Flattened my first door on the drum sander

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Forum topic by , posted 11-15-2009 08:14 AM 1108 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2387 posts in 3543 days

11-15-2009 08:14 AM

My current job has 51 doors, 6 have double panels. It has been daunting but we are getting through it. I used my DW 735 to run most of my panels after glue up. Then I finished sanding/flattening them right after the DW735. Today we assembled all 51 doors/finished panels. I sanded one door with just my 6” ridgid ROS, was ok but not great and took a fair amount of time. That is my usual process. Then, my second door I ran through the Steel City sander, very flat, then using the 6” Ridgid ROS I sanded the cross grain scratches out of the rails. It was great! Just loved it.

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7 replies so far

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3349 days

#1 posted 11-15-2009 08:25 AM

Yep, drum sanders can save a lot of time. Always wanted one but at the time Performax was the only game in town. Then Delta came out with theirs and I bought one at the Woodworkers Show before they were even shipping them. Had to wait 2-3 months to get it but it was delivered, unpacked and carried down into my basement by the place I bought it from. That was a heck of a good service.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View bruc101's profile


1200 posts in 3538 days

#2 posted 11-15-2009 09:22 AM

My Performax is the most cared for piece of equipment in my shop. I think I would have a faint if it crashed on me.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3818 days

#3 posted 11-15-2009 03:25 PM

Jerry, I have one of these on my list. While I don’t mind hand sanding (it is one of those activites like mowing the grass that you can put the mental processes in neutral and mentally work on something else), it would be nice to speed this part of the construction up. Maybe Santa will be able to slide one down the chimney this year.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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2387 posts in 3543 days

#4 posted 11-15-2009 06:08 PM

That is funny Scott. The sliding one down the chimney thing. I think it would get stuck myself.

The thing about speeding the process up, I am not sure, maybe it does some. I thought the same thing when I bought mine. The thing I noticed though, the quality of sanding is better then what I ever achieved by hand. Inevitably I would over sand in some places causing lower and higher spots. The drum sander, if set up right will sand a piece completely flat with no lower or higher spots. I used to use my PC 3” by 21”, then on to the Ridgid or Dewalt ROS. Depending on the situation I would use our 3” by 18” makita. I could sand a panel quick with that process, but first, there was more wear on my arms and shoulders and second, dust collection was not as good and last, I could never get anything as flat as the drum sander.

What do you you all tihnk about the statement we have all heard, ‘the table saw is your center piece of your shop, why would you pay more for another piece then your willing to pay for your table saw’. I had a friend ask me that because we use a Ridgid TS 3660 and it works admirably for us at a price tag of 399.00 a year or so ago.

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2387 posts in 3543 days

#5 posted 11-15-2009 06:14 PM

Scott, I looked at your shop, very nice. I don’t think you will have any issues with paying more for a drum sander then you paid for your TS. lol

I would love to get a Saw Stop some day. We have a few employees and the TS does make me nervous. Our employees are all family as we are 100% family run business.

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View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3283 days

#6 posted 11-16-2009 11:26 PM

I spent the first 15 years or so of my woodworking career in a production door shop, belt sanding all the doors we did. Since all we’ve ever done has been raised panel doors and shutters, that’s a lot of doors.
Finally, we bought a Timesaver Model 237 wide belt sander—that’s 2 heads, 37” wide. I think if I had to go back to a 3×24” belt sander, I might seriously consider a career change. I guess the good news is, you get really good with a belt sander. The bad news is, you get really good with a belt sander!

I was working on a project at home last night. I needed to sand just 2 panels about 18” x 40”
Rather than do it there with my belt sander and ROS, I chose to spend 30-40 minutes to drive to my door shop (round trip) to sand them. Am I getting lazy or what? The real reason I spent the time was to get a way better job.Things come out flat and consistent with any kind of wide belt or drum sander. No way to do that by hand. Well I guess you could, but who wants to?

When I got back home I told my wife I needed a Timesaver sander for the house. She just politely smiled, as only a wife can do, as if to say In your dreams!


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2387 posts in 3543 days

#7 posted 11-17-2009 12:37 AM

Kent, that is a good reply and surely your wife ought to see the value in a giant wide belt sitting in your home shop. lol :)

I am glad my small shop is at home for convenience sake but we are looking to build a shop fairly soon and it will be a 30 minute drive. I intend on building a small efficiency in the shop though for long days or late nights.

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