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What grit assortment for Drum Sanders?

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Forum topic by TechRedneck posted 05-15-2011 11:44 PM 4195 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TechRedneck

763 posts in 2318 days


05-15-2011 11:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drum sander abrasives jet 16-32

After making my first set of end grain cutting boards this past Christmas, I decided to break down and get a Jet 16-32 sander. Most of the reviews were favorable and I totally agree, the thing is awesome and a great time saver. ( I used my bench-top belt sander and it was a real pain )

Since then I’ve made a couple projects, mostly in Ash, oak and cherry, and use the sander to get all the stock to uniform thickness which is great. I am using the set of abrasives that came with it, the finest being 120 grit. I use this most of the time, however it still develops scratches that are noticeable and require additional sanding with ROS or hand scraper.

What is the best method for getting a near finish ready surface, do you run through the grits? What grits? and what is the finest grit to run before you get to a point of diminishing return?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle


11 replies so far

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2724 posts in 2893 days


#1 posted 05-15-2011 11:51 PM

I use 120 on my Jet 16-32. I then do a quick hand sand of my boards. I’m not sure you could get a really smooth surface without changing out the paper several times. I find that a couple of minutes of hand sanding with 220 or 320 grit is all I need after running them though the Jet. Sometimes, doing a little by hand saves a lot of time that you would spend changing out the paper.
Just a thought….

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

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

306 posts in 2154 days


#2 posted 05-16-2011 12:12 AM

Just a question about your sander as I don’t know anything about them.
I noticed all drum sanders having this combination of double the first number ie: 12-24, 16-32, 18-36 …..
I figure the first number is the drum length, but what is the second number?
Thanks.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View brianlee's profile

brianlee

18 posts in 2061 days


#3 posted 05-16-2011 12:30 AM

Drum sanders that have double numbers are open end sanders so a sander with a 12” length drum can actually sand a board 24” wide—because you can sand one half, flip it around, and sand the other half. Of course that only works well if everything on the sander is tuned just right.

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TechRedneck

763 posts in 2318 days


#4 posted 05-16-2011 12:33 AM

The second number is usually double the first. One end of the sander is open so you can sand 32” in two passes.
Here is a view of my 16-32 showing the open end.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View majeagle1's profile

majeagle1

1426 posts in 2957 days


#5 posted 05-16-2011 12:44 AM

I haven’t gotten to cutting boards yet, however, with my boxes I use ( on my Jet 16-32 ) 120 mostly to remove wood, 150 to start getting scratches out, then 180 to get the rest of the scratches out. The only thing I need thereafter is I use 220 on my finishing sander and maybe just a little by hand…..

The only thing you have to be careful with is if you are using hardwoods and/or oily woods, do not try to take of much wood with anything above 150 and keep it slow ( usually have the belt speed on around 30 – 40 ) and only lower the drum about 1/8 of a turn at a time at that point.

My Jet 16-32 was the best purchase I ever made…..

Hope this helps….

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks, http://majesticeagleww.etsy.com/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/majesticeagle/

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 2652 days


#6 posted 05-16-2011 01:04 AM

I just recently got the grizzly drum sander…I only use 80 grit for glue removal,
and 120 grit to clean up. I use my porter cable hand held to finish up at 180.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Stormin's profile

Stormin

193 posts in 2250 days


#7 posted 05-16-2011 02:15 AM

I also have a 1632 Jet I like some of the other LJ’s use it only to remove wood I use a palm sander to get the desired finish.

-- I started off with nothing I have most of it left

View TechRedneck's profile

TechRedneck

763 posts in 2318 days


#8 posted 05-16-2011 03:15 AM

Thanks for the replies, I see that so far.. the highest grit used is around 150. I know they make up to 220 but the stuff is expensive (unless you buy bulk and cut it). I was thinking that to get to 220 you have to progress up the grits from 120-(150 or 180)-220.

I want to minimize the amount of ROS or hand sanding and don’t want to keep changing papers on the drum so it seems like a happy medium may be going to say 180. Most of my stock will already be planed to within 1/8. I still get a very small amount of snipe from the planer and hate to cut off the ends if I don’t need to. Since I have the sander I am using the planer a lot less. I still joint boards 6” or less, use the planer on wider boards to 12” to get one flat surface then go to the drum sander to final thickness.

I am still learning to work with the scraper and like it a lot, but get mixed results sometimes.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View TechRedneck's profile

TechRedneck

763 posts in 2318 days


#9 posted 05-16-2011 03:20 AM

I can see why Barry backs up a grit on the ROS after using the drum sander. It eliminates those small parallel grooves left by the drum that I am talking about. I didn’t think about that.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2151 days


#10 posted 05-16-2011 05:20 AM

I have trouble with burning at higher grits on cherry,Jatoba,and other burn prone woods.Once you get that burn stripe on your paper, it is toast and will have to be replaced or it will stripe everything you put through it.I have a 50 yard roll of high quality paper I would make you a really good deal on as it doesnt work for me[180 grit].Red oak is much more forgiving in this regard.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View childress's profile

childress

841 posts in 3002 days


#11 posted 05-16-2011 07:17 AM

I believe when dealing with end grain boards, you’re always going to have to go to the ROS after the drum sander… I flatten all my boards with 80g and then do a couple of passes with 150g. Then ROS 80, 150, 220, then block sand 400. I also spritz with water after 150 and 220…

-- Childress Woodworks

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