drum sanders

I'm looking to add a drum sander to my workshop but have little experience of them. The attraction is that they provide a nice, uniform and even finish over a wide surface area, unlike your standard belt sander, where a piece can be sanded down a little too much in spots in no time at all if even pressure isn't maintained. There's some nice units out there in the &600 - $800 range, but before I outlay that kind of money I just need to have one thing in particular clarified. I know that manufacturers specs claim that small pieces can be passed through without a problem, but I'd really like some feedback from those who use them regularly. I often work with very small pieces of wood, down to half an inch in thickness/width and maybe 4 - 5 inches in length - think of the old interlocking pieces from chinese wooden puzzles as an example and you'll get the general idea. Can pieces like this pass comfortably through without being kicked up due to pressure on the lead or tail edges?
Speaking of puzzles by the way, I've always had an interest in trying to make some of the more elaborate geometric puzzles designed by the likes of Stewart Coffin and Bill Cutler - those who are familiar with their wooden marvels know exactly how complex they are. I've tried making some for myself in the past and have never been satisfied with the results, mainly because all of the hyper-accurate and complex cutting that goes into making the gemetic pieces goes out the window to some extent in the sanding process. I'll create elaborate jigs to hold the pieces at the correct angle for sanding, but because of the precision required one can never be 100% accurate in how much wood is taken off, especially with successive levels of sanding to produce a quality finish to the wood. End result - puzzles that fit reasonably well together but are just a little too loose and innaccurately glued for my liking. Anyone else have any experience with these? Anyone who doubts just how hard all this may be should go to www.puzzleworld.com and look at the interlocking puzzles on the sight to gauge the level of accuracy and craftsmanship required to make some of the more elaborate puzzles - some of the stuff is just breathtaking, not only in its complexity but in the quality of the workmanship on view. I could hardly imagine any other form of woodworking that would require such a high skill level, though of course that's just my humble view.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My Performax 16-32 does this kind of thing fine. Matter of fact last year I had an occassion to sand some very small pieces about 1/4" thick only about 3" long. Went right through, no problem. I cant remember what Performax says about the smallest piece but this is my experience with it.
Jim

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You can always make the pieces long, sand them, then cut them... Tom>Subject: Re: drum sanders

Someday, it'll all be over....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have the Ryobi 16-32 and it works just fine. It uses the same paper as the performax. Saw a used one in the paper a coupla weeks ago for $400. SH
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I regularly sand resawn panels to as little as 1/16" thickness on my Performax 16-32. As to length, I've run pieces as short as 3" with no problem.
Ron
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Build a carrier unit to hold your small pieces as they pass through any drum sander you buy. A piece of ply, four sides the same height as your work piece, a few dabs of glue. Voila!
Bob

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you're interested in, or are already making puzzles this guys site has a wealth of information you'll surely need to have at some point.
www.puzzlecraft.com/Projects/HTMAP/00title.htm
charlie b
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Do a search on him on this group. You may change your mind.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
CW wrote:

.
If you'll recall, the result of that "precision claims" thread showed that his methods, while not consistently meeting tolerances in the 1/10,000 range, it did produce some pretty accurate results in a material that changes dimensions with temp & humidity.
And his jigs are pretty slick and use fairly readily available parts (skateboard bearings, skateboard wheels etc..
Don't throw out the baby with the bath water?
charlie b
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
T. wrote:

www.puzzlecraft.com/Projects/micro/adjuster.htm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.