Drum sander opinions

Greetings,
Anybody have any thoughts on the available drum sanders? I'm considering getting one and have been thinking about the Performax 10-20 (if I can find it). Does anybody have one of these? Your opinions would be greatly appreciated.
How about the Jet/Delta alternatives?
Thanks and merry Christmas,
Mike
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Mike,
I have the Performax16-32 Plus and am very happy with it, found it on ebay, new in box, and paid less than 700 with shipping. Manufacturer's warranty included and honored when I had to have one small part replaced due to minor shipping damage, replacement was prompt and WMH Tool Group (MFR Rep) very responsive.
Enjoy, Drew

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Think you mean the 16/32 is what I have - good machine. A Google search should result in many threads about this product.
Bob S.

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Bob S. wrote:

Thanks for the response. Performax has a new 'bench-top' model out... the 10-20 (Ref: http://www.wmhtoolgroup.com/Performax/Tools/1020Plus.html ). It's fairly new and Google does have some hits but I always like to query the folks here too. :-) Mike
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Well I'll be dipped - a mini ! Didn't know they made a smaller one but if it's anywhere near the quality of it's bigger brethren, it should be fine.
Thanks,
Bob S.

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Bob S. wrote:

Bob,
Do you still need to contend with snipe using these machines?
Mike
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Mike,
Yes and use the same tricks as you do on a planer (skew the board, slightly lift the ends, run a scrap in first, etc.). Just keep in mind that this is for sanding to one grade of grit below what your finishing schedule is and make the final sanding by hand or ROS, etc. You certainly can do finish sanding with it depending on the piece - I just prefer doing the final sanding to get rid of the straight-line striations the drum sander leaves.
Bob S.

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How would a drum sander work for some minor thicknessing? Say rough 4/4 stock down the 3/4" or the occassional drop to 1/2" or so?
Alan
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If your rough 4/4 is a full inch it's gonna take awhile. I use a lot of figured wood and plane down to a 1/16" of my final size then use the sander.
Bob making sawdust in salem or.
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Very very slowly. They are great for the final 1/8" or 1/16" but they are more a finishing tool then a thickness tool.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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Alan,
That is the reason I got my sander. Planing squirrelly grain resulted in a lot of tearout even using all the tricks. So, I start out with 60 grit to get it down close then move up to 80 or 100 and finish with 150. If you're taking it down to 1/2" or thinner, then try to resaw the boards first or waste away the bulk on the jointer and planer first leaving enough so any tearout doesn't ruin the face side of the stock.
Bob S.

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I've got the Delta 18/36 and it works well and I've got no reason to suspect the performax doesn't also perform well.
However, what you may want to do is seriously consider your requirements. They are a great tool if you do a lot of panels but they do produce a tremendous amount of dust and do require some setting up. I do do a lot of panels and find it a useful tool but it isn't the kind of tool I brush the dust off of for every little job or individual board that needs milling. There is a good chance that, unless you do do a lot of wide panels and after the novelty wears off you'll be reaching for you random orbit sander more then the wide belt sander.
A good dust collection system is a must. The job can be done with shop vac set up if you have one of those clean stream gortex filters and don't mind stopping every ten minutes or so to shake it out. All in all though, a regular bag system would best. Even at that the bags will have to be, at the least, shaken out after every use to maintain any decent level of efficiency.
Then again, a new tool is a new tool. and if there isn't something of comparable price that you really need, it is a nifty shop toy.
Good luck.
--
Mike G.
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Mike G wrote:

Thanks for the reply.
I plan on taking guitar sides/backs down to their final thickness (after resawing and surface planing) so I doubt I'll be hogging much material. My primary intrest in getting a drum sander is the tendency of having my 12 inch planer destroy my carefully made sides when they get a bit thin :-). I'd read about their dust production but that shouldn't be a problem either. Since my shop is in my basement I invested in an Oneida system a few years back.
My big concern is the size of the unit. I've got precious little room in my shop and didn't want to loose too much space. Thus my intrest in the smaller sander.
Do you still experience snipe using this machine? Even using every trick I've read about I'll still get a bit of snipe when using my planer.
Thanks again,
Mike
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Hi Mike
An ideal situation for the wide belt sander.
I occasionally get some snipe with both my planer and belt sander but only if I get careless.
After a lot of experimenting I am of the opinion that snipe on the stock at the beginning is not caused, as I first thought, by the shift in position as the outfeed roller starts to press down on the stock. A contributing factor yes, but I believe the primary cause is a momentary hesitation of the feeding stock caused by the front edge hitting the outfeed pressure roller and for a split second halting the feed.
I can eliminate snipe entirely by supporting the stock at both ends as it is about to transition between the two rollers and keeping some forward pressure on the stock until the leading edge is past the outfeed roller. I found that trying to eliminate snipe by just supporting the stock as the leading edge , especially with the sander, went under the outfeed roller was a hit or miss thing that cleared up if I just made sure the stock kept moving smoothly along until it was under both rollers. .
Good luck.
--
Mike G.
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I agree with Mikes comments about eliminating snipe. I've gone one step further by adjusting both the infeed/outfeed tables up slightly as I did on the planer and it works. On mine, skewing the work slightly (even a bit) is often the best solution when I'm running a lot of pieces thru.
Bob S.

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Bob S. wrote:

Mike/Bob,
Thanks for the tips guys. Have a very merry holiday season,
Regards, Mike
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I have a Delta 18-36. It works okay, but I am not really happy with it. It has a tendency to easily burn wide panels (12+ inches) with finer grits (150+) no matter how slow I run the feed and no matter how thin of a bite I take. Friends with the Performax 16-32 don't seem to have this problem.
Bob

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bob wrote:

Bob, Thanks for the input. I'd have to agree that I'm leaning towards Performax at this point too. Mike
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