Pros and Cons for Performax 16-32 drum sander?

I've been considering a drum sander for about 2 years...Looking for input from any possible users. TIA
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I have one:
Pro - Works fine Con - Costs about $800 with options
Several threads in the recent past in Google.
Bob S.

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Pros:
+ Can handle up to 32" boards. Nice for cleaning up wide panels after glueup. + No tearout. + Can handle very thin stock if you do parquetry or make your own veneers + At the time I bought mine the store had received nearly every Delta back for repair due to the table raising mechanism binding. The store repairman recommended the Performax. Delta very well might have fixed this by now. + The drum moves up & down, not the beds (like the Delta). Thus you to easily attach infeed/outfeed tables.
Cons:
- S L O W. It's not a planer. - Adjusting the drum parallel to the conveyor can be a major pain. It's a poorly thought out design. - This is a tough job for a motor. I'd prefer a good Class F motor instead of the cheap asian one it comes with. It kicks out with all but the smallest bite. - Conveyor tracking can be a pain. Make sure the front and back rollers are in the same plane as the conveyor or you'll constantly chase your tail with the tracking.
If I had it to do over again it'd be a tough choice between the 16/32 and the 24" Grizzly or General International. The Griz & General have bigger motors to handle faster feed rates. The top conveyor speed is twice that of the 16/32. Some will say "what does a hobbiest need speed for" and my answer would be that my shop time is limited enough already that I don't want to waste any more of it than I have to. The downside is you can only do up to a 24" panel. Honestly I don't think this is a big negative since 99% of my panels would fit. When you start getting above 24" it's pretty cumbersome on the 16/32 anyway.
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Scott Post snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /

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On Tue, 30 Dec 2003 18:20:30 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com (Scott Post) wrote:

I'm having difficulty with keeping the feed belt from drifting. care to go into this a bit further?     Bridger
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Do you have the ceramic guides installed correctly ? Is the belt tensioned so it doesn't stop when under load but not so tight as to deform it ?
Bob S.
(Scott Post)

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Lay a straightedge across the conveyer bed (not on the belt itself) so that it sits on the bed and overhangs the feed rollers at the front and back of the conveyor. You want to set them to all be at the same height. If one of the rollers is lower or higher then the conveyor bed then the belt just doesn't want to track. You'll want to do this on both the inside and outside edges of the conveyor (nearest the motor and again nearest the open end).
If this isn't clear let me know and I'll snap a picture.
Another absolute godsend on this machine is to do the mod to the tilt knob as shown about halfway down this page:
http://home.pacbell.net/jdismuk/performax.html
Adding those two nuts makes tilting the head a lot more positive - when you turn the knob you know the head is tilting. The way it is stock (relying on a spring) is not positive at all. Turning the knob with the stock setup seems to have little relationship to how the head tilts.
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Hey could be worse. I got mine before they even put a head tilt adjustment on the damn thing. I have to align mine manually with feeler gauges. Other than that I do love the machine. A huge time saver and the results are amazing. As far as tracking goes I guess I got lucky. I hardly ever have to adjust mine, somehow it just stays put. A colleague of mine had the Grizz 24" sander and its a fine machine too but just hope you never have to move the thing. Its really heavy. The Performax on the other hand is easily moved about on any simple cart or rolling base. He has some other gripes about the Grizz . Its like anything else really. There's good and bad with everything. I don't believe there are any "perfect" machines for anything.
Jim

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You say adjusting the drum parallel can be a pain....once it is adjusted...does it stay in adjustment with normal used?....thanks to all who responded.
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Yes, it stays adjusted. For normal work you want the drum dead parallel to the conveyor but for running wide stock you want the open end to be slightly higher than the closed side so you don't get a ridge. With the stock adjustment mechanism making this change and getting it back parallel again is a real pain. It's not too painful if you remove the spring and add a couple nuts like shown in the link I posted elsewhere in this thread.
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I have the ryobi 16/32 that takes the same paper as the performax. It even looks like the performax. Infact I would be willing to bet it performs like the performax. For a lot less money. SH
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expected of this machine, considering the end results i have enjoyed using this machine
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expected of this machine, considering the end results i have enjoyed using this machine
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Just out of curiosity, where did you all get your Ryobi 16/32 sanders? I just jumped up to Ryobi's website and didn't see anything listed there.
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They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh."
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On Thu, 01 Jan 2004 02:43:16 GMT, "Jerry Gilreath"
...... and how much?

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