David Zaret Re: Woodmaster

Dave,
I have been on Woodmaster's mailingt list for quit a while an now that end of year is coming (tax - depreciation issues) I am looking to buy some stationary tools, a new TS (General 350 or Powematic 66) or a widebelt or drum sander. I am looking at the 26" or 38" drum sander or the 25" molder/planer. I like the fact that the molder planer can convert to a sander but have always found better success in the past with single purpose machines. WHich model Woodmaster do u have and what is your opinion of the tool.
Thanks
Scot
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hi scot,
i have the woodmaster planer/moulder/sander - it's primarily a planer with a huge planing head, but allows you to swap out to an auxiliary shaft to cut moulding and sand. it's a great machine, no question. very well built, but yet simple - i feel confident that i could replace any part of it myself if it breaks. and i don't expect it to break - it's heavy. BUT .....
it's not primarily a sander. it works ok as a sander, certainly better than sanding by hand. there are a few main disadvantages with it relative to a dedicated sander:
1)    width - large sanders are wide, much wider than my 18.5" planer. i recently did a job building 28 custom cabinet doors and about a quarter of them didn't fit through the machine, which royally sucked. 2)    feed mechanism - planers feeds the wood via feed rollers that turn and provide downward pressure on the workpiece. that is not ideal for a sander - sanders typically use a conveyor belt to feed the stock, and unpowered rollers to apply pressure. that's a much better system for sanding. 3)    drum size - the larger the drum, the better - provides more surface area for paper, and cools more quickly. the woodmaster uses large machined steel drums, which are substantial. the cheaper (smaller) sanders (performax, etc.) use aluminum drums.
so, with that said, if you want a machine primarily for sanding, and you have the budget, i'd get a dedicated sander. if you can afford it, get a wide belt - personally i cannot justify it. the woodmaster machines are terrific, and i am considering purchasing one of their large drum sanders.
as for your table saw purchase, i went through this exercise earlier this year and i suggest you consider a General saw. i'm very pleased with mine.
hope that helps. i'm certainly willing to answer specific questions on the woodmaster, if you have any. overall i'm thrilled to have it in my shop.
--- dz
srazor wrote:

is coming (tax - depreciation issues) I am looking to buy some stationary tools, a new TS (General 350 or Powematic 66) or a widebelt or drum sander. I am looking at the 26" or 38" drum sander or the 25" molder/planer. I like the fact that the molder planer can convert to a sander but have always found better success in the past with single purpose machines. WHich model Woodmaster do u have and what is your opinion of the tool.

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