Always wanted a drum sander. But do I need one?

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 04-09-2016 06:37 PM 1093 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Holbs's profile


1867 posts in 2027 days

04-09-2016 06:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drum sander delta 31-255x

I have an opportunity to snag up a Delta 18”x36” 31-255x for $200. I have read of tracking issues, hard to find parts, etc. What I know so far, is replacement belt is needed… everything else is 100% aok (have not tested in person yet). I am torn between going for it now, or waiting down the road for drum sander. Someone talk me out of this :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

8 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


5120 posts in 1719 days

#1 posted 04-09-2016 06:41 PM

That seems like a pretty good deal. I’ve heard of the problems plaguing that machine but for $200, I’d bite and keep my fingers crossed. If nothing else, you could pick it up, decide you didn’t need it/want it or have room for it and sell it for a good profit. I see those regularly being advertised in my area for $500 – $700, YMMV.

View JBrow's profile


1354 posts in 918 days

#2 posted 04-09-2016 07:09 PM


This sander is a good bit less money than new, or even a relatively new used one. But before buying, I would like to know that I can replace the belt first. If a new belt is needed but you cannot find one, the machine will get little, if any, use. A replacement belt will add to your cost and could be a point of negotiation.

As bigblockyeti said, you can get it and after some use figure out whether you want to upgrade.

View AZWoody's profile


1330 posts in 1222 days

#3 posted 04-09-2016 07:48 PM

I’d get it. After you have it running and set up, you’ll be using it in more ways than you could imagine.

If it doesn’t work out as well as you’d hope, at the price you’re paying for it, you can resell it for at least break even but more than likely, a profit.

One mod you might want to make is to put 2×4” dust collection ports at the top. Those machines are major dust generators. Also, place it as close to your dust collector as possible.

View MrUnix's profile


6710 posts in 2197 days

#4 posted 04-09-2016 08:24 PM

Want and need are two separate issues that only you can work out :)

But for that price, I agree with the others that it’s a good deal, and you could always re-sell it for the same or more if you decide you don’t want to keep it. From what I can tell, getting a replacement belt should not be a problem. A really quick search shows that ereplacementparts has them, as does Amazon for even less, so finding one should not be any problem at all. And – as per OWWM rule #1, there may not actually be anything wrong with the existing belt, so you may get an even better deal than you thought!


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2802 days

#5 posted 04-10-2016 12:33 PM

Sounds like a steal. Tracking on these can be finicky, but, I think it can be tamed.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Vince's profile


1148 posts in 3427 days

#6 posted 04-10-2016 12:44 PM

If you do any segmented turning you will definitely want a drum sander, you will wonder how you lived with out one.

-- Vince

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2444 days

#7 posted 04-10-2016 05:08 PM

When I was shopping for a good drum sander I was mainly looking for Supermax DS since it seed to be widely used and most owner were happy with their purchase although there were also a few happy Delta owners( like the model in the picture) as well .
I think if you want a drum sander you should get a 16/32 (or bigger) Supermax , that is a good bet on the drum sander, a tool that you will most likely get less problem (like tracking or raising lowering the drum as oppose to the belt) ,also you can sell it with relative ease if you ever decide to do so.

$200 seems like a waste of money if you are not happy with how this sander performs, pay a bit more and take a chance with something that less people complain about(Supermax),that’s my advice.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Holbs's profile


1867 posts in 2027 days

#8 posted 04-10-2016 09:30 PM

I shall pass on this unit. Though I know a drum sander would be beneficial, I have come to a point where I have too much machinery as is, in my 2 car garage. If it were a supermax or larger unit, different story. But there comes a point where I have to say “stop Eric… you have too much as is” :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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