Drum Sander

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Forum topic by weldoman posted 01-30-2016 01:24 PM 1098 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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114 posts in 2294 days

01-30-2016 01:24 PM

I’ve been wanting to add a drum sander to my tool arsenal so I’ve been searching CL regularly. There hasn’t been much to pick from lately, but this one popped up recently. I just sold a Rikon 10-325 bandsaw so Ive got a little cash in my pocket but this sander is about twice my budget.

I’ve read good things about Woodmaster , made in the USA, heavy duty, etc. Is this a fair price on this sander?

Is this a good unit for a hobbiest, or overkill?

-- missouri, dave

9 replies so far

View dhazelton's profile


2805 posts in 2533 days

#1 posted 01-30-2016 01:51 PM

5 hp? $1700? That’s would be serious overkill for me. But I’m not you. The ‘sale’ price of a new one is $3,000 so it’s not a bead deal. Doesn’t Grizzly or Jet have anything you like?

View splintergroup's profile


2502 posts in 1459 days

#2 posted 01-30-2016 03:07 PM

I agree, serious overkill for me as well, but the price is good. They take up more room than one would imagine!
It took me some time to get comfortable with using my drum sander, but now it is the second most used tool in my shop (behind the TS).

The 26” width is great!. Many of the lesser sanders are advertised as “16/32” or “20/40” meaning you can sand one side of a table top (16”), flip the piece around, then sand the other side for the full 32”. In reality it does’t quite work that easily, but it can be done. The Woodmaster appears sealed on the end so 26” is absolutely maximum.

Another consideration is you’ll be paying close to $8-$10 per piece for the belt and changing may take a few minutes more than what I’m used to, but if I was in your position knowing what I know now, I’d give it a serious look!

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1157 days

#3 posted 01-30-2016 04:32 PM


I cannot say whether $1700 is a fair price; but it is definitely worth a look. Of course, whether you should buy this machine is a personal decision. Is this overkill for a hobbyist? Again a personal decision; and probably overkill especially if you love sanding for hours and hours with a belt sander or enjoy the quiet satisfaction derived from working a smoothing plane. As for me, I am a hobbyist and have over an indefensible amount of money in tools spent over 30 years. Woodworking is an expensive hobby. Expensive motorized tools are all unnecessary, since furniture was built for centuries without a Powermatic, Grizzly, or Woodmaster. However, with each purchase I have made, my projects became easier, went together fast, and with better results.

Here is what I have found with my Woodmaster Drum Sander:

I have a Woodmaster 38” single drum sander (WM-38). I use it to flatten glue-ups with 80 grit paper. It does not replace the thickness planer because it is too slow. It is, however, faster, easier, and more precise than the handheld belt sander, which was my method of flushing up panel glue joints. You can get flat panels with parallel faces without much fuss. If you wanted to change the sand paper through the grits, you could use it to finish sand. For me, that is too much trouble.

It is a well-built machine. I have had a Woodmaster 12” planer for over 20 years and it still works like new. My WM-38 is about 4 years old and under hobby use, has had no problems. Woodmaster uses quality components throughout. The machine can be readily disassembled if a repair is ever required. The grease zerks are accessible. The belt seems durable and grips the stock well – nothing has ever stalled. The rollers hold the stock firmly against the tractor belt. The motor has more than enough power to spin the drum and the variable speed tractor belt speed control is probably unnecessary. The tractor belt is powered by a separate DC motor. The instruction manual is clear and complete and a must read to get the best results from the machine.

Replacing the sand paper is not difficult, about a 10 minute job requiring angle cuts of the ends of the sand paper. If you have good dust collection, take light and multiple passes, and keep uncollected dust off the face of the board as it is runs under the drum, the paper lasts a fair amount of time. If I took the time to clean the sand paper, it would last much longer. The paper I bought several years ago from Woodmaster was Mirka and a heavy weight paper. It is high quality sand paper.

