Problem with Performax 10-20 Sander - paper keeps ripping

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Forum topic by ellen35 posted 1520 days ago 3794 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ellen35's profile


2564 posts in 2057 days

1520 days ago

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

11 replies so far

View degoose's profile


6992 posts in 1979 days

#1 posted 1520 days ago

Sorry,, I have the 16/32

so not much help here..

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View patron's profile


13000 posts in 1966 days

#2 posted 1520 days ago

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


1738 posts in 2395 days

#3 posted 1520 days ago

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 1548 days

#4 posted 1520 days ago

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

-- Life is good.

View Edziu's profile


150 posts in 1676 days

#5 posted 1520 days ago

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


3581 posts in 2200 days

#6 posted 1520 days ago

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

-- Having fun...Eric

View jusfine's profile


2280 posts in 1551 days

#7 posted 1520 days ago

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


396 posts in 2499 days

#8 posted 1519 days ago

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


2564 posts in 2057 days

#9 posted 1519 days ago

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


6992 posts in 1979 days

#10 posted 1519 days ago

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

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View woodsmithshop's profile


1114 posts in 2170 days

#11 posted 1519 days ago

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!!!

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