looking at drum sanders, Anyone out there used the delta 31-481?

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Forum topic by shadpeters posted 07-20-2014 10:19 PM 1297 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 431 days

07-20-2014 10:19 PM

I am in the market for a drum sander, I have been using a ryobi open end sander for a few years and I am really sick of dealing with it. Even at its best right after a set up I don’t think the drum has every run truly parallel to the conveyor, and often times is just pathetically far off. open end models are off the table for me, I just don’t want to deal with them anymore.

I deal with a lot of highly figured woods and burls, so variable speed is quite high on the list of requirements, I might be able to get by without it but I would not choose to. I do a little furniture work, but primarily I build guitars, so 18” would be the absolute bare minimum width I could use.

This unfortunately seems to mean that I am looking at spending at least 2k for a sander. Those that immediately come to mind are the grizzly g1066z and the shopfox w1678. I have used the shopfox, and it seems to be an excellent machine, though the dust collection doesn’t seem superb, the grizzly I have no experience with. I like the idea of having the extra couple inches because I know I have some counter tops in my future and I also deal with some pretty large slabs at times.

For a quite a while I thought those were really my only two options until recently I saw that delta has just come out with a new 26” dual drum sander that after shipping is calculated comes in at about the same price as the grizzly. My concerns with this machine are two fold, first I can find no reviews of it anywhere, its just to new I guess. Secondly it only has a 3 hp motor. I imagine 3 horse would be fine for most applications, but on the off occasion that I am maxing out the width of this machine I think those 2 extra hp that other machines have would be sorely missed. Do you guys think that 3 horse would be way under powered for a 26” model?

I try to buy quality used tools whenever I can, and it makes me sick knowing that I could probably pick up a quality single speed 24” dual drum for a quarter of the price of one of these knew machines, but I can’t see anyway around buying new at this point unless I can retrofit variable speed to a single speed machine which may not be possible and is probably not worth the effort.

I’d love to save a few hundred bucks and go with the delta, but not if it won’t perform up to par… Any help suggestions, or guidance apreciated. Maybe there is a tool I have not yet considered?

14 replies so far

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2465 days

#1 posted 07-20-2014 10:47 PM

Ever considered a stroke sander?


View English's profile


293 posts in 294 days

#2 posted 07-20-2014 11:47 PM

I have the Grizzly 1066R. I have a lot of trouble keeping the paper on it. I have ordered the Hook and loop kit for the 1066Z to go on my “R”. From the forum reviews I have read that will fix the 1066R.

When the papper stays on it is a awesome sander, taking 1/16” off with sand paper is something to see. You need a big dust collector to keep up with this machine. You need to be able to pull from at least 2 4” ports. It would be better to upgrade the ports to 6” if your DC can handle it.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View shadpeters's profile


5 posts in 431 days

#3 posted 07-30-2014 08:36 PM

Just saw that my first topic was finally approved ( I wrote this a couple months ago I think). For my needs a stroke sander really wont work, I’m a luthier so my main use will be for thicknessing highly figured guitar tops that can’t be run through the planer without getting destroyed.

I can’t imagine removing 1/16” in one pass without burning stuff up. Good to know that the grizzlies have the power to hog through it. How wide of stock have you run through? most of what I put through it will be in the 13”-20” range.

Anyone out there have experience with the new 26” delta sander? I really llike the looks of it but can’t find any reviews. My main concern is that the 3 horse motor will be way to small.

View English's profile


293 posts in 294 days

#4 posted 07-30-2014 08:53 PM

I have sanded 23” hickory with 100 grit on front drum and 150 grit on the second drum. 1/16” at a pass I easy. As long s I keep the paper clean it does not burn.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1485 posts in 1178 days

#5 posted 07-30-2014 09:08 PM

I have a new assembled Jet 22-44 Pro for sale. EC PA. Email me at if interested.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View shadpeters's profile


5 posts in 431 days

#6 posted 07-30-2014 09:48 PM

Thanks for the offer, really not interested in another open end model though

View distrbd's profile


1406 posts in 1264 days

#7 posted 07-30-2014 10:09 PM

Clint,why do you want to sell your new drum sander?

-- Ken from Ontario

View shipwright's profile


5513 posts in 1615 days

#8 posted 07-31-2014 04:01 AM

I have a 25” dual drum sander worth around 2K. I love it but would never recommend that anyone buy one. The reason is that it is so easy to make one that is just as accurate and a lot cheaper. I made this one but there are numerous examples of excellent shop made drum sanders on this site.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View shadpeters's profile


5 posts in 431 days

#9 posted 07-31-2014 06:41 PM

I don’t know that I really want to build something, but I suppose if it saved enought money maybe? how much did you have in that one? Also how come you didn’t build it with power feed? seems like it’d be difficulte to get nice even passes if you had to feed it manually, plus for something i’d use every day I just don’t think I’d want the work of trying to feed in manually.

View copcarcollector's profile


163 posts in 934 days

#10 posted 07-31-2014 08:14 PM

Have you looked at a Woodmaster?, their 26” drum sander (single drum) is about $600 more than the Delta right now…

View shipwright's profile


5513 posts in 1615 days

#11 posted 08-01-2014 01:14 AM

For my purposes with that sander, hand feeding works fine and with a little practice is very accurate as well. I understand that for lots of use a power feed is essential. That’s why I was referring you to search some of the other home built sheer. Many have power feeds and a re way cheaper than commercially available ones.
Here’s a search link. Lots of choices here.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View shadpeters's profile


5 posts in 431 days

#12 posted 08-01-2014 01:33 PM

I have a lot of motors around, and quite a bit of parts. I actually remembered last night that I have a couple of large steel drums that used be part of a feed roller system on a bandsaw. Just measured them this morning and they are ~ 6” in diameter by 38” long. that would make one heck of a dual drum sander. Or even a single drum sander… you’ve got my weels turning now.

View woodsmithshop's profile


1201 posts in 2363 days

#13 posted 08-01-2014 02:24 PM

I have the Grizzly 1066 and added the hook and loop, it does a good job, but I would not try 1/16” at one time.

-- Smitty!!!

View RogerM's profile


512 posts in 1216 days

#14 posted 08-01-2014 06:00 PM

I have the dual drum 26” Shop Fox Sander and love it.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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