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Finally! a new drum sander, now for a question

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Forum topic by indychip posted 08-21-2015 03:02 PM 930 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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indychip

75 posts in 1589 days


08-21-2015 03:02 PM

Finally! I pick up my new drum sander today. I make end grain cutting boards and I am really looking forward to my new toy. I do have a question for all you drum sander users. What sanding grit do you use on the drum to finish an end grain board? I have been told 150 grit but wanted other opinions. I am going today to buy a few rolls and wanted to get an idea on what everybody is using


12 replies so far

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

700 posts in 691 days


#1 posted 08-21-2015 03:13 PM

I don’t do end grain sanding but I use 80-100 for thicknessing and 150 for my smaller drum sander that i use for finishing.
Then, I’ll ROS sand it with a 150 to get rid of any lines and that’s it. I have been using 150 as my final grit and have had smooth finishes.

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

864 posts in 2532 days


#2 posted 08-21-2015 03:21 PM

I typically use 80 grit, which I know is more coarse than most folks use for a final pass, but I only have a single drum on my Woodmaster and I find it quicker to just flatten it with 80 grit and finish with a ROS. After I achieve flatness on the cutting board, I rotate the cutting board 90 degrees and run it through again without changing the thickness setting. That cleans up a lot of the streaks. Then I rotate it 45 degrees and run it through one more time, again without adjusting the thickness. By that point it is pretty smooth and the remaining grooves are quite shallow. Then I spray water on the end grain and let it sit for a minute or so, which softens the surface. Then I finish with a ROS (120-150 grit), and the ROS work takes only a couple minutes per side at that point because of the 2 additional passes on the drum, and the water to soften up the end grain. Then I lightly hand sand, usually with 180-220).

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

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boisdearc

44 posts in 803 days


#3 posted 08-21-2015 03:24 PM

Pictures?????

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

832 posts in 690 days


#4 posted 08-21-2015 04:03 PM

End grain is tricky to sand.

I have a Performax 16-32 and for my typical EG boards with hard woods (White Oak, Hickory, etc.) I’ll make my first few passes with 80 grit to even things up. Following passes are done with 120 then 180. Cuts must be very light with these finer grits to avoid scorching. Beginning with a flat 80-grit surfaced board, I’ll probably make another 20 or more passes (per side) with the finer grits before I’m done with the drum sander.

Aside from the light cuts, a big benefit comes from letting the board cool periodically. End grain sanding basically abrades down the wood fibers versus cutting them with face grain sanding. This creates a lot more heat. The heat causes the board to warp slightly which can quickly result in burning..

The process with the finer grits is to make a pass, crank the drum down an additional 1/8 turn (1/128”), flip the board and repeat.
I’ve tried to go as far as 220, but the propensity to burn is just too great. After the 180, I can visually see the sanding scratches and I use my random orbital sander beginning with 100 grit to remove these scratches.
The drum sander makes everything even and flat. the RO sanding makes the surface defect free and smooth.
I’ll typically go as far as 320 grit with the RO sander, depending on the wood.

Softer woods like Walnut and Cherry go quicker, but can burn easier as well (esp. Cherry).

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Kazooman

628 posts in 1420 days


#5 posted 08-21-2015 06:01 PM

Two things that help to prevent or at least minimize burning. One is a really good dust collector. The high volume air flow helps to cool the drum. The other is to keep the feed rate fast enough. A slow feed on a planer gives a nice, smooth finish. A really slow feed rate on a drum sander gives time for localized heat build up resulting in burning.

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splintergroup

832 posts in 690 days


#6 posted 08-21-2015 07:05 PM



Two things that help to prevent or at least minimize burning. One is a really good dust collector. The high volume air flow helps to cool the drum. The other is to keep the feed rate fast enough. A slow feed on a planer gives a nice, smooth finish. A really slow feed rate on a drum sander gives time for localized heat build up resulting in burning.

