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Which drum sander is best

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Forum topic by Juanchm posted 02-07-2018 03:10 PM 831 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Juanchm

2 posts in 308 days


02-07-2018 03:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drum sander sander

Hello everyone, I’m new to wood working and LJ and I’m looking for your help and your knowledge in picking a drum sander for finishing end grain cutting boards. A family friend has a Delta 18”x36” (31-250), a Grizzly G0458 and a Performax 16-32, he is giving me one as a birthday present. Which drum sander is best? Thanks in advance for sharing your opinion and experience with these machines.


12 replies so far

View moke's profile

moke

1265 posts in 2975 days


#1 posted 02-07-2018 06:00 PM

IMO, I would never own an open ended drum sander that the table raised and lowered. I ‘tried” a friends Delta before I bought it. I gave it back to him after a week. It was a nightmare to keep it level. I am not sure but thought the Grizzly worked similarly. The Performax on the other hand is the type that the head lowers and raises and I have had great luck with that type. Mine is a Supermax, but similar to the performax.

You will find there are varying opinions on this topic. Keep in mind I am not a professional WW, so my opinion should be taken with that in mind…..

-- Mike

View retfr8flyr's profile

retfr8flyr

386 posts in 1868 days


#2 posted 02-07-2018 07:00 PM

I would go for the Performax over the others. Like Mike I don’t like a sander with a movable table, instead of the head.

-- Earl

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2422 posts in 1421 days


#3 posted 02-07-2018 07:18 PM

I have a Performax 16/32 and love it.

The industry is growing and nice features are being added to product lines all the time, but given your list (and my bias), grab the 16/32.

As with any tool, a drum sander is a finicky beast, especially when doing end grain. Search the site for hints/tips on end grain sanding, it’ll save you some frustration 8^)

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5173 posts in 2692 days


#4 posted 02-07-2018 08:01 PM

That particular Delta model has been plagued with problems, I’d be sure to pass on it. The later ones (31.255 and up) seemed to have solved those issues…but now they have been discontinued and finding parts is a nightmare (or a lot of work).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View rickinbeachcrest's profile

rickinbeachcrest

14 posts in 1681 days


#5 posted 02-08-2018 12:04 AM

I have a performax 16/32. I have had it for about 10 years and it has worked great all this time. I couldn’t do what I do in the shop with out it. You’re not going to remove a lot of material with each pass, but you will never get tear-outs. I can get stock easily to a consistent 1/4 of a 1/64” of my target thickness. I use a dial caliper. For what I do, exact thickness is very important.

I will switch between 80 grit and 120 grit, so I can swap out belts pretty quickly.

If you take your friends performax, I would feel badly that you took his best drum sander.

View sawdustjunkie's profile

sawdustjunkie

389 posts in 1916 days


#6 posted 02-08-2018 12:27 AM

Supermax 19/38 for over a year! Don’t know what I would do without it.
I had the 12” Grizzly baby sander before the Supermax. It worked good, but was just to small for what I needed.
I did see the new 16/32 at a Rockler store and noticed that the drum had more space to allow for your fingers to get into the corner to get at the holding clip. The 19/38 isn’t hard, but a bit more space would be better.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1489 posts in 802 days


#7 posted 02-08-2018 12:34 AM

Call me crazy but my next drum sander will be a Flatmaster I think.

1. It registers off of the surface
2. Relatively little heat
3. I like the idea of having 2 different grits on at the same time.
4. Great dust collection

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1139 posts in 1015 days


#8 posted 02-08-2018 01:10 AM

I have a 16/32 and a 10/20, which are now made by Jet, and I like them both. I also have the kit version of the Flatmaster that Andy mentioned. It works quite well but will not sand to a certain thickness. The more passes you make, the greater the potential for inconsistent thickness. You just have to bear this in mind when you use it with coarse grit sandpaper.

View retfr8flyr's profile

retfr8flyr

386 posts in 1868 days


#9 posted 02-08-2018 04:18 AM



Call me crazy but my next drum sander will be a Flatmaster I think.

1. It registers off of the surface
2. Relatively little heat
3. I like the idea of having 2 different grits on at the same time.
4. Great dust collection

- Andybb

I have a Flatmaster 24 inch and it is a very neat machine. I love how easy it is to change grits and that it will truly sand flat. It works great for doing cutting boards, the only drawbacks are you have to hand feed everything and longer pieces are difficult to work with. I added a Jet 22-44 OCS to my shop last year and I love it.

-- Earl

View Rich's profile

Rich

3876 posts in 788 days


#10 posted 02-08-2018 04:43 AM


Call me crazy but my next drum sander will be a “Flatmaster”

- Andybb

Of course you’re crazy, Andy. That’s part of your charm. Seriously though, that thing looks cool. First time I’ve seen it, and thanks for sharing.

I like how it can flatten the face of a board. That’s a huge feature, like having a 24 inch wide jointer. It almost seems like you’d need a regular drum sander to go with it to make the faces parallel.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1489 posts in 802 days


#11 posted 02-09-2018 03:17 AM


It almost seems like you d need a regular drum sander to go with it to make the faces parallel.

- Rich


Yeah, that does seem like something to consider and a Flatmaster is nowhere near the top of the list….. I’m just sayin’.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Juanchm's profile

Juanchm

2 posts in 308 days


#12 posted 02-09-2018 04:27 AM

Thanks everyone for your advise. My friend gave me the Perfomax 16-32 and I’ve already finished my first cutting board with the help of the drum sander.

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