There seem to be more complaints with the Delta over the Performax
I would prefer the Performax as the drum moves up and down as opposed to the
Delta where the table moves up and down. If you use in feed and out feed
tables the Delta will be more of a PIA requiring you to adjust the out feed
and in feed tables each time you adjust the sander table height. With the
Performax, the table, in feed and out feed tables need not be adjusted.
I've got the Delta and my biggest problem with it is getting
the feed belt to track properly.
The major issue for me was the drum support structure.
The Delta has the drum fixed and the table moves up and
down. On the Performax, the drum moves up and down
and the table stays fixed. But the moving table allows
for support at all four corners. The movable Performax
head however is supported only on one end AND has to
also MOVE. Seems the Delta arrangement can have more
Another consideration is the method of attaching the
ends of the sand paper (it's actually cloth backed) to
the drum. The Delta has a spring loaded clothes pin
type clip on both ends. Slip one end down into the
clip and it holds. On the other end you have to push
to open the clip to slide the end of the paper in. You
can rewrap the Delta by yourself. And it's fairly
quick and easy to d.
As I recall, the Performax was not as simple and may
require a tool and maybe an extra set of hands. So
ease of replacing the sanding strip can be significant.
At the first sign of clogging, if it's relatively easy to
do, you'll replace the strip BEFORE it starts to
burn your stock. If on the other hand, replacing
the strip is a PITA, you'll be tempted to keep the
clogged strip in use and deal with the resulting
burning later some other way. Unfortunately, the
burning may penetrate into the surface and tough
to get rid of.
Just more things for you to consider.
Along a similar vein, shall we discuss disc sanders?
This one is near the bottom of the page, a 30" disc.
(Sorry, OWWMers. It has been sold already.)
--== EAT RIGHT...KEEP FIT...DIE ANYWAY ==--
http://www.diversify.com/stees.html - Schnazzy Tees online
I have the Performax 16x32. I have not had a problem with the single end
support/alignment of the drum. Like the Delta, I have struggled to keep the
drive belt tracking.
Replacing of the Performax strips is very easy. I even cut my own using one
of the factory strips as a template. The drum has two spring loaded clips
on either end. Replacing the belt is a couple of minute excercise. Spend
the time to remove as much slack as possible. I also use a rubber type
abrasive cleaner. As the other poster noted, once gum builds up on the
strip, it will cause burning on the wood.
I have observed that shallow passes give a better result. It is also
critical that the wood does not stop during a pass, otherwise divots will be
seen resulting in more sanding and loss of thickness. This means for me
that I keep a "push" on the wood to ensure it does not hang-up. This is
another benefit of shallow passes - less effort to remove the wood and
easier for the drive belt to keep the wood moving.
I personally prefer the head moving so that I can use a fixed
inboard/outboard table arrangement.
Forgot to mention that the Delta has a pneumatic
drum option that attached to the outside of the
fixed end of the drum shaft. The pneumatic drum
also has a dust shroud option - a necessity unless
you like everything in the shop to have a light to
medium dusting of whatever you've been sanding,
to say nothing of clogged lungs. Drum sanders
generate an amazing amount of very fine dust
Think Mount St. Helen and scaled back - just
DAGS on the NG - this topic has come up a zillion times and you'll find a
wealth of information.
I've had the 18-36 for about 3 -4 years and am happy with it. Leon's
remarks about the table issue are correct, but since 99% of my work is
surfacing 3/4 stock, I can use my bench as an outfeed table most of the
I don't know about the performax, but one caveat is that you really can't
take off very much material in a single pass - I think this is a function of
horsepower (1.5 HP for both the Performax IIRC, and the same for the Delta)
rather than design.
Also, softwoods tend to clog and burn the sanding paper pretty quickly if
you're not careful - so if you do work with softwoods either be careful or
plan on going long on sandpaper. I've never had a clogging problem with oak
or other hardwoods.
Would I get this sander again - Yes! Once you understand the limitations of
the machines and how to best use them, it's like green through a goose - an
I second what John has said. I have not tried the 16-32 so I cannot compare the
two. If you use delta+drum+sanders @
You will find many posts which reflect changes to the machines over the last
number of years. I have had my Delta for 4-5 years and the lack of an
infeed/outfeed table has never been a real issue. YMMV. By the way, do not even
think of buying one if you do not have a good dust collector. Cheers, JG
John Moorhead wrote:
I've had the Delta for a little over a year and have had real good results
with it. I've also used the Performax quite a bit since my Father in Law
has one and it too performs very well. The main reason I bought the Delta
was I found it a for a little less when I was ready to purchase and have
several other delta tools. One suggestion on the delta is to keep the
threaded rods that raise and lower the table well lubricated and clean
otherwise its impossible to crank the table up or down. As was mentioned in
earlier posts I agree that you can't remove as much material with the
performax in fact my Father in law tends to be a little too agressive with
it and kept tripping the breaker on the machine. After doing this numerous
times he had to replace the breaker since it quit working.
I also like the extra width on the delta although the majority of the work
that I do falls under 18" but frequently over 16".
I'm fighting (in my mind) the same issue now. The point already brought
up about raising the Delta table being a pain if you have auxiliary
fixed height input and output tables is a valid one. I have also
considered the fact that the moveable Delta table could have more
chances to go out of alignment since it sits up on a set of 4 long
screws. This could lead to accuracy and maintenance problems. At the
same time, the Performax, which seems to be a very stout machine, is
limited to a 3 inch board. No 4x stock. I was thinking about using it
to sand the new work bench I am going to build. It will have a 3 1/2
inch maple top. Finally, the Delta is 2 inches wider, and would
probably handle all the panels I will be doing this winter in one pass.
the Performax would require two passes and the touch up work ro resolve
the line between the passes.
I have the 16-32 Performax never used the Delta. I really like mine alot
actually performs better than I expected. Great for flattening glue ups and
taking very light 'cuts' to get a piece to exact fit like making a runner to
fit in a miter slot. I made some end grain butcher block cutting boards and
it flattened those no prob. It isn't a speed demon but it but it does a
great job. I have had a few occasions to sand wider that 16" and there
wasn't any line where it was over lapped. Dust collection is not optional
even for just a few passes the paper gets clogged and ya got dust all over
the place. That's my $0.02 worth
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