|Review by Tony||posted 03-20-2009 10:12 PM||6506 views||0 times favorited||18 comments|
I have just acquired this beast of a drum sander from Jet, minus the stand. The installation and initial setting up was very easy, even single handed, but be warned the main part of the unit is very heavy 85kg (187lbs), then add the extension tables and you are talking about 100kg (220lbs).
(A similar unit to the Performax 22- 44 Plus Drum Sander, see the review posted by GaryK
Please note that this is a European version, the drum sander specs may be different in your country.
The instruction booklet that comes with the system is adequate, but could be better written. I did not buy the cabinet stand that is offered here in Europe, The $300 price tag, plus the shipping cost was prohibitive.
The drum sander comes preloaded with a 80 grit strip on the drum and a box of jet replacement strips at 40, 80 and 120 grit also a sanding strip/abrasive cleaner, in addition I bought a 25m (82’) roll of 120 & 180 grit 3” strips which should last a few weeks.
The only real calibration on the drum sander is setting the drum parallel to the platen. I still have not got this as accurate as I would like – for some reason, when you tighten the nuts, the whole drum assembly moves up on the outboard side by 1 to 1.5 mm (0.04” – 0.06”). Jet states that the outboard side should be parallel or slightly higher than the inboard side, but for me 1 mm is too much, I would be happy with 0.025mm(0.001”)
Care must be taken when loading the drum, so the paper is really tightly wound from the out-board side to the in-board side, with no overlapping joints, if there is a gap between the joints that is OK. If you load from the in-board to the out-board side the paper tends to loosen (as the automatic paper tensioner is on the in-board side) and overlaps toward the inboard side during the operation.
The feed table speed is fully variable, with an automatic reduction in feed rate if the load (you are sanding too thick) is too great.
The 2.4HP motor is very quiet, delivering more than enough vibration free power and torque even when sanding with 40 grit paper and a wide board.
I was pleasantly surprised at the dust collection – there is no discernible dust present on the table/platen during operation, when connect to the dust collector – with out the DC then you have a London “pee Souper” in seconds.
The home made support table is made from not so good quality Birch I had in stock and the 4 wheels (50kg rating each) the total cost was about $60 (significantly cheaper and probably stronger than a purchased stand) – be warned the overall dimensions when installed takes a large footprint 1.2m (48”) x 1m (39”). It would be nice if Jet made the extension wings fold-able when not in use. You could unbolt the wings easily, but then it would take too long to reinstall and set them up again.
I am only going to give this 4 stars, mainly due to the problem with getting the drum parallel to the platen and that the extension tables cannot be folded out of the way when not in use.
Update: 21-03-2009. I managed to get the drum parallel with the platen today, but I had to use a clamp to hold the out board side of the roller in position whilst tightening the bolts – not a perfect solution, but acceptable as you do not have calibrate the roller every day.
Update: 22.03.2009. The inboard sandpaper retaining clip/tensioner broke today during operation, releasing the sand paper onto the drum, overrunning and reversing the sandpaper (grit side down) onto the drum – now the nicely polished drum is all badly scratched. I now have to find out where I can get this repaired as there re NO jet service centers listed for Finland.
Updated: 01.04.09. The supplier is going to ship me the spare part for fitting, unfortunately it is not in stock, so I have to wait 2 weeks. Luckily I managed to make a temporary repair to the retaining clip so at least I can still use it whilst waiting.
-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)