How many brd.ft of 1 1/8" or 5/4" or 1/2" stock have you made with your
sander? Not much I imagine. How long would it take you to sand a 2x6x8
to 1 1/8" thickness?
Also, flattening twisted stock on a drum sander or a planer is a royal
pia, which is why jointers exist. Can you sand a hunk of black walnut
firewood flat? Simple with a jointer. If you don't do any of this
stuff, maybe a jointer/planer is not needed. If you do, then a drum
sander may be useful at some point, but it is not the right tool for
Add Life to your Days not Days to your Life.
Add 1/4, 3/8, 7/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8 and 15/16 and it is at least 1000.
Probably considerably more as I always buy rough stock.
If it is actually 2" thick I would first rip down to 1 1/4 or a bit more.
After that, 4-5 passes...4-5 minutes.
Sure, as long as it is no more than 3" thick.
You have your preference, I have mine. There is no doubt that a planer is
useful and faster but budgetary and space considerations are a
consideration. As I've said before, I would get rid of ANY other tool
before the sander.
I don't have a planer, never used one but I suspect it is the same...
Run board through, concave side down to make convex side flat. Turn over,
run through to make concave side flat (and parallel).
Leon mentioned that drum sanders are slower and I imagine so. Still,I have
a couple of hundred feet of mahogany I have been surfacing as needed and I
can take off 1/16 per pass with #40 paper. Fast enough for me and no tear
What model drum sander do you have? I have a Performax 22-44 with a
relatively fine grit compared to 40 but wow 1/16" in a pass is pretty
aggressive by my standards. :~) And thinking I should get some 40 grit
paper. I use my 15" planer when I need to do a lot but more often than
not the drum sander is adequate for small batches.
I've got a 16/32 Performax, only 1 HP (not sure what the 22/44 has), but
with a 36 grit belt I'll cut a 1/2 turn (1/32) per pass. I would
hesitate to go deeper.
One _big_ difference between a planer and drum is the drum has
(comparatively) weaker hold down rollers and any bowing on boards longer
than 2x the sanders bed width will leave divots (snipe).
I believe I have 120 or 150 grit on my sander. I typically go a quarter
turn between passes.
I typically use the sander over the planer when I am dealing with wonky
grain. The sander is not going to present any tear out issues like a
Additionally the big stationary planers, mine at least, have steel in
feed rollers with ridges to grab the wood. If you do not take off
enough material the in feed will leave shallow indentations in the wood.
I would have to guess this is if I am removing less than 1/64". It is
best to plan your last pass through the planer so that you are removing
a relatively measurable amount. Obviously the softer the wood the more
likely this is going to happen. I installed a digital depth gauge to
make sneaking up on the last pass a little easier.
The boards I'm doing now (see reply to Leon) are about 7 1/2' long. Two
have mild bowing. No snipe.
As I run the board through, more is taken on the ends from the side bowed
up, more from the center from the side bowed down; final result is flat or
close to. Once cut to final length (44") and finish sanded, all bow will be
gone. It functions like that because I made extendible, variable, in/out
feed supports. On the bowed up side, the weight of the board keeps the
leading and trailing edges of the board a bit high; consequently, more is
taken off; conversely for the other side.
If the hold down rollers aren't properly adjusted, one will get snipe
regardless of the board length.
Performax 16-32. The 1/16" is depending...how wide, how hard, how even (in
thickness, wind, etc.). Oak, probably not; poplar, sure.
At the moment, I am skinnying down some mahogany so I can see the grain so I
can make a support knee for wife's makeup table (the last thing for the
vanities). One piece is 10 1/2 wide, the others 6 1/2+-. I had 80 grit on
the machine, didn't want to change it so I'm just taking 1/32 per pass.
With 40 grit I am pretty sure I could do 1/16" even though one of the narrow
boards had some wind in it.
The four grits I use are 40, 80, 120 and 180. With 120, I only do 1/48 per
pass, with 180, 1/64. I have no problem skipping grits...40 to 120, eg, or
80 to 180. I get full rolls from Econ-Abrasives.
Sounds about right per my findings....
I bought from
I would not be supervised if they were both one in the same. They are
from the same metro area of Dallas TX
I do see that they have dropped their web pricing.