Best results with the WM-38 are achieved with a high feed rate (it has a variable feed rate) and multiple passes taken at the same depth (normally I take 5 passes). Depth is changed no more than 1/128” to 1/64” at a time. My current project required six glue-up panels of various widths and about 24” long. It took about two to three hours at the WM-38 with a reversing switch to sand these panels on both sides. They came out flat, smooth, and with parallel faces. I started finish sanding with 80 grit paper on the random orbital sander to remove the sanding marks from the 80 grit WM-38 paper – I find it faster than starting with 100 grit paper.

I noted that the CL listing states the machine has 50 hours and is pictured with infeed and, I assume, outfeed rollers (a $140 option). However, it has no reversing switch. The reversing switch combined with the outfeed rollers allow you to run the stock from infeed to outfeed side then reverse the direction and bring the stock back to your (outfeed to infeed direction). While not an indispensable feature, it is sure is convenient and if you buy the machine, consider adding the reversing switch. It costs about $100. The ad says it includes sandpaper. The value of the sand paper is about $30 a roll. One roll is enough to provide several changes of the paper.

If you look at the machine, try to take a look at the velcro attached to the drum. It requires the removal of the sand paper. If heavy cuts with a slow feed rate were taken by the current owner, the velco may need replaced.

In summary, 1) if the sander will do what you need done, 2) the machine has not been abused, 3) it offers the width you need, and 4) it is a good value (a personal decision), then buy it.

View Redoak49's profile


3739 posts in 2225 days

#4 posted 01-30-2016 05:04 PM

It may be a good value….but

You can get a new Supermax 19-38 for $1400… gets very good reviews

View weldoman's profile


114 posts in 2294 days

#5 posted 01-30-2016 05:59 PM

Thanks for the replies guys. It’s definitely more $ than I want to spend and it’s too far away for a quick look. I’m nearing retirement and trying to outfit my shop before I’m on a fixed income. I’ve bought most of WW tools off of CL, so that is where I start first. Right now there is not much to choose from.
I think i’d rather stay with the fixed (closed) units as opposed to the cantilevered, but what do I know?

-- missouri, dave

View sawdustjunkie's profile


399 posts in 1954 days

#6 posted 01-30-2016 07:37 PM

I started with a Grizzly 12” drum sander and found it to be too small for my needs. In July of last year I got the Supermax 19/38. Thought I paid way too much at $1,400, because it was way over what I really wanted to spend. After using it for a week, I am now a very happy camper and do not regret the purchase. The belts are easy to switch out and it is very quiet. I have it hooked up to my dust collector which makes all the noise in my small garage shop.
I have sanded things that were 24” wide by simply flipping the item around and have had no problems with that process.
$1700 for used or $1400 for new with a 3 year warranty wouldn’t be much of a decision for me.

I put the Grizzly sander on craig’s list and sold it in 3 days for what I bought it used for over a year ago.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View English's profile


660 posts in 1714 days

#7 posted 01-30-2016 09:39 PM

Grizzly has a 24” double drum sander for $1,725.00 new. It’s a real horse of a machine. I have one and with two 4” dust connection hoses tied to a 6” duct only 10’ from the 2.5 hp Pennstate tempest dust collector you can’t sand without a respirator. Creates quite a dust cloud. The WoodMaster with only one 4” connection may be a problem.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View dhazelton's profile


2805 posts in 2533 days

#8 posted 01-30-2016 11:19 PM

”$1700 for used or $1400 for new with a 3 year warranty wouldn’t be much of a decision for me”

We’re talking the same money when you add sales tax and shipping. One is new and capable. The other is used but HUGELY more capable with more power and capacity. I’d buy the used myself.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2927 days

#9 posted 01-31-2016 01:39 AM

Not sure how far that is from Tulsa but I would probably go for it based on my experience with my Woodmaster planer: made in the USA (Kansas City), great customer service, and that 5 hp Leesan motor is a real workhorse.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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