I've got a large amount of Ipe (800 sq ft.) to sand before I prefinish,
and am toying with the idea of purchasing a drum sander to make this
less painless and control dust. How will one of the Performax machines
handle? Will long boards (18 ft) be a problem with these machines?
I have a Performax, and find that it is very effective. I have only used a
fairly coarse paper, and use it for cleaning up bandsaw marks and such,
before final sanding with a ROS. For long boards, you will want infeed and
outfeed rollers. Go for it, you will be happy you did.
I didn't see that. When I was a kid, my Dad was a cabinet maker with a
one-man shop behind the house. It had previously been a chicken house, and
was quite large. He had a home-made belt sander with a sliding table that
would take a whole 4' x 8' sheet of plywood. I have no idea where he got
the belt, it must have been a 24' loop x 12" wide. Maybe it was comparable.
On Sat, 15 Oct 2005 15:44:21 GMT, "Steve Peterson"
Known as a stroke sander. I also remember the one in my father's
millwork shop. Here's one for sale in Oz:
The one I remember looked something like this:
Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address
I've done 12' long boards of hard maple and not a problem. Someone else
already mentioned about needing some infeed and outfeed rollers. Place a
heavy sand-bag on each one so they don't tip or move and adjust the height
properly and they should work fine. Alternative is to have someone help.
I also own a Performax 16/32 and don't know how I got along without it. It
is not for final sanding but it gets you close. These drum sanders leave
straight-line striations even at the highest grits so you still need a good
ROS for finish sanding. Plan on wasting about $25 worth of sanding rolls
(~$5/roll) while you learn what you're doing. Turn the crank to far and you
burn the wood and ruin the roll. So after the first box of paper has been
ruined, you can safely move on - you've probably have made about all the
mistakes you can with it. Use some scraps, read the manual, ask here first
but do not practice on your good stock unless you're into pain and like
banging your head against a wall......;-)
Do not think that you can sand a lot off quickly - you can't, even with
coarse grit paper. Light cuts (1/8th of a turn on the crank max). You
didn't mention how wide your stock is but you can gang feed them up to as
much as you can handle at one time. Normally, you should feed your stock in
at a slight angle to help prevent snipe but with 18' long boards as heavy as
Ipe is, I doubt you'll eliminate snipe. So plan on wasting about 2-1/2" at
each end. As you learn, you will become more proficient at how to move the
stock thru and how to tune the drum sander for best performance.
Like any tool, the drum sander does have a bit of a learning curve and it
will serve you well as long as you use it correctly. There's been many
posts about both the Performax and the Delta drum sanders in the past. If
you can afford the larger models and have room for it in your shop, I would
take a good long look at one. They're great for finish planing stock that
tears out easily, like birdseye and other wild grain woods. As for
controlling dust, you will need a dust collector hooked up to it (4"). I
purchased a dedicated Jet dust collector just for use with the sander and
some disposable bags. You'll be amazed at how must sawdust you can create
with one of these...
For my first rolls of paper, I would get the recommended X weight, 36 grit,
80 grit and 150 grit and work with those to learn the machine. Jet used to
sell a box of mixed grits, 5 rolls of 1-36, 2-80, 1-150 as I recall. I
bought some bulk rolls of paper from an outfit in PA two years ago and
haven't gone thru all of it yet but now that I'm thinking about it, I do
need to get another order in soon.
if your planer has a finish speed I bet it would be enough and the
wood would not need sanded.
now as far as dust control you need really good dc to catch and keep
IPE dust under control. it makes a very fine dust no matter what you
do with it.
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You didn't say if you needed to surface rough or how fine you wanted to
sand. Nor how wide the boards are.
The grits I use are 40, 80 and 120. And they are cloth, not paper (I
buy 100' rolls).
Some one said they lower the sanding head in 1/8 turns (one turn 1/16"). I never lower less than 1/4 turn, sometimes 1/2, sometimes a
full turn. When sanding a rough board with 40 grit it is easy to take
off 1/16" assuming the surface is rough enough that the sanding is only
hitting the high spots. How much you can take off depends on lumber
hardness, width, grit and feed rate. Just gotta experiment and learn...
Snipe has never been a problem for me and should not be if the machine
is properly set up and the board is supported so that remains on the
same plane as the bed.
There is no limit on length; however, the board needs to be supported on
in/out feed sides. That's one of the thigs I like about Performax...the
head moves, not the bed. With some the bed moves which would require a
constant adjustment of any support rollers.
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