Do you use your drum sander?

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Forum topic by Tim Dorcas posted 10-18-2010 06:17 AM 2773 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tim Dorcas

188 posts in 3825 days

10-18-2010 06:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: performax drum sander veneer

One of the tools I lusted after for almost a year was a drum sander. However after a year and half in the shop, it hardly gets used. I bought mostly to sand my homemade veneers but I’m not resawing much veneer these days. I also bought it to make sanding my end grain cutting boards easier. In practice it doesn’t like end grain much. As I’m trying to organize what little space I have in my (small) two car garage shop, I’ve been thinking about selling it. So before I do I thought I’d ask what people use their drum sander for and how well they like it.

I have a Performax 16-32.


-- - A Woodworking & Renovation Blog & - I make. You buy.

16 replies so far

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2900 days

#1 posted 10-18-2010 07:55 AM

I use it more often than the planer.

I use it when i do inlays to sand them flush with the rest of the piece.

I use it to take a tiny shave off witout fear of tearout (planer); I never complained about grain changing direction.

I use it to “clean” strips for lamination.

I am fairly sure you should keep it.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 2920 days

#2 posted 10-18-2010 02:56 PM

I would hate to try to make precision boxes without one. I use the little 10/20 Performax all the time for glued up sides, trays, banding and any other stock that needs to be a precise thickness. Hardly ever change from 80 grit. Finish sanding I do by hand. Nearly everything I make requires resawing, so the little sander is always at hand. Like the previous poster, I use the sander much more than my planer.

I would think that an end grain cutting board could be surfaced most quickly with a router surfacing jig, followed by a couple passes through the sander, and you would be just about home free. The drum sander is not the tool for removing a lot of stock, but for precision work it’s unbeatable.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View gbvinc's profile


628 posts in 3913 days

#3 posted 10-18-2010 03:42 PM

Hardly anything leaves my shop that hasn’t been run through my Performax 16/32.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3740 days

#4 posted 10-18-2010 03:50 PM

I have a 16-32 Jet sander. I don’t use it all the time but it sure is handy to have when I do need it. I have some jewelry boxes and fruit crates to make and think it will be used a lot in the next couple of months. The way I store mine it is never in the way. Look at my workshop if you care to see how I store it. I think you should keep it.

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2823 days

#5 posted 10-18-2010 04:05 PM

I use my jet all the time. Gives me a nice uniform finish.
I find belt changing stops me using it for very small jobs though.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View denovich's profile


30 posts in 2790 days

#6 posted 10-21-2010 05:21 AM

I have the Jet 16-32 as well. Fantastic for sneaking up on final dimensions. This morning I mounted my Dewalt 735 to the shelf underneath the drum sander. Not perfect ergonomically, but saves a ton of space.

View tomd's profile


2148 posts in 3736 days

#7 posted 10-21-2010 05:26 AM

I use mine almost every day, for precision work it’s great.

-- Tom D

View woodgu's profile


63 posts in 2741 days

#8 posted 10-22-2010 07:48 PM

I have a 22-44. I use it regularly for dimensioning stock and laminate strips. I could probably have gotten along with a smaller model.

-- Phil G

View TheDane's profile


5401 posts in 3629 days

#9 posted 10-22-2010 08:06 PM

I have a shop-built V-Drum sander, and use it on virtually every project I do. Mostly, I use to finish sand, but last week I had a minor disaster ( ) where the V-Drum saved my bacon. I used it to sand out whatever the gunk was that Menards sprayed on a board. I could have used my planer, but I wanted to minimize the amount of material I was taking off, and some of the pieces were too small to safely run through a DW733.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

10363 posts in 3395 days

#10 posted 10-22-2010 08:49 PM

Mine gets used on every project. Caveat…’s a “V” sander, tho.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3513 days

#11 posted 10-22-2010 09:27 PM

We use our Steel city drum sander a ton. Obviously for glue ups. One thing that it helps with are sanding saw marks off of stiles and rails or face frame material. It also helps making a lot of parts the exact same size easier. There seems to be ton of ways to use the sander.

Oh yeah, and keeping the finger nails filed and sanded down nicely works really well.

-- .

View James Frederick's profile

James Frederick

174 posts in 3687 days

#12 posted 12-20-2017 05:57 AM

I purchased my Jet 16-32 barely used, I use it almost every time I am in the garage. My current project is a backgammon board and it has exceeded my expectations.

Keep it I think you will miss it.

-- Change begins somewhere may as well be with me.

View becikeja's profile


869 posts in 2779 days

#13 posted 12-20-2017 12:38 PM

I bought a used Ryobi model and use it constantly, I plan to upgrade to the Supermax in 2018

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Knockonit's profile


360 posts in 168 days

#14 posted 12-20-2017 01:03 PM

i picked up a delta 1632 i believe it is, adjustment was broken, gears stripped, so i changed it around to ontop of deck, whilst i tried to locate new gears , well that was one of the toughest hunts i’ve even been on.
anyway, i use it more than i thought, and am always on the lookout to pick up a newer unit.

this one does great, adjust with vise grips, and the track belt likes to run off the rollers on occassion, but it beats the hand sanding by far, not sure how i did without it,

what i really like is i picked up a 72’’ edge sander, boy howdy, talk about moving some material. nice unit, older made in san diego , many moons ago, and of course no parts, had to fab some.

i read all there is about drum sanders, and it seems none are perfect, but hey who is
Rj in az

View sawdustdad's profile


354 posts in 851 days

#15 posted 12-20-2017 01:52 PM

I have the performax 16-32 as well. I don’t use it very often, but when you need it, you need it. In my previous shop, I mounted mine on top of my planer to save floor space. I still have it that way in my new shop, even though I’ve got double the space.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

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