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A Simple Solution to a Vexing Drum Sander Problem

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Forum topic by Paul Stoops posted 205 days ago 623 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Paul Stoops

322 posts in 1185 days


205 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: sander drum sander performax 16-32 performax 16-32 plus jet 16-32 plus meter current meter digital meter ammeter

One of my most favorite power tools in my shop is my Performax (Jet) 16-32 drum sander. I use it on almost every project. However, for the last 15 years or so that I have owned it, this tool has frequently frustrated me because the motor circuit breaker frequently trips while sanding.

After investigating possible solutions to this problem, I decided to add an AC Ammeter to allow monitoring of the motor current while sanding. I was able to add this accessory without making any permanent modifications to the sander or motor circuit. In addition, the original 15 Ampere circuit breaker still provides circuit protection.

Addition of this meter allows me to monitor the motor current and adjust the conveyor speed control to keep the motor current under the 15 Ampere level, preventing the circuit breaker from tripping. I am amazed at how easy it has become to eliminate that vexing circuit breaker tripping problem! This change has greatly enhanced my enjoyment and appreciation of this wonderful tool.

A discussion of this problem and my solution, with pictures, is found here:

“http://lumberjocks.com/paulnwa/blog/39600”

-- Paul, Auburn, WA


7 replies so far

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3682 posts in 1991 days


#1 posted 202 days ago

What kind of ammeter did you use?
It’s good to be able to troubleshooot a problem.
In high school many, many, many years ago I worked in a TV/radio repair shop and I always got a “kick” solving the problem. These were still the day of the vacumm tubes!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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Paul Stoops

322 posts in 1185 days


#2 posted 201 days ago

The meter I used doesn’t seem to be listed anymore, but here is a very similar one (and easier to use):

http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Combo-Panel-Voltmeter-Ammeter/dp/B00AQAQHQU/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1391029081&sr=1-1&keywords=digital+ac+volt+ammeter

Amazing value for such a nice device. How times have changed, huh!!

Regards,

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View toolie's profile

toolie

1737 posts in 1252 days


#3 posted 201 days ago

another great enhancement, paul. i’m looking at applying this to items in my home and shop. if i understand how the above linked item works, one of the load wires passes through the donut, which senses current and activates the display. but what is the 2 screw “terminal block” used for? is that where the tail between the receptacle and the plug (looking at your wiring diagram) provide power to the meter? any chance for a view of the innards of your sander accessory to better explain the techniques employed in functionalizing this very handy item?

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

322 posts in 1185 days


#4 posted 201 days ago

Hi Toolie—

The terminal block is for the AC input to power the meter. Since the meter only requires very little input current, I attached a smaller diameter wire to each of the two power terminals of the receptacle, where the main line cord terminals attach, and ran them to that green terminal strip. Those are the two wires shown in the diagram that go into the end of the meter. No, I don’t have a pic of the inside of the meter box—probably wouldn’t be able to see much anyway.

Hope this helps,

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View Richard Miller's profile

Richard Miller

107 posts in 594 days


#5 posted 201 days ago

I had the same problem with mine. I took the breaker out and put a jumper wire in and hook my amp robe to that and have not had a problem .

-- Dick F,Burg Iowa

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

322 posts in 1185 days


#6 posted 201 days ago

Hi Dick,

Yes, I can see how you solved this “problem” by removing the circuit breaker and replaced it with a jumper wire.

Even though you can monitor the motor current with your clamp-on ammeter over the jumper wire, you inadvertently removed the motor protection. In the unlikely event that there is a short or other electrical malfunction, you are now relying on your panel circuit breaker, which I suspect is at least a 20A breaker, to protect the motor. If this is the case, you would have subjected your motor to an overcurrent condition beyond its design limits, which could cause permanent damage, and worse yet perhaps cause a fire.

I would highly recommend that you reinstall the original breaker in such a way that you can still use your clamp-on ammeter to monitor the motor current. That shouldn’t be too difficult. Then you will still have the motor protection and be able to monitor the motor current to keep it under the maximum 15A rating.

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3682 posts in 1991 days


#7 posted 201 days ago

Those things have really come down in price!
I remember seeing AC ammeters 20 years ago and thy were near $100 without a display.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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