Help with Delta 31-250 Drum Sander

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Forum topic by MikeUT posted 09-11-2015 08:49 PM 495 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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121 posts in 782 days

09-11-2015 08:49 PM

I need some help with a Delta 31-250 drum sander. I bought it off my local CL for what I thought was a steal but am second guessing my purchase after reading some reviews here on lumberjocks. It seems to run well and the feed belt tracks well, although it may need to be replaced relatively soon. It seemed to work OK when I tested it on a few 2×4’s.

Is there anyone out there that has a Delta drum sander that likes it? If anyone has an opinion, positive or negative, please share. Also, if you have any advice on dealing with its quirks or things to watch out for I’d appreciate that as well.

Thanks in advance!

2 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3848 posts in 1916 days

#1 posted 09-11-2015 09:35 PM

I had that model for about 12 years before I sold it last year. Mine never had any of the problems that were common to that model, and did a lot of work in the time I had it. Sold it because I hadn’t used it in a couple of years and needed the room. Now I find I may have to replace it maybe next year. In any case, the biggest problem with it at this point will be the unavailability of parts. So if things like the conveyor speed control, or those fingers that hold the paper, or the little gears under the table that raise/lower it break, you have to come up with a work around. Those are things that break, some things just get out of adjustment…a lot of complaints mentioned the table not staying parallel with the drum. There’s a notched belt that is supposed to keep the four levelers in sync by moving little plastic gears. If that belt gets a little loose, it can skip a tooth on one gear causing the problem. Crank it up/down slowly and deliberately….you not trying to win a race. I suggest you do not put any softwood into it, it will clog and ruin the belt very quickly. Also don’t count on it being a finishing sander. I quit using anything finer than 150, and usually had 120 grit on mine. They generate a mountain of dust so a GOOD DC is a must. I also wound up taking only the light cuts, and running a slow feed rate….you’ll develop a rhythm you like over time. I also had the drum drive belt set to the slower speed. Lastly, don’t fret what you’ve read…if it’s working good, enjoy it while it lasts, they can be extremely useful. Oh, almost forget, another complaint was the feed belt not tracking correctly. once I got mine aligned, it stayed that way until I changed and had to re do the alignment. Just follow the manual. If you find you need one of the work around things I mentioned, an internet search should turn up the alternatives.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Paul's profile


439 posts in 3012 days

#2 posted 09-11-2015 10:22 PM

Fred’s review is right on. My sander and I have a love/hate relationship, I would not want to be without it but it is a frustrating piece of equipment for all the reasons Fred outlined. Be patient with it and you should get a lot of use from it.

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

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