Drum sanders any good?

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In my shop, I have just about everything I need, but a drum sander. Can't afford a wide belt. Many of the reviews that I can find on these are not encouraging. Anyone have positive experiences with drum sanders in $1000 dollar range?" It looks like the Performax brand is now marketed under Jet. If so, is it the same quality that was manufactured by Performax?
--
Frank Howell



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I have the small proformax sander and it does a great job on finish sanding up to about 10" wide. I dont like the the result when I use 60 or 80 grit and try to take off alot. But for finsh snading its great. Randy http://nokeswoodworks.com
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randyswoodshoop wrote:

Thanks for the feedback.
--
Frank Howell



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"Frank Howell" wrote:

Before I spent a "boat buc" ($1,000.00) on a drum sander, think I would see if there are any commercial shops in your area.
The one I use charges $26 for the first 15 minutes and $1/minute there after.
Most of my jobs are less than 20 minutes.
You have to sand a lot of wood to recover $1000.00 at those rates
Lew
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Good point Lew. It takes a lot of sanding to warrant the expense. BUT! having said that, it is invaluable for insuring small assemblies are of uniform height. Back in December I was building 2 jewelry chests that had 24 drawers IIRC. To tweak for the perfect height spacing and fit I ran the drawer assemblies in pairs to get exactly what I wanted, height wise. I am finding more to do with the sander than the typical flattening or sanding of a wide surface.
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"Leon" wrote:

BUT!
of
Last time I had some stuff sanded, a contractor was there with a pick-up full of face frames for a cabinet job.
A couple of passes thru that 48" wide, 3 drum sander with a 25HP dust collector took care of the job.
Contractor estimated he saved at least a half day's sanding.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

How long did it take him to remove the cross grain scratches?
I can buy imported furniture with doors sanded as units, then I won't need a sander at all.
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"B A R R Y" wrote:

My guess is that he didn't bother.
The final drum is at least 150 grit, maybe finer.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

When I look at premade cabinets, I see an awful lot of them where they should have bothered. <G>
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On Mon, 25 Feb 2008 13:50:13 -0800, Lew Hodgett wrote:

Only 34 jobs at 19 minutes :-). How many jobs have you done that way so far?
Of course, that doesn't include operating costs, but my guess is that somewhere between 40 and 50 jobs would still be break-even.
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"Larry Blanchard" wrote:

way so

From memory, probably 8-10 jobs over the last couple of years.
This piece of commercial equipment has been fully depreciated for years.
Motor nameplates indicate 68-69 construction.
Unit has three (3), 25HP motors, each driving an individual drum.thru the old VariDrive, the mechanical variable speed drive from US Motors.
Another 25HP motor drives the dust collector which has it's own bag house.
Now you know why it's $26 to turn the machine on.
100HP demands a lot of inrush current to get started.
My guess is that today, it would cost well in excess of $100K to replace it.
A home shop unit is not from the same gene pool, not even close.
Lew
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I have the 22" Performax, I don't see any reason to doubt the quality of the rebadged Jet version. It works great but you must realize that it has its limitations. It will rethickness wood except about 5-10 times slower than the typical thickness planer. I like to use mine to smooth a surface and or sneak up on a precise thickness. You must use dust collection. The larger 22" model Performax and "probably" the Jet have a feed speed regulator. If you are feeding too fast it will automatically slow doe to a more acceptable rate. This is a nice feature that probably has helped to prevent stalls. Buy your paper in bulk rolls for about 1/3 the price of precut rolls.
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Leon wrote:

Thanks for the info. Does the smaller Performax, ie 16", have speed regulator?
--
Frank Howell



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As I recall, no. The easiest way to tell on these models if they have an automatic speed regulator is to look for a small Red LED light on the control box close to the speed regulator switch. When the load is too much the speed regulator slows down and the red light comes on.
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Frank Howell wrote:

Yes. At least it did when I bought my 16-32 around 11 years ago. It isn't automatic though...I usually set it somewhere between 50% and 80% depending on what I am sanding (how wide, how hard).
A decent place for abrasive rolls is http://www.econabrasives.com/index.mv?Screen=SFNT
As far as the sander goes, I wouldn't be without it. And get one where the drum moves up and down (like Performax) not the table. Reason? So you can build on some in/out rollers that will stay even with the table...you need them for anything long or heavy.
--

dadiOH
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The JET has "Sandsmart," if you believe WMH rather than the replies. http://woodworking.jettools.com/Products.aspx?nav=ByPart&ClassID33162&Partb9004K
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Leon wrote:

Never mind about smaller Jet having feed control, I found out it does. Another question I forgot to ask, is about dust collection. When looking at Grizzly sanders, found negative info on dust collection. How well does Jet dust collection work in your opinion?
--
Frank Howell



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Frank Howell wrote:

I have the 16" Performax and use my Sears shop vacuum for dust collection. Works much better than I thought it would. Very little visible crud. An air filter picks up the rest of the airborne stuff.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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Actually yes they all have speed control, IIRC not all have "automatic" speed control, in case you have set the speed control to fast.
I use a Jet Pleated Element 1100 CFM dust collector. Dust is simply not an issue when using the 22" drum sander or my 15" stationary planer. None, zip.
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Leon wrote:

Thanks for the feedback.
--
Frank Howell



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