Drum sander for IPE?


I've got a large amount of Ipe (800 sq ft.) to sand before I prefinish, and am toying with the idea of purchasing a drum sander to make this less painless and control dust. How will one of the Performax machines handle? Will long boards (18 ft) be a problem with these machines?
Thanks, Scott
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I have a Performax, and find that it is very effective. I have only used a fairly coarse paper, and use it for cleaning up bandsaw marks and such, before final sanding with a ROS. For long boards, you will want infeed and outfeed rollers. Go for it, you will be happy you did.
Steve

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Steve Peterson wrote:

You see Red Green's "Make Large Belt Sander from that Useless Excercise Treadmill" segment last night? :)
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I didn't see that. When I was a kid, my Dad was a cabinet maker with a one-man shop behind the house. It had previously been a chicken house, and was quite large. He had a home-made belt sander with a sliding table that would take a whole 4' x 8' sheet of plywood. I have no idea where he got the belt, it must have been a 24' loop x 12" wide. Maybe it was comparable.

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On Sat, 15 Oct 2005 15:44:21 GMT, "Steve Peterson"

Known as a stroke sander. I also remember the one in my father's millwork shop. Here's one for sale in Oz:
<http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Sander-old-cast-iron-stroke-sander_W0QQitemZ7549776662QQcategoryZ20782QQcmdZViewItem
The one I remember looked something like this: http://www.mlsmachinery.com/onlineCatalog/details.asp/cat/1550/auct/0/liq/0/id/17406/p/1/rpp/10/pic/0
Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/antifaq.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Woodworking
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Scott,
I've done 12' long boards of hard maple and not a problem. Someone else already mentioned about needing some infeed and outfeed rollers. Place a heavy sand-bag on each one so they don't tip or move and adjust the height properly and they should work fine. Alternative is to have someone help.
I also own a Performax 16/32 and don't know how I got along without it. It is not for final sanding but it gets you close. These drum sanders leave straight-line striations even at the highest grits so you still need a good ROS for finish sanding. Plan on wasting about $25 worth of sanding rolls (~$5/roll) while you learn what you're doing. Turn the crank to far and you burn the wood and ruin the roll. So after the first box of paper has been ruined, you can safely move on - you've probably have made about all the mistakes you can with it. Use some scraps, read the manual, ask here first but do not practice on your good stock unless you're into pain and like banging your head against a wall......;-)
Do not think that you can sand a lot off quickly - you can't, even with coarse grit paper. Light cuts (1/8th of a turn on the crank max). You didn't mention how wide your stock is but you can gang feed them up to as much as you can handle at one time. Normally, you should feed your stock in at a slight angle to help prevent snipe but with 18' long boards as heavy as Ipe is, I doubt you'll eliminate snipe. So plan on wasting about 2-1/2" at each end. As you learn, you will become more proficient at how to move the stock thru and how to tune the drum sander for best performance.
Like any tool, the drum sander does have a bit of a learning curve and it will serve you well as long as you use it correctly. There's been many posts about both the Performax and the Delta drum sanders in the past. If you can afford the larger models and have room for it in your shop, I would take a good long look at one. They're great for finish planing stock that tears out easily, like birdseye and other wild grain woods. As for controlling dust, you will need a dust collector hooked up to it (4"). I purchased a dedicated Jet dust collector just for use with the sander and some disposable bags. You'll be amazed at how must sawdust you can create with one of these...
For my first rolls of paper, I would get the recommended X weight, 36 grit, 80 grit and 150 grit and work with those to learn the machine. Jet used to sell a box of mixed grits, 5 rolls of 1-36, 2-80, 1-150 as I recall. I bought some bulk rolls of paper from an outfit in PA two years ago and haven't gone thru all of it yet but now that I'm thinking about it, I do need to get another order in soon.
Bob S.

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wrote:

if your planer has a finish speed I bet it would be enough and the wood would not need sanded. now as far as dust control you need really good dc to catch and keep IPE dust under control. it makes a very fine dust no matter what you do with it. Knight-Toolworks http://www.knight-toolworks.com affordable handmade wooden planes
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hombrerana wrote:

You didn't say if you needed to surface rough or how fine you wanted to sand. Nor how wide the boards are.
The grits I use are 40, 80 and 120. And they are cloth, not paper (I buy 100' rolls).
Some one said they lower the sanding head in 1/8 turns (one turn 1/16"). I never lower less than 1/4 turn, sometimes 1/2, sometimes a full turn. When sanding a rough board with 40 grit it is easy to take off 1/16" assuming the surface is rough enough that the sanding is only hitting the high spots. How much you can take off depends on lumber hardness, width, grit and feed rate. Just gotta experiment and learn...
Snipe has never been a problem for me and should not be if the machine is properly set up and the board is supported so that remains on the same plane as the bed. _______________

There is no limit on length; however, the board needs to be supported on in/out feed sides. That's one of the thigs I like about Performax...the head moves, not the bed. With some the bed moves which would require a constant adjustment of any support rollers.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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