- Kazooman

Ahh yes, good dust collection. A true ‘must have’. The way burn streaks typically start is you get a small particle fused to the drum. This particle can be a bit of burned wood sap or uncured glue. Either way, once this piece gets attached, the drum will begin burnishing the wood at that point instead of sanding it. This will quickly cascade with more burned crud fowling up the drum.
I mention this because another invaluable accessory for a drum sander (besides the dust collection), is a belt cleaning block. Use it often to clear away the goobers before they cause trouble. These cleaning blocks are similar to art-gum erasers. You can buy them made for sander belt cleaning or you can scrounge the local thrift store for shoes with the same rubber soles.

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Kazooman

628 posts in 1420 days


#7 posted 08-21-2015 07:43 PM

Good point on the belt cleaning block. I have had one for years and use it on my belt sander and ROS also. You can extend the life of a piece of sandpaper a ton if you keep it from clogging with junk.

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4169 posts in 3209 days


#8 posted 08-21-2015 08:05 PM


Ahh yes, good dust collection. A true must have . The way burn streaks typically start is you get a small particle fused to the drum. This particle can be a bit of burned wood sap or uncured glue. Either way, once this piece gets attached, the drum will begin burnishing the wood at that point instead of sanding it. This will quickly cascade with more burned crud fowling up the drum.

- splintergroup

Yep – - -especially on these single drum machines and the use of regular PVA glue (like titebond)...PVA becomes gummy when hot, so if you pass a glue-up through it – you will need to replace your paper after 1 pass.

you HAVE to scrape away all the squeeze out.

Epoxy and/or plastic resin glues – are thermoset – - so they do not soften with heat.

PVA is thermoplastic – - so the “Hard” glue becomes soft and screws up your paper immediately.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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Kazooman

628 posts in 1420 days


#9 posted 08-21-2015 09:11 PM

Interesting points, Dr. Dirt. I have always used Titebond on my end grain cutting boards. I do try to scrape off the squeeze out, but you can never get it all. Does anyone here use epoxy or plastic resin glue for cutting boards? I would be interested to know if the open working time is long enough to allow you to apply glue to all of the pieces and then get them aligned for clamping.

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splintergroup

832 posts in 690 days


#10 posted 08-21-2015 09:26 PM

I change between the two (TBIII and epoxy). The main reason I like epoxy is the extra working time. It also has the benefit of being ‘clear’, in that the glue lines are invisible. The TBIII cures a bit fast for my tastes, but I believe it makes for a stronger joint.

Wood expands with humidity. Epoxy is rather rigid and can/will fracture along the glue line with repeated flexing due to expansion. The TBIII is a bit more pliable and seems better suited for this use.

Epoxy gives me a relaxing glue-up, but some nervousness after the board is sold or otherwise out of my control. The TB can give you a stroke unless you have the glue spreading/clamping choreographed perfectly.

View noblevfd's profile

noblevfd

48 posts in 2924 days


#11 posted 08-23-2015 02:17 AM

All good points on sander use I have a performax 22=44 and found that for end grain sanding I have to send the board through multiple times before adjusting cut depth usually 2 times each side alternating each pass I generally go 40 grit to start 80, then 120 and finish ros 80. 120 enjoy your new toy!!!!!!!

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4169 posts in 3209 days


#12 posted 08-24-2015 03:42 PM


Interesting points, Dr. Dirt. I have always used Titebond on my end grain cutting boards. I do try to scrape off the squeeze out, but you can never get it all. Does anyone here use epoxy or plastic resin glue for cutting boards? I would be interested to know if the open working time is long enough to allow you to apply glue to all of the pieces and then get them aligned for clamping.

- Kazooman


You’re right – it is nearly never a ‘perfect’ situation. But I have seen folks take the glue-up from the clamps to the drum sander, and wonder why they have burn marks.

This is also where a coarse paper and a fast(ish) feed rate and light pass come into the equation.. all to avoid building a bunch of heat.

I start by raising the head to clear my glue up (after scraping) and then with the drum off, I feed the piece through and bring the head down until it just makes contact.

I do 2 passes before giving the handle 1/4 turn.(1 turn = 1/16th) Basically I only sand – - I really don’t “thickness” wood with it.

This is a pretty nice video of the sander
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_E9sBZbD24

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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