Problem with Performax 10-20 Sander - paper keeps ripping

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Forum topic by ellen35 posted 06-23-2010 01:11 AM 10430 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3607 days

06-23-2010 01:11 AM

I have a Performax 10-20 drum sander and I am having a problem with the sandpaper. I know the space to get to the sandpaper clamps is tight… even for my small hands. However I’m not sure that is the problem. I ripped 2 new pieces of sandpaper roll today while running some boards through the sander. I can’t tell if the paper is not tight enough, the drum is not parallel to the table (I can fix that but I’m not sure that is the problem) or if I’m doing something else wrong. The paper always rips at the right side about 1/2 to 1 inch from the clamp. I take very small bites with each pass. While at Rockler today, I noticed that the 16-32 now opens from the top instead of the front… no, a new drum sander is not a possibility at this time. I’m hoping that one of my fellow LJs might have an idea as to what I am doing wrong and, more importantly, what I can do to correct the problem. The rolls are pretty expensive to rip so quickly!!
Thanks in advance for any advice,

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

16 replies so far

View degoose's profile


7243 posts in 3529 days

#1 posted 06-23-2010 01:15 AM

Sorry,, I have the 16/32

so not much help here..

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View patron's profile


13635 posts in 3516 days

#2 posted 06-23-2010 01:50 AM

wish i could help ,
i have a 13” ‘widebelt’ sander ,
really a drum sander with a belt that goes to a smaller drum and back ,
before these new one like you have .

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

View tomd's profile


2170 posts in 3945 days

#3 posted 06-23-2010 02:02 AM

Having a similar problem with the 16/32, I found that the paper has to be very tight on the drum and the end of the roll often is loose, or becomes loose after a few uses. Winde the paper as tight as you can and make the end clam as tight as you can then run it and check it again. Hope that will help. The sanding pulls on the roll and pulls it tighter to the drum making the end loose.

-- Tom D

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3098 days

#4 posted 06-23-2010 02:13 AM

Have you made sure the rollers are absolutely clean when you install the SP? Just a thought

-- Life is good.

View Edziu's profile


151 posts in 3225 days

#5 posted 06-23-2010 02:47 AM

I have a different brand drum sander, but I used to have similar problems with mine. I would wind my sandpaper as tight as I could and I’d end up tearing a piece after using it for some time. I discovered that the heat of the sander was making the sanding strip get a little longer and then, loose on the drum. So after I run a board through 4 or 5 times, I turn off the machine and re-tighten the sandpaper. Often times I’ll get a 1/4-inch of slack out of the paper. Try that.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4196 posts in 3750 days

#6 posted 06-23-2010 05:19 AM

I wish I could help you Ellen, but my sanding machine is hooked on to my right wrist.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3101 days

#7 posted 06-23-2010 05:39 AM

I have the 22/44, and as Tom says, best to wrap the paper tightly, run it for a couple of minutes with no load, then retighten if you can.

Mine will pull loose if I don’t have enough paper into the little spring clamp and I take a heavy cut.

Also, you can space the paper out a bit on the drum, make sure it is not overlapping at some point.

All the best!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Kate's profile


400 posts in 4049 days

#8 posted 06-23-2010 12:49 PM

Hi Ellen,

Have you tried calling the company? It might be something with your machine that they can help you with.

Good luck, sounds frustrating.

-- Kate,

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3607 days

#9 posted 06-23-2010 01:17 PM

Thanks everyone.
I’m going to try tightening the paper after I clean off the roller. Then I’ll run it without wood for a few minutes and tighten again. One of the problems is that they put the spring clip in about the worst possible position and it takes a while to get everything situated. I’m thinking I need a very small curved needlenose plier to get in behind and pull. Necessity is the mother of invention… I’ll look around and see what I can find or make.
I really think it might just be loose paper.
Thanks again, everyone. LJs are the BEST!!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View degoose's profile


7243 posts in 3529 days

#10 posted 06-23-2010 01:20 PM

Jet have a small hook available for pulling on the spring clip… you could probably make one…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View woodsmithshop's profile


1340 posts in 3720 days

#11 posted 06-23-2010 04:15 PM

I have the Grizzly 24” drum sander, and I ended up using duct tape on each end to keep it from tearing, it is awkward at best to get the paper tight, you need at least three hands.

-- Smitty!!!

View Frank Doyle's profile

Frank Doyle

42 posts in 3571 days

#12 posted 03-25-2015 01:40 PM

Ellen, I have the same problem with my 10-20, did you ever resolve the problem with any type of fix?

-- Frank

View centerisl's profile


3 posts in 2330 days

#13 posted 03-25-2015 02:09 PM

I have a Performax 16/32 – I haven’t had a tear there, but I regularly check the tightness of that tail of the wrap.

I also ended up buying the Jet tool – seems kind of expensive but it really does help get the paper in the proper position – when released it takes up slack and adds tension to the end.

Oh, and I also tend to use the middle of the sanding belt, not the inboard end.

-- Keith

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3607 days

#14 posted 03-25-2015 06:16 PM

Frank…. I fixed it… I got the 16-32 and gave the 10-20 to someone with a “gearhead” husband.
No problems there.
I found the tool to be all but useless but it was free with the unit(s).

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Woodbum's profile


830 posts in 3240 days

#15 posted 03-25-2015 06:27 PM

Ellen: I have a 16-32 Performax bought before Jet bought them. I have had it for several years and haven’t had a problem like you described with the 10-20. I am with you; the little tool I determined was pretty damned worthless early on, but I thought that I was just an idiot and wasn’t able to figure out how to use it properly. I just stick my stubby, fat fingers in the end of the drum to operate the clamp. Glad to hear that someone else has the same opinion of the little red gizmo. The 16-32 is probably one of the BEST things that I ever did for my woodworking. What a great tool.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

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