Drum Sander

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 06-25-2015 03:34 PM 1134 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3059 posts in 1707 days

06-25-2015 03:34 PM

Can anyone tell me if there is a drum sander out there for under $800 that’s worth a damn?
The feed table motor gear extension is plastic in all of them. All the reviews I’ve read say it breaks regularly.
Is there one where you can mill a new plastic shaft from something more durable perhaps?
I make Adirondacks for a living and I’m tired of hours of sanding with a 5 1/4 ros.


-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

26 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile (online now)


3573 posts in 1141 days

#1 posted 06-25-2015 03:54 PM

Sounds like your best bet would be searching the used market. I too have been looking for a decent drum sander that’s not too expensive and apparently they don’t exist.

View AZWoody's profile


680 posts in 644 days

#2 posted 06-25-2015 04:06 PM

There are some but also, what size are you looking for?
You can find some decent 12” ones and the Grizzly open end 18” is in that price range and isn’t too bad.

You’ll still have to do some finish sanding though as all drum sanders will leave some kind of lines, unless you get one that has an oscillating head, but that’s well over your budget to have that option.

View pjones46's profile


986 posts in 2063 days

#3 posted 06-25-2015 04:31 PM

Look at a V Drum/Flatmaster sander. They work great and you can build it yourself or buy one put together. Go to Stockroom Supply.

-- Respectfully, Paul

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4821 posts in 2469 days

#4 posted 06-25-2015 04:37 PM

I wanted and drum sander (in fact I still want one).
I found one in the classified for a very good price but then I realized that I have no room in my shop to put it.

-- Bert

View moke's profile


847 posts in 2197 days

#5 posted 06-25-2015 05:05 PM

A drum sander is definitely what you need. Run the pieces through right before assembly, but remember and you will soon find this out, as a planer, it is very slow….you can plane stuff down with it…it just takes forever.
It really doesn’t replace a planer, but it is a great compliment to it. Especially for wood that get some tear out from a planer.

As for an $800 ceiling, there are no new ones I know of. I looked a lot before I bought mine. In fact, I bought a used Delta, or actually I tried it, the guy wanted 450.00 for it, and it was horrible. I would buy a supermax or used Jet. A used Supermax will be over your 800.00 mark, but I would think 800.00 would be about right to maybe even a little high for a Jet or Performax.

Jet bought the Performax company, then some years later the son of the former Performax owner made and marketed Supermax. While the supermax sanders are supeior, the differences are suttle. Any of those three would be good.

In my opinion, you want a DS where the sanding head goes up and down, as opposed to the “delta” style, where the feed table goes up and down. You will definitely hear where someone has a feed table model that works just fine and they like it. I think it is a simple fact that those have more issues than the head that rises and lowers.
Just my .02

View splintergroup's profile


724 posts in 643 days

#6 posted 06-25-2015 05:14 PM

Moke has it right. I’d just like to add that you need good dust collection, no way to avoid this.

View b2rtch's profile


4821 posts in 2469 days

#7 posted 06-25-2015 05:19 PM

I read that Grizzly drum sanders have feed drums (plastic gears) issues.

-- Bert

View moke's profile


847 posts in 2197 days

#8 posted 06-25-2015 05:39 PM

Splintergroup is sooooo right…..there is a huge amount of very fine dust. Someone I know….ahem…..had the blast gate closed for only about 3 passes, and not paying attention, and it was unbelievably messy!

View pjones46's profile


986 posts in 2063 days

#9 posted 06-25-2015 08:22 PM

I have both a G1066Z 24” DRUM SANDER -V/S and V Drum sander/flatmaster and use the V Drum for exactly what you are doing, sanding before assembly. I don’t know how many Adirondacks you make a year but IMHO if it is 150-200+ chairs a year you don’t need a big drum sander. However, that being said, the G1066Z, works great for mass production so far as I have only had it for about a year.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View RussellAP's profile


3059 posts in 1707 days

#10 posted 06-25-2015 09:03 PM

I will be using it mainly for pine and cedar. I have a huge truck size stack of eucalyptus to make chairs out of too. Its a little harder to sand than cedar so I thought I’d try and pick up a drum sander. I want new seeing I’ll have to pay with CC. After I cut out the pieces to length, and rip them to width, I use the BS to customize the pieces then round over the edges, then I’d like to just stick them in a sander and be done.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View MT_Stringer's profile


2820 posts in 2652 days

#11 posted 06-25-2015 09:26 PM

There’s two ways of using the drum sander.

1) Thickness planer. With the stock 80 grit belt, you can make multiple passes to obtain the desired thickness of your stock.
2) Finish sander. With a finer grit (150), make light passes to actually lightly sand your stock. This might take some time, but it beats the heck out of using a ROS for hours on end.

I have the Grizzly 18-36 and for the most part, it has performed well. I did bog it down a couple of times causing it to trip the internal overload. Also, the feed belt tends to wander a little. I need to work with it more and just spend time making small adjustments to get it to track properly.

My latest problem is the belt slipping on the drum causing it to burn the stock. This only happened after I changed belts so I feel sure it is operator error.

I am not mad at it enough to sell it though! :-)

I mounted it on a Harbor Freight mobile base so I could move it around as needed.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View sawdustjunkie's profile


342 posts in 1138 days

#12 posted 06-25-2015 09:53 PM

I have the Grizzly 12” drum sander and it works quite well. The only thing you have to remember is never try to take off too much stock. It is a sander, not a planer.
I have a few times tried to take off too muck and it really bogs down, but never tripped the breaker.

It works well for me, but I intend to get either a 18/36 Jet or the Supermax 19/38.
I am just waiting for the Jet to have there 15% off sale and then I will decide on which one to buy.
I think the Supermax is overkill for my use, but I have looked it over at my local Rockler store and this sander is a beast. I have also not heard of any complaints on the Supermax compared to the Jet.

The 12” Grizzly really works great, you’re just limited to the 12” wide stock.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View AHuxley's profile


425 posts in 2742 days

#13 posted 06-26-2015 04:49 AM

Search for a used smaller Woodmaster, CL usually has a lot of these across the US. The Woodmaster is made in the US and is essentially the top of the heap for a drum sander, at their upper end the only place to go up is to a wide belt.

View jtm's profile


217 posts in 1057 days

#14 posted 06-26-2015 05:58 AM

View moke's profile


847 posts in 2197 days

#15 posted 06-26-2015 04:37 PM

The performax JTM found looks like an awesome deal….

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