Drum Sander Applicability

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Forum topic by waybehind posted 05-22-2013 08:11 AM 1063 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2070 days

05-22-2013 08:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: old yellow pine

Hello all, new to the forum. Been a part time woodworker for a long time, mostly small projects, some furniture and lots of refinishing projects. Will post several completion photos soon as time permits. I have 500-1000 bd ft of old yellow pine that has been stored in an outside barn for guessing 50+ years. Some were removed from construction with nail holes but most are clear in lengths of 5-8 feet. My question is, the wood is dirty from storage. Amazingly flat, no warps or twists but there is grit imbedded. I ran several thru an old 10” planer and they cleaned up fine but after a dozen boards, toasted the knives, as expected. I’m thinking a drum sander would be a better way to clean as I really don’t want to plane the thickness down more than a minimum.
I did wash and dry the boards I planed but the imbedded dirt remained. What are the odds that even one of the oscillating drum sanders will end up with sap burn on the sandpaper? I don’t know anyone that has one of the osc sanders to give it a try.
The wood is very impressive when finished. Thoughts?

-- Dave, Kansas

6 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30148 posts in 2576 days

#1 posted 05-22-2013 09:05 AM

I think your idea should work. Planers hate anything not wood.

Welcome to LumberJocks

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2928 days

#2 posted 05-23-2013 02:20 AM

I use my drum sanders to clean up reclaimed,painted,dirty wood all the time. It works great but I start with 50 grit paper which doesn’t clog with resin or paint as badly as finer grits. The 50 will get it ready to plane or you can go to finer grits on the drum sander.

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

View waybehind's profile


2 posts in 2070 days

#3 posted 05-23-2013 05:17 PM

Appreciate the comments, seemed like if take a minimal depth pass several times, the clogging would be tolerable. Reckon I’ll start looking for a unit. Sure like the Jet oscillating which should also minimize burning but it has a premium price. Thanks for the replies.

-- Dave, Kansas

View rrww's profile


263 posts in 2351 days

#4 posted 05-23-2013 11:33 PM

Drum sander will work, but you may end up dealing with pitch on the sanding belts and taking shallower passes. The amount of pitch in pine can be amazing at times. If you do use the drum sander try to angle the boards as much as possible when feeding it, it will help cut down on buildup. Run each board a couple times at the same height, this will help too. Get a couple cleaner sticks, and be careful using them. I had a small oscillating drum and sold it for the bigger Woodmaster dedicated drum sander with the 6” drum. I like the bigger drum to help keep the heat down, as far as I’m concerned this is one of the best sanders you can get before stepping up to the wide belt. It will take some time to properly surface 1000 ft through a drum sander and thickness match it.

If it was me I would use the planer, and keep my sanity, I think it would be cheaper and much faster. Large angle grinder with brush wheel will get rid of a lot of junk before it hits the knives. You can brush a board pretty quick.

Hitting a nail stinks with either machine, there is always a chance of it when your running wood that old, those nails can really hide sometimes, fence staples can be fun too. On the drum sander you run the risk of tearing the feed belt, the sandpaper, and velcro backing if the machine has it. If the belt snaps you can cause damage to the dust collection hood(s). With the planer the knives can be turned and your on the road again.

We process a lot of barnwood & reclaimed beams, most is pressure washed (too much pressure on pine can tear out) / brushed, checked for metal, and it goes through the planer to be thickness matched. Most guys around here won’t touch reclaimed, old, and dirty lumber because of the costs to surface it.

Good luck in whatever you choose to do!

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3886 days

#5 posted 05-24-2013 12:45 AM

Is that 10” machine with the lousy knives your only planer?

View Fred Hargis's profile (online now)

Fred Hargis

5236 posts in 2731 days

#6 posted 05-24-2013 12:47 PM

I gotta tell ya’, my drum sander doesn’t oscillate…but one hard/fast rule I’ve adopted over the years is to never run softwood through it. YMMV…....

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

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