Thickness Planer or Drum Sander #1: Would you do this?

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Blog entry by sandhill posted 01-09-2011 05:23 AM 4253 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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First: I have a 20” 900 pound Grizzly thickness planer that has been taking up a lot of room in my shop, I do use it but I was thinking of selling it and freeing up some space. I have a 22/44 Jet Drum sander that would do the same job using 60 or 80 grit paper,
Second: If I do sell it I would get a 13” Dewalt planer that could be moved around much easier and stored under a bench.
So what I was wondering is how many people would take this step? I’m conflicted about it but I really do need the room and I can’t push this monster around any longer.

11 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4055 posts in 3486 days

#1 posted 01-09-2011 06:22 AM

see if you can just trade it this way you get what u want an someone else who might not be able to afford a new big planer can have what they want? Personally i would keep it, but i don’t even have the space for the one 13” ridged i have now. LOL ;) Another thing is the sander can only take off so much and it gives a different finish, the planer can at least take about an 1/8” most definitely more considering the size. Wow now i’m conflicted with your problem. LOL. I guess if you do production work keep it, if you do shop projects here n there get a smaller one after selling that one. Good Luck!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View cutmantom's profile


407 posts in 3233 days

#2 posted 01-09-2011 06:43 AM

I think you only need a 20 inch planer if you have a lot of really wide boards or if you do alot of glued up panels, but a smaller planer could plane boards before glue up and the sander could easily clean the panel up

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4122 days

#3 posted 01-09-2011 07:30 AM

I have an 8” Grizzly jointer and I do glue up a lot of boards to 18” – 36” but even after running them on the planer I put them on the drum sander for a final sanding of 220 sometimes 280 so it seems like an extra step and a lot of table tops I can’t run in the planer any way. I always use cauls in my glue-ups and only have to take 1/6 at most from each side I use 80 and 100 grit for that, then 180 and 220 to get it to 3/4”. It does take a bit longer but the results are the same, I have done up to 36” with the Drum sander…

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18388 posts in 3874 days

#4 posted 01-09-2011 08:12 AM

Put it up for sale and see if you get any bites? Lots of WW tools out there for sale these days. That may be the answer, if you can’t get a reasonable price for it????????

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3313 days

#5 posted 01-09-2011 08:23 AM

wuold a heavy clean uo and a new lay out of the shop do it

it seems to me at least your wood pile cuold free some space :-)


View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3234 days

#6 posted 01-09-2011 12:38 PM

Depends, if your making a lot of furniture and/or larger projects I’d stick with the 20”. If not the move to a 13” is sound. I’m using my drum sander a lot more than the planer these days. The only downside is having to deal with a lot more fine dust, less easy than to deal with than planer shavings.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4122 days

#7 posted 01-10-2011 12:12 AM

The shop is jammed packed and I have to roll 1/2 of it out into the drive to even walk around. I put it up on Craigs list and got 5 calls in the first hour so $750.00 may have been to cheap! I now think I will get rid of the jointer as well. I had a 16” Mini Max combo joiner/planer about 7 years ago but could not keep it at the time so if I can find another used one used I will jump on it. Cant do a new one because they are about 8K now.

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3172 days

#8 posted 01-10-2011 09:04 AM

I would sell a child to get a drum sander and a thickness planer….well, maybe just spend some of their college fund:)

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4122 days

#9 posted 01-12-2011 06:37 AM

OK so here is what the final outcome was;
I will be keeping it. I am going to rip it down and rebuild it and changing out the knifes with the H7656 20” Indexable Spiral Cutter head which comes with new bearings I will give it a new paint job and table rollers inspect the upper feed mechanisms and replace if needed. Cost will be right around $900.00 if everything is good. I paid $760.00 for it 4 years ago so a total investment of $1500.00 for a $3000.00 machine is worth the effort and if I get it done and still decide to sell it I should have no trouble getting bak every penny and maybe a few hundred for my trouble.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3566 days

#10 posted 01-12-2011 06:52 AM

I’ve been using a Ridgid 13” for the past 10 years now and have never had a need for a drum sander. I buy nothing but rough cut lumber and my planer has paid for itself a few times over just on lumber cost.

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4122 days

#11 posted 01-12-2011 07:31 AM

I was concerned more with the room I have available and if I have to choose between the 20” planer or the Drum sander the Drum sander would win. As it turns out I can keep both I just have to roll the Drum sander out side when I want to work in the shop. Actually the drum sander, disc sander, work bench then if I need the planer I have to roll it away from the wall and hook up the infeed and outfeed tables so if it even looks like rain I don’t work in the shop and being in Florida that’s a problem. So its not just the Planer as you can see.

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