On Mon, 25 Feb 2008 07:30:04 -0800, "Frank Howell"
I have an 18 X 36 Delta and it has really improved the speed and
quality of my panel sanding. Us it to clean up any glue up mismatch,
get to a flat panel, then go to the ROS for finish.
However, if you don't have dust collection you need to be able to take
it outside (what I do). It makes a lot of dust.
Performax was made in a US factory in Minnesota. WHM after purchasing
Performax,closed that facility, moved it to the far east and
eventually rebadged the brand to JET. It would be good to get opinions
from anyone who has used both versions. I have not.
Of course, my 18 x 36 was also made in the US and now it comes from
the far east.
I have the US version, badged Performax, and have looked at the JET badge.
Fit and finish are somewhat less, but I really didn't see obvious crummies,
though I haven't had the best experience with Chinese motors.
I have been very happy with my Performax 22/44. I've also read some of
those reviews. The main I idea I saw is that some of the folks expected
the tool to require less operator skill than it does. Some of the much
more expensive tools probably don't require much skill, but...
- The sander is a finesse tool, it is not a thickness planer. Forcing
too heavy of a cut, too heavy of a cut with too fine a grit, failing to
properly guide it in or out, etc... May do as much damage as a router
- I've sanded parts as large as 40" x 86" x 5/4 (a QSWO table top) and
a small as 3" x 3" x 1/8" (walnut panels). The table top required two
people, but with 15 seconds of adjustment, turned out great.
- I now use the sander on every part that won't be hand planed, as
well as some that will, as they come out of the thickness planer. I can
stop thickness planing a pass early and easily have tearout-free stock
ready for a single ROS pass for trim, or suitable smooth plane or
scraper for furniture.
- I've run 100's of feet of s4s red oak trim through it at 120 grit,
followed by a fast ROS pass, directly to a finish, with great results.
- It needs a good dust collector. I wouldn't even consider using one
without at least a 1200 CFM DC and unrestrictive ductwork.
- I don't like the optional in/outfeed tables. I got tired of futzing
with them and simply developed operator techniques to get great results.
I only bother to install the tables when doing long boards, simply as
a place to rest one end as I maneuver the board into place on the belt.
- Changing and replacing paper is easy after you do it once or twice,
there is a special tool that makes it easier. My sander included the
tool, but I don't think older or smaller models do the same.
My sander is on my short list of tools I'd replace in a minute if it
I have no idea, but Performax was a WMH (Jet's parent) when I bought my
I have owned a few and used many.
1. I agree I find a drum or wide belt sander indispensible. One of the
few tools used on every project.
2. You can tune in the open ended versions and they are way better
then not having anything but I would much rather buy a used standard
drum then a new open ended one.
Used can be found. I recently purchased an older performax double drum
sander, 25" I think. It is in storage right now but I think it was
less than $1000, but I'd need to look in my records to be sure.
Lots of good info for you Frank...one thing I will mention is that if you
can find one used, the Ryobi makes a decent 16/32 drum sander...not a great
one, but good.
From what I've seen, the same basic design as the Performax/Jet and I got
mine with a couple dozen belts fr under $100.
Check out CraigsList for one.
I bought and eventually sold a 16\32 Ryobi. It was OK. The main hed
adjustment screws were a bit inconsistent. The design in general is a
bit problematic because you are always lowering the head with each
pass but for a real accurate offset it should be raisng (against
gravity). Inexplicably my unit would work fine with a 1/4 turn drop on
each pass and then suddenly a 1/4 turn would drop the head so far it
would gouge the material and killed the unit. It would take 6 or 8
more passes to sand out the gouge. I eventually found that I'd drop it
a full turn and then back up 3/4 and it seemed to fix the issue.
I also heard the Ryobi was sued into submission by Performax and had
to stop production because of infringement. The units look almost
identical, right down to the belt tracking adjustment mechanism.
Picked up a 30" at the wood dorking show in Milwaukee...
Ordered on Sunday, arrives on Friday.
$688 delivered with 3 rolls of paper and 2 fences...
Pick up a new motor from Grainger... $140
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