in this review. I’ve been looking to a practical solution for end-grain cutting boards without breaking the bank. Approximately how long does it take to sand one on this? Using a ROS takes me about an hour to an hour and half of mind numbing boredom.

View retfr8flyr's profile


316 posts in 755 days

#3 posted 01-14-2014 12:42 AM

I used 120 grit paper and then switched to 180 grit. I did 2 boards in about 45 minutes but 1 of my boards had some shift on a couple of rows during glue up and that board took me about 40 minutes by itself to make it all flat. I could have gone to 80 grit paper for that one board but I knew the 120 would get the job done. I then final sanded with my ROS using 220 grit. The boards came out great and as I said I was very impressed with the job this sander does.

I received the wings I ordered but haven’t tried them out yet. They are very easy to set up and I think they will be a nice addition to the sander.

-- Earl

View Rob Vicelli's profile

Rob Vicelli

104 posts in 1778 days

#4 posted 01-14-2014 01:46 AM

Thanks for your review, i Have the kit and it has its uses, not for everything but what it does it does well. I use it mostly for picture frames (4×6) .

-- Rob V

View Ken90712's profile


16034 posts in 2275 days

#5 posted 01-18-2014 10:11 PM

Great review, I have had the 18 inch model for years now. I then bought a delta 18/36 drum sander to go along with stockrooms sander. This is when I realized how much I liked my Stockroom sander compared to my delta… I soon got over the manual portion when comparing results.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View retfr8flyr's profile


316 posts in 755 days

#6 posted 01-19-2014 12:26 AM

Just an update. I have used the wings several times now and I like them. It makes getting the piece from the other side a little harder but they really work well for holding an even pressure while moving the piece through, especially with wide and longer pieces. I would say they are well worth getting

-- Earl

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 1260 days

#7 posted 01-20-2014 08:16 PM

This a great review. Thanks for posting. Good luck.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Charlie75's profile


268 posts in 1351 days

#8 posted 01-21-2014 01:19 AM

I made a 24” from a kit offered by the same company. Works great. The only thing I wish I had done was bought their top. I make my own and I’m not sure if it’s exactly flat. It’s made from a piece of baltic birch with a formica top. In spite of the top I really like it.


-- Charlie75, Alto

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