Drum Sanders -- Performax vs Steel City

Thanks for the input on the Grizzly drum sander ... I have decided against it. And have moved on.
The Performax appears to be solid with no huge pitfalls. But I am wondering about the Steel City option. I have downloaded their manual and the machine seems to be very solid and have some improvements overe the Performax: better drum movement control; optional 220v motor (via re-wire).
What's the groups experience/wisdom???
-- Chuck
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What models are you looking at? Is this for ocassional use or "hard work". I just went through this process myself and stayed away from the Performax units that were only attached on one side e.g. 18-36 No mater how hard the attachment is it's going to twist a little on the one end.

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HotRod wrote:

Apparently, according to a recent thread in this group, the Performax has the ability to set the head angle slightly off level to compensate for any deflection (or sag, depending on who your talking to).
I did ask a long time owner and he has his Performax set perfectly level. He says the most flex he ever measured was a few thousandths so he quit worrying about it.
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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I was looking at both however Steel City can only sand to a thickness of 1/8" thick. Performax will sand to 1/32" If you are cutting and sanding veneer the 1/8" may be too thick unless you use a sled. Alternatively, the Steel City will sand up to 5" in thickness although I cannot remember in the last 30 years needing to sand something that was 5" thick. IMHO the Performax is a safer bet as they have been around for a relatively long time when compared to Steel City. I e-mailed Steel City for the location of a local dealer and got a "quick response". My local dealer happens to be a Performax dealer also. I sent another e-mail asking why the Steel City sander would be a better value than the Performax considering that they are the same price and have received "no reply".
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Some observations that I made while looking at the Performax sanders and my local dealer today. My dealer is also a Steel City dealer but is not going to stock their single drum sander.
I was going for the 16-32 but have decided on the 22-44 after comparing the two. The difference is like comparing a contractors saw to a cabinet saw. The 22-44 has a cast iron base, thicker drum housing and drum housing support which also have the appearance of cast iron. The 16-32 has a stamped steel base and lots of aluminum. The 22-44 is about twice the weight of the 16-32 at about 280 lbs. vs. 145 lbs. The 22-44 comes with a sensor on the conveyor motor that automatically slows the feed rate if there is too much drag when sanding. About $200 more for the 22-44 over the 16-32.
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1- Which model 22-44 was you comparing to the 16-32? I have not been able to even find the 22-44 locally in North Georgia. I see on there website that Redmonds and Sons in Atlanta carry the Steel City stuff. But no hands on yet to compare. 2- What store did you find the price only being $200- over the 16-32? I am looking to purchase one of these soon myself. Thanks Jerry

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Sorry for the confusion. I was comparing the 16-32 Performax 629004K to the 22-44 Performax 649003K. There is a big difference in the way these are built as far as how heavy and thick the parts are. My local dealer is not going to stock the similar 16-32 Steel City model.

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