|Review by Greg Wurst||posted 07-27-2009 05:39 AM||30305 views||2 times favorited||22 comments|
I finally got a chance to spend some time with the drum sander and I though I’d give you my impressions.
It arrived largely assembled except for the stand. It weighs a metric ton, so while I moved it and mounted it myself I’d highly recommend getting someone to help you. If you don’t have a mobile base you’re not going to be able to move this very easily.
I ran a few boards through it after resawing them on the band saw and it worked very well. It comes with 80 grit sandpaper installed, so it needs quite a bit of additional sanding afterwards to be ready to use. Replacing the sandpaper is about a 5-10 minute job assuming you have the new paper cut to the correct shape. I didn’t switch to the finer sandpaper and just put the 80 grit back on to see how it worked.
Here’s a little video of me running a piece through the sander. It was very cupped in the middle (free-handed it on the band saw as a test), which is why I had to run it through so many times:
Here's some before and after pictures of some of the pieces I ran through:
Let me summarize some of the pros, cons, and warnings:
Noise – Very quiet. You don’t even need any hearing protection when it’s running.
Dust collection – Excellent. Hardly any dust escapes the machine.
Speed control – Adjusts from 2-12 fpm, so you can vary depending on the wood type.
Plus, it just works well and does the job it’s supposed to.
The 1 1/2HP motor draws 15 amps, and they recommend a 20 amp circuit. It runs ok on my 15 amp circuit, but you can’t have anything else running on that circuit. A battery charger was enough to pop the breaker.
You have to make very small passes or you’ll bog the machine. They recommend only a quarter turn, but sometimes that was possibly too much. Definitely use your planer to get you in the ballpark or you’ll be there all day.
Belt tracking – I fiddled with it all day and could not get it to stay in the middle of the rollers. It insisted on settling to the right side. It stays there so it’s not a real huge issue, but one you should be aware of.
Paper changes – Not too horrid but definitely time consuming if you want to go through a range of grits. If I was filthy rich I’d have several of these machines with all the grits I’d need. Not a problem specific to this machine though.
A great machine and I am pleased, but I can’t give it 5 stars since I had the belt tracking issues. To me 5 stars means a product is stellar, and while this machine is very good I just can’t say it’s 5 stars good. If I could, I’d have given it 4 1/2 stars though.
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