LumberJocks

31-255X Delta X5 18" x 36" Drum Sander-Discontinued by Delta

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by rshep55 posted 02-13-2009 03:13 PM 18972 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rshep55's profile

rshep55

70 posts in 2188 days


02-13-2009 03:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question sander delta drum

About 3 years ago I purchased this 31-255X 18” x 36” drum sander. I see it is nowt discontinued. I chose this over the Performax model mainly because of price. I’m looking for the opinion of LJ’s that have ther same sander.

My Opinion..
Grew it dislike it quickly.

I do not use mine in a production sort of way where it is being used daily. Mostly I use it to clean up cutting boards and even out laninate strips of wood I later glue up in in a bending form. I think I had problems with it from day one with leveling the feed table. The feed table rises and lowers on four threaded posts instead of the drum adjusting for height). I would adjust it and would no sooner finish and it would pop out. I later found the gears were not close enough together and began to strip. There is no adjustment to make them mesh. At some point before the five year warrenty ends I have to bring it in for a repair.

If you own or did own one, what is your opinion , Love it? Hate it? ???

-- Ron,R.A.Shepard Woodworking,Massachusetts


19 replies so far

View plepper's profile

plepper

3 posts in 2236 days


#1 posted 02-13-2009 04:00 PM

I too have one of these and can’t get the table to adjust it is a VERY poor design. I have some ideas to completely change the table adjusting system. I bought mine for $50.00 at a garage sale so the parts are worth that and if I screw it up I’m not out much.

View jm82435's profile

jm82435

1281 posts in 2496 days


#2 posted 02-13-2009 06:20 PM

I really enjoy mine, the adjustment I have to most trouble with is keeping the drive belt centered on the rollers…

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View Paul's profile

Paul

357 posts in 2343 days


#3 posted 02-18-2009 11:45 PM

I bought mine used about 6 months ago. Poor design and like you say difficult to level the table. I would not recommend this even though I do use it a lot. One secret is to only change the table height by about 1/8 turn adjustments, very light sanding therwise it binds up and burns the wood.
Mine is kind of a ‘love/hate’ relationship.

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

View rshep55's profile

rshep55

70 posts in 2188 days


#4 posted 02-19-2009 12:17 AM

Paul, I agree, it’s a love/hate thing with this sander. I need to get mine into the shop for replacement of the table adjustment gears but I keep finding a need to use it.

-- Ron,R.A.Shepard Woodworking,Massachusetts

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11688 posts in 2442 days


#5 posted 12-25-2009 03:53 AM

HATE IT WITH A PASSION…WORST TOOL I EVER SPENT MY MONEY ON ! If I wanted to make clapboards / beveled siding for a living , I have the perfect tool for the job !
1) Can not level the bed to save my soul despite following their instructions to a T and finally using my own ideas to make it work the best of all.
2) Can’t adjust the height smoothly with their 6” handwheel turning a 1/4” shaft that drives the plastic gears and 4 screws that raise and lower the bed….I swear that the shaft flexes from the torque. It either turns the gears too much or not at all.
3) Cheap cog belt to turn the gears…I’ve had it jump the teeth before.
4)The drive belt on the table slips alot unless you overtighten it which causes the tiny drive motor to stall out.
5) Have I mentioned Snipe yet ?
6) To think that I wasted a couple years of production runs waiting for them to debug the machine before buying it , and it still SUCKS !
7) Delta X5 …the UGO of drum sanders
8) If Delta reimbursed me for the time I’ve had to spend to make their machine operate reasonably well , I could afford to buy a nice Performax !!
9) I’m going to stop now before typing anything that women and children shouldn’t see on this site
10) Ron ,Thanks for letting me vent here….everytime I mention the issues with it to Woodcraft , they tell me that all of theirs work perfectly…..no one is having any issues….I do have to give them credit for replacing the first one that I got from them though . Stupid me , should have taken the hint and got my money back instead of taking the replacement machine !! : (
ps: I only use this for rough work and go back to my old but reliable Ryobi WDS1600 for finish sanding : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3613 posts in 1948 days


#6 posted 12-25-2009 04:41 AM

I was thinking about looking into the Delta drum sander, but I think I will pass after hearing all the bad reviews, then find out they are no longer made. Now I see why… I’ve always been a Delta owner and buyer, but not on this one, thank you very much….Thanks for the heads-up guys…......... keep on keeping on.

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11688 posts in 2442 days


#7 posted 12-25-2009 05:27 AM

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2K7MSFSXSH0G/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R2K7MSFSXSH0G
Just got through reading 5 pages of reviews at Amazon on this machine…..some people lucked out and got a good one and are claiming that those of us with issues just aren’t using the machine correctly !
Funny part is that all of us “others” have the same exact problems with the %$#@@&)(^^machine.

Any bets that the non-believers are actually Delta personnel doing the typing of favorable comments ?
One thing that I did learn from a commenter there was that Delta has a free fix for the pressure rollers that cures our “imaginary” sniping issues !!

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 2107 days


#8 posted 12-25-2009 10:57 PM

Well I’m not a “Delta personnel” and I bought mine at the Woodworkers Show before Delta was even shipping them and had to wait a couple of months for it to be delivered.

This machine gets used with just about every project and I mean a lot. Not just one or two passes per board maybe 6-10 passes per board because I use it for final sizing using 220 grit and take off an 1/8 turn at a time so as to not load up the sandpaper.

