What grits do you use on your drum sander?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by KevinVan posted 12-13-2009 02:41 AM 1884 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View KevinVan's profile


91 posts in 3294 days

12-13-2009 02:41 AM

I picked up a used Jet 16-32 drum sander today on Craig’s list and I now need some paper for it.

I know that buying it in bulk rolls is the way to go but what grits work the best?
I’m thinking 100, 150, and 220.

I’ll be doing mostly cutting boards, raised panels and frames,

I’ll be using the ROS for the last sanding.

Also what brand and where is the best and cheapest place to buy?


-- ALS IK KAN “to the best of my ability,”

13 replies so far

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3496 days

#1 posted 12-13-2009 02:49 AM

I have 120 and 220 for mine and I have to say I hardly ever use the 120. I pretty much only do finish sanding on it so I use 220. Don’t usually have to do any more sanding after that. I think you’ll find that to be the case too with 220.

My drum sander is Delta’s so I buy their bulk rolls which have the marking on them where to cut.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3669 days

#2 posted 12-13-2009 03:12 AM

I buy the bulk rolls and prefer to use the drum sander more as a surfacer, and not a finish sander since it’s only the baby 12-24. I usually stick with 80 or 120 in mine, and finish up with a plane and card scraper for a final finish.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View patron's profile


13630 posts in 3484 days

#3 posted 12-13-2009 03:17 AM

i’m with julian ,

as i do many mixed woods inlays ,
with grain changes and directions ,
i use #80 grit ,
then finish with r/o sanding to #150 .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 3774 days

#4 posted 12-13-2009 03:31 AM

It depends, I use it for both surfacing and finish when I’m working with figured woods or very hard brittle type woods Etc.
I don’t like taking the risk of tear out with my jointer or planer (haven’t bought a spiral cutter head for them yet) I use my drumsander with grits ranging from 80 to 220…. But in my oppion getting the 3 grits you mentioned would do you fine.

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View gbvinc's profile


628 posts in 4090 days

#5 posted 12-13-2009 04:23 AM

Here is a thread showing a couple of good sources: for bulk paper:
I ended up ordering from and have been very pleased with the quality of the sandpaper. It lasts way longer than the pre-made performax rolls that cost too much. Just make a template from one of your existing paper strips to match the angle for trimming off the bulk roll.

View Mike Pientka's profile

Mike Pientka

129 posts in 3232 days

#6 posted 12-13-2009 04:30 AM

I have same Jet model and love it. In addition to the three grits you are considering, I’d recommend a 36 grit for highly figured wood. You planer will tear it up, but this will work fine

-- Engineer by day, Woodworker by night, Original Approach LLC, Windsor CO,

View Bill Davis's profile

Bill Davis

226 posts in 4067 days

#7 posted 12-13-2009 10:25 AM

36 to 220

View WoodSparky's profile


200 posts in 3245 days

#8 posted 12-13-2009 12:39 PM

I use mt 18×36 drum sander mostly for glue ups , and found 80 grit gets it done in a timely fashion.
The higher grits one my machine requires a slower feed and light cuts. Plus I hate changing the paper.
I bought one of those rubber mats to keep the paper fresh, and seems to help.
One tip: knock off as much glue as you can, unless you like those black streaks.

-- So Many tools, So little time

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4131 days

#9 posted 12-14-2009 12:08 AM

I have a 22×44 Performax.

I use 60, 100 and 180.

60 When I want to take off a lot of material or level out some really uneven surfaces.

180 as my finish grit. I’ll use my random orbital sander and by hand to go from there.

100 for everything else.

I usually get mine here:

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View PaulfromVictor's profile


228 posts in 3489 days

#10 posted 01-07-2010 09:29 PM

WoodSparky – what do you mean “black streaks” ?

I am just beginning to plan out building a drum sander. Black streaks sounds bad to me.

View WoodSparky's profile


200 posts in 3245 days

#11 posted 01-07-2010 11:27 PM

Paul, I found that if I did not cleam up my glue joints well with a scaper and fead it into the sander, I would have a build up of glue on one or many location of the sanding drum. When flipping or reorienting the piece, there would be these black streaks on my work. Now it needs new paper. Dam, I hate changing paper.


-- So Many tools, So little time

View degoose's profile


7238 posts in 3498 days

#12 posted 01-07-2010 11:30 PM

I like 36 for rough dimensioning of boards … then up to 120 for finishing… then the ROS

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4035 days

#13 posted 01-08-2010 03:43 AM

I have a Jet 16-32 and use 80,120,and 180 grits.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics