drum sander advice needed

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pviser

New User
paul
Hi Guys,
I'm getting tired of leaving swirl marks from my 21 X 3 belt sander. Therefore, I'm now in the market for a drum sander. The Jet oscillating 22" drum sander seems like a good choice. While I'd love to have a monster 5 HP Powermatic wide belt sander, I have to be practical. All I really want to do is handle final sanding after planing, then add no more than touchup with the ROS. Please give me some advice on this.
Thanks,
Paul
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
"Final" sanding will depend on the grit you use in your drum sander. I have the dual drum Performax and use 80 on the front roller and 120 on the back roller. I tend to think of it as a thickness sander rather than a finish sander. It's great for bringing a board to it's final thickness and removing the marks left by my planer. But it still has a fair amount of scratches in the wood that have to be removed by sanding.

I usually go from the drum sander to a ROS w/ 120 grit, then proceed up through the grits until I get the surface I want.

One suggestion for using a drum sander: take very small bites on each pass or you'll burn the wood and ruin your paper. I usually advance mine 1/8 of a turn each time.

Bill
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
+1 on what Bill said. I have the JET 16/32 drum sander and it's ideal for sanding doors, panels, final thicknessing of small parts etc. You still need a lot of work with the ROS to remove all the scratches, but all the heavy lifting (e.g. removing a big ridge because you overtightened the clamp...) is done by the drum sander.
 

scsmith42

New User
Scott Smith
I'll add this - buy as much HP as you can afford, and if there is any way to get a WBS instead of a drum you'll be glad that you did.

The main "practical" advantage to a WBS over a drum is that it is much easier and faster to change grits. I run from 24 grit all the way up to 400 grit in mine, and it beats the heck out of hand sanding.
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
I'll second what Scott said. If I had it to do over I'd try to get a wide belt sander for the ease of changing belts. W/ the drums like I have, you dont' change the grits on a whim. :nah:

Bill
 
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