1) Adjusted the bed once, still level, sands boards parallel, and I check them with a micrometer
2) Height adjustment is smooth
3) Cog belt has never jumped a tooth
4) Table drive belt doesn’t slip but it is hard to keep it centered but it takes quite a while for it to move to either side
5) No snipe
6) No stripped/broken gears

This thing has been a solid performer for me and I’m surprised so many people are having problems with it. I like this design where the table moves up and down and not the drum and motor. I had concerns regarding how rigid the Performax motor/drum assembly is and any flex of the assembly pivoting where it slides up and down, a little slop there is amplified by its length at the end of the drum.

But people have tendency to be more vocal when they feel something is wrong and speak less about everything that is right. Just my 2 cents.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11688 posts in 2442 days


#9 posted 12-26-2009 07:46 AM

Blankman , what year did you purchase your machine ? If you got one of the first ones , of course the quality would have been better because they would have been checking tolerances closer in order to get people to buy them…..they just went downhill after that and discontinued the model due to all of the issues that people were experiencing with them…..even the people that get paid to work on them don’t like them !
Consider yourself lucky to have gotten a good one.
$1000.00 is waaaaay to much money for this piece of $#@% .

That’s just my $1000.00 opinion…
We can’t all be having the same “imaginary” problems and “lack of knowledge” of how to operate it properly.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 2107 days


#10 posted 12-27-2009 01:55 AM

Bought it 1/28/2000 received it in March or April of that year, April I think, paid $729.99 for it.

They still make it, the 31-260X, might be a different model number but Delta doesn’t change their machines much. Mine is a 31-250, long before there were any “X” machines. Mine came with the Open Stand but I recently bought the Closed Stand for it and put it on there.

And you guys are talking about plastic gears, they’ve never given me any trouble. And as for the cheap timing belt jumping, timing belts aren’t cheap from my experience buying them for other projects but if you don’t have the idler pulley that tensions the belt adjusted properly and the belt is loose it could very well jump.

But if you have to turn the crank with so much force that it jumps I would remove the belt and table and see if one of the threaded rods is binding, mine takes hardly any force to turn the crank.

I spend a lot of time dialing in my machines, but the end results is they then perform well. I’ve yet to have a machine come from the factory, from any manufacturer dialed in and works perfect or cuts straight. From my experience you always have to take the time to dial them in if you expect them to perform.

I’d recommend this sander, no doubt about it.

Oh and a friend bought one recently, he hasn’t set it up and used it yet, might be a while at the rate he goes, but I’ll give it the once over and use it and see if the quality really has gone downhill like you said. I’d be really surpriised if it has, Delta has not been known to do that, import stuff I can see, but Delta didn’t get where it is and have a good reputation by doing what you’re implying.

And if you called them (Delta direct and not DeWalt ServiceNet people) and expressed your displeasure with them instead of here I’d bet they’d do everything they could to make it right.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View JMACGUITARS's profile

JMACGUITARS

7 posts in 1809 days


#11 posted 01-14-2010 04:30 AM

I purchased one on eBay for 200.00, good, bad, or indifferent I own it and cannot afford a better one. I build guitars and use it to thickness the top, back and sides, I have mine within .003” from left to right, however it does not stay there long so I do a lot of adjusting, the feed belt stays pretty much centered, One thing mystifies me – I will set the table to it’s lowest position, level the table – front to back , left to right, however when I raise it the out-feed side will go up at a slower rate than the in-feed side, so when the table is within .200” there is quite an angle to it, does anyone know if the gears are different from front (in-feed) to Back (out-feed) and this is part of the design.

-- JMAC

View Jim_CT's profile

Jim_CT

5 posts in 1771 days


#12 posted 02-20-2010 08:19 PM

I also have a 31-250 one, purchased used for $350 about 9 months ago. At first it was fine, but now the table is not level, it is jumping teeth all the time, one of the elevator screws is binding, and the timing belt is loose.

Jim

-- Jim, 06812

View WoodJitsu's profile

WoodJitsu

49 posts in 1547 days


#13 posted 10-26-2010 07:06 PM

Thanks guys. There’s one on ebay that I was going to buy, but thanks to the jocks, I’ll pass!

-- Family, Friends, Jiu Jitsu, Woodworking. Order varies daily!

View rshep55's profile

rshep55

70 posts in 2188 days


#14 posted 10-27-2010 04:06 AM

I got my sander onto the shop for repairs just before the 5 year warranty expired. The gears were missing teeth and did not mesh. That’s why, the missing teeth. It turns out the adjustment shaft runs through a hole in a metal
plate. The hole in the metal plate elongated making the gears not mesh properly and the adjustment jump. I don’t know why Delta’s engineers felt a bushing was not necessary and used a hole in a piece of metal to support the adjustment shaft. When it starts jumping teeth again I plan on changing the design and use a bushing.

-- Ron,R.A.Shepard Woodworking,Massachusetts

View Jim_CT's profile

Jim_CT

5 posts in 1771 days


#15 posted 10-27-2010 01:50 PM

I have not used mine in almost one year. Got too busy with work and mostly building a bannister during the small amount of available shop time. Hand sanded all the slats. Called a local equipment repair shop – he had four in for servicing. Contacted Delta technical support and they advised to folllow the procedure for levelling the table.

It seems the real fix is to carefully study the system and replace it with a chain, sprockets and metal gears. And adding a bushing.

Maybe someone could offer a kit to do this.

Jim

-- Jim, 06812

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase