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How thin can a Performax drum sander sand to?

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Forum topic by JesseTutt posted 543 days ago 1151 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JesseTutt

802 posts in 736 days


543 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: thickness sanding performax drum sander thicknessing wood

I need to sand quite a few pieces of walnut, cherry and oak to 1/16” thick they will be 6 to 8 inches wide and I can make the length as long as I want (cross cut them later). I am concerned that the sandpaper on the drum will contact the moving conveyor belt. Which brings me to my first question: How thin can the Performax 16-32 sand a piece to? What if I took a base piece of wood the same size (or slightly larger) and used adhesive backed sandpaper between the cherry and the conveyor belt?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri


10 replies so far

View rockindavan's profile

rockindavan

283 posts in 1261 days


#1 posted 543 days ago

Use a piece of plywood with a thin piece of wood in the back to keep the veneers from sliding off. You can go down next to nothing. 1/16” is no problem.

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4783 posts in 2507 days


#2 posted 543 days ago

Agreed, using a piece of ply or mdf as a sled will let you sand as thin as you want. It’s great

Also it is a great way to do a taper on a wide piece of wood by blocking up the front of the work-piece on the sled. I just did this when making a bunch of pizza peels. I tapered the front of peel down to 1/16 and left the handles at 5/8 inch.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View cutmantom's profile

cutmantom

273 posts in 1660 days


#3 posted 543 days ago

use carpet tape on a backer board, make sure its good and flat, you could sand it first till its sanded evenly then attach your work piece and you should get perfect dimensioning

View JesseTutt's profile

JesseTutt

802 posts in 736 days


#4 posted 543 days ago

I have had problems separating thin materials that I had fastened together with carpet tape, so I was hoping to avoid using it.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

4979 posts in 1933 days


#5 posted 543 days ago

I have sanded down to 1/8 on my jet drum sander but haven’t had a need to try anything less. I would say give it a try on a scrap piece and see what it can do. Sure might beat trying to tape each piece to some other wood.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1676 days


#6 posted 543 days ago

I recently sanded a piece of mahogany down to 1/32” sending it through on it’s own, no sled, tape, or backer board. I do have the aftermarket white conveyor belt, instead of the sandpaper belt. I feel like I could’ve gone thinner, but there was no need. The mahogany was about 3”x9”.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

322 posts in 1186 days


#7 posted 543 days ago

I would recommend putting the veneer on a backer board. Some time ago I sanded some thin material on my 16-32 without a backer board and the very high suction from my DC apparently pulled the conveyor belt up so that it contacted the drum, dulling the grit on the conveyor belt. It still works, but it doesn’t grip the board like it used to. I will have to replace the conveyor belt sometime in the future.

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

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JesseTutt

802 posts in 736 days


#8 posted 543 days ago

Jonathan, what do you think of your aftermarket conveyor belt? And where did you get it?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1676 days


#9 posted 543 days ago

After doing quite a bit of research on both LJ and various other forums and review sites, I went ahead and switched over to the Accura white poly-type conveyor belt, as it was supposed to work better and last longer. I bought my drum sander used, and when I got it, the conveyor belt was fine, except for the fact that it had a tear at one edge. With use, the tear got worse, so I eventually had to replace it.

Let me just say that I did everything I’d read to do to get the new belt installed. It took me over an hour of struggling and fighting with the thing before I got it on. It was a serious PITA! Maybe I missed something, I don’t know?

Once I got the belt on and tracking properly, I started using it. At first, I wasn’t impressed at all. It didn’t seem to grip the wood any better than the old sandpaper belt. As a matter of fact, it seemed that the wood almost slipped more easily on this new belt! With a little bit of usage though, it seemed to improve. At this point, I’m now happy with it, but I can tell you after fighting with it, then having the wood initially slip around, I was unimpressed, especially with the price tag (almost $100, with shipping). I will say this though, it is definitely more robust and tougher than the OEM sandpaper-type belt, and I have no doubt that it’ll last for a long time.

Would I buy it again? Yes, but I’d dread installing it.

You can get it on Amazon, or go directly to Hamilton Tool & Supply. Slightly different prices ($2).

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

1127 posts in 2496 days


#10 posted 543 days ago

I have a 37” and I sand to 1/16 and less with no issue using the old sandpaper conveyer and no backer . They are a hard machine to beat., I have often said a drum sander of any single machine will improve your woodworking the most.

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