Opportunity to buy a Performax Drum Sander

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Forum topic by ShannonRogers posted 03-01-2008 12:06 AM 7821 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3814 days

03-01-2008 12:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drum sander question tool

Calling all LJs. I need some help and need it fast. I have been presented with a deal from a client to buy his practically new 32-16 Performax Drum Sander for $450 (retail on this is 825). He inheirited it from his recently passed father and it looks to be in brand new condition.

I need to give him an answer as to whether I will take it this weekend as he had another buyer. I have always thought that a drum sander would be useful, but I try to only buy tools when I need them so I don’t end up making purchases I don’t use or will regret.

Can any of you relate some good uses for a drum sander and how this will add to the functionality of my shop. Of course any reviews of this tools would be good as well, but as I understand it this is a good model. I am more curious as to the typical uses for a drum sander for a typical woodworker who dabbles in everything from furniture to keepsakes to woodturning.

I have the space, but I don’t know if I would benefit from the tool.

Thanks in advance for the advice.


-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

17 replies so far

View FrankA's profile


139 posts in 3805 days

#1 posted 03-01-2008 12:12 AM

I dont have one but I would buy it, for that price you cant go wrong. If you dont buy it you’ll be kicking yourself for not taking the leap. I know I would.
I’m sure if you find you done use it or dont like it you can sell it for what you have into it.
Just my 2 cents.

-- Frank Auge---Nichols NY----"My opinion is neither copyrighted nor trademarked, but it is price competitive."

View MrWoody's profile


321 posts in 3800 days

#2 posted 03-01-2008 12:14 AM

I don’t know anything about the unit you are looking at. So I did a search and found this link
You would possibly use it for flattening doors or glued up panels.
Also thickness sanding.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I'm getting a fantastic education.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4426 days

#3 posted 03-01-2008 12:35 AM

Buy it. I’ve got a Ryobi and they re great. You do get straight sand lines and you need to touch up the boards with a ROS or scraper. But it does a good job of leveling out your wood. I’ve used it when resawing wood and I want to get rid of all of the saw marks.

Also if you have figured wood that you can’t run through a jointer and planer because of the chipout. This sander is the solution.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4014 days

#4 posted 03-01-2008 01:57 AM

Sound like a great deal to me. I have a Performax 22/44 and I love it. I reviewed it on this site.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View AWood's profile


51 posts in 3772 days

#5 posted 03-02-2008 11:08 PM

Gentleman what kind of dust control goes with these drum sanders? I take it there is a shop vac connection?

-- AllWood

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4014 days

#6 posted 03-02-2008 11:10 PM

There is a 4” port on the top. A shop vac with a reducer would do the job it you don’t have a real dust collector.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View dlgWoodWork's profile


160 posts in 3780 days

#7 posted 03-03-2008 05:56 AM

If it is good shape, buy it. If it turns out you don’t use it enought to justify your cost, you can sell it for what you bought it for. It shouldn’t be that hard to get that for it down the road.

Let us know if you buy, and post pics.

-- Check out my projects and videos

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4092 days

#8 posted 03-03-2008 11:37 AM

Shannon I have the Performax 16-32 drum sander and I use mine for nearly every project that I do. I use mine for every panel glue up – it will absolutely get your board dead flat (just be sure to scrape off excess glue before running it through to save you belts). I also use it after I run my boards through my planner to “fine tune” them and get a ready for final sanding on them. I typically keep a 220 grit belt on my sander. One word to the wise though – you will absolutely have to have decent DC hooked up to it. I have a Delta DC with 4” hose hooked up to mine. It creates a blizzard of dust if you don’t have the DC on it. I’ve got the cheap Delta DC machine on mine and it does just fine.

I got a pretty good deal on my Performax – paying about $760 for it from a Mfg. Rep at a show. The deal you are getting is just too good to pass up – like DGunn said, you can always recoup your costs if for some reason you don’t like it (I can’t imagine that you won’t).

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3825 days

#9 posted 03-03-2008 12:13 PM

get it.. if you don’t like it, you can sell it on ebay for more than you are paying.

-- making sawdust....

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3908 days

#10 posted 03-03-2008 04:11 PM

I went through the same internal debate and decided to buy that exact one. I set it up this weekend and it is a charm. As cajunpen mentioned, you can create a lot of dust with it, so be prepared. I would say get it. It is worth what they are asking, so you will always be able to sell it for that, but I doubt you will.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View pmulry's profile


21 posts in 3996 days

#11 posted 03-03-2008 10:44 PM

Another use is if you are resawing veneers with your bandsaw, the drum sander is a great way to get them to final thickness, as the planer will typically destroy anything that thin. I’ve seen David Marks do this on his Wood Works show several dozen times, or so it would seem. Good luck!

-- Pat Mulry, Dallas, Texas ||

View cowboy's profile


68 posts in 3813 days

#12 posted 03-07-2008 12:24 AM

I find it hard to believe that I ever built anything without a drum sander,I would not do without one ever again.Once you get used to them you will love them.I have used a SuperMax 24” commercial line of Performax and it’s unbelieveable what you can do.


View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3794 days

#13 posted 03-07-2008 12:33 AM

i don’t have one but the wood whisperer has one and he says that its good and for that price I’d say go for it.

View Suz's profile


51 posts in 3782 days

#14 posted 03-07-2008 03:03 PM

I’ve got a 16/32 sander and like all other woodworking machinery it has its faults. I’ve gotten some bad press on other forums when I bad mouth the 16/32 when I list the faults but I’ll try again here on LJ.
First off, this machine will not work to dimension lumber. It can only be used to take of a minute amount of wood on each pass. Whenever I try to take too deep of a cut, the circuit breaker on mine kicks out. But, the machine is great to level out glued up panels and with the open end you can go as wide as 32 inches. (That is, if you have the head adjusted accurately.) Many users also have had problems with the tracking on the feed belt. I think this might have been an issue with the older units, because mine had perfect tracking right out of the box.
Another problem I have with mine is that the right clip on the roller will let loose at the worse possible moment! Now this is really aggravating especially right after you put on a new strip of sandpaper. When the paper comes loose from the drum it not only ruins the paper, but also the lumber.
Don’t get the idea that you will be able to put 220 paper on it and expect to put finish on your project without additional sanding either by hand or with a orbital sander. There will always be lines in your lumber. but, if you use something like a 120 grit, then kiss it with a orbital sander the lines will disappear very quickly.
My advice is like everyone else, at that price grab it and run!
One thing I’d like to add is that I will use mine on every project that I make.

-- Jim

View gator9t9's profile


331 posts in 3730 days

#15 posted 05-22-2008 05:57 PM

So did you buy the 16-32 and do you like it ….?

-- Mike in Bonney Lake " If you are real real real good your whole life, You 'll be buried in a curly maple coffin when you die."

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