I suppose with the little lunchbox planers, they may not have enough
hold down force to not, but a "real" planer will (and a lunchbox has to,
at least to a degree) take any bow out, smooth the top surface as it
goes through, then the bow will come back out the other side.
A jointer, otoh, takes the high spots off and leaves one with a flat
surface _first_. _THEN_ one runs that face down through the planer and
ends up with voila!! a flat and parallel-faced piece of stock.
And that is the correct way to do it. But a planer can take the bow out
if the wood is sent through with a flat sled and several wedges under
the "bowed up" spots to prevent the planer from bending/flatenning the
But I have to say WHAT A PAIN IN THE BUTT! It works well but the
process is labor intensive, especially with long boards. You have to
grab the sled and the work as a unit and run tem through several times.
Heavy work by comparison to no sled.
I'd use a hand scrub plane first...for _a_ board.
It's why I keep both planers and rue not having brought that large
jointer altho I did finally break down and the last batch of maple I
bought I paid for initial surfacing as it is almost all wider than 8"
which the jointer here won't handle in a single pass...
I may just check if TVA did ever get rid of it or whether it's still
just sitting there -- might just have to take the truck next time go to
visit the kids/grandkids!!! :)
Is that electric??? ;~) I did notice "a" board.
I do not do enough to warrant going further at this point. I hand pick
my S4S material. BUT several years ago I bought 200 BF of rough cut red
and white oak and flattened it on the sled and planer. Never again.
;~) I do not enjoy the process of turning rough lumber into "ready to
I got in the habit when in VA and there were all those little one-man
sawmills everywhere that could get gorgeous stuff from at "giveaway"
prices. Oak (any kind, sawn however wanted, just pick it out) was 10
cents, walnut 15-20 and cherry up to 25 for really wide stuff...
Later, when wasn't so handy in TN I bought just 2C of whatever I wanted
as the most economical choice. I moved most of a (small bobtail)
truckload when we came back of a mix of oak, walnut, hard maple, some
butternut and a smattering of a lot of other stuff collected over 30
When doing windows for the barn, however, I could _not_ find any 5/4
clear white pine at the time as it was in the big housing boom time and
everything was being bought up by Andersen, Pella, etc., or being
exported. So, I bought the soft maple for the purpose through the mill
shop in Wichita that did the replacement siding and bed mould I needed
for me. I did let them surface one side of it plus some 8" SYP I bought
from which to pick through to find trim pieces so I do have one flat
starting side on it.
The rest of everything here at the moment is all roughsawn, though.
They're nice, indeed...in Lynchburg had access to a large (30")
dual-drum unit but never did invest in one of the home-shop Performax or
similar...would be nice, however, granted...
But, I get by... :)
I think "if" I replaced mine I might look at the SuperMax, IIRC.
IIRC Jet bought Performax several years ago, just after I bought my
Performax, and sell it under the Jet and Powermatic name now. IIRC the
Jet was identical except for the name to my Performax
And the prettied up Performax. IIRC the insides are pretty much like
the Jet. ALTHOUGH Jet does offer the oscillating version too.
The SuperMax has 2 drums on some models
As I commented in a previous post, when they are available your find
more uses. I forgot to mention in another post that I used it to tweak
the fit of small short/shallow drawers by sanding the top edges and
bottom edges on the drum sander.
I know I've told the story before that when first got to Lynchburg where
there were TREES!!!! for heaven's sake!! and got the real ww'ing bug
that had been mildly planted in HS shop, first ran into a kid just out
of HS at the time making decoupage plaques on a one-at-a-time basis with
a little Craftsman shaper and hand sander. Mr Davis of Davis Paint, a
regional manufacturer there was selling them in their retail store
downtown for him and he was earning enough (with a lot of time invested)
to keep himself in school at least part time with a new wife, to boot.
Mr Davis offered to bankroll him a shop and it was answering his ad in
the Sunday paper to sell the shaper and the Powermatic planer that I met
him. Mr Davis upgraded him and set him up a shop in the 2nd basement
under the store (there were two more below it, 12-ft ceilings, dry,
well-lit, _great_ shop space) with a two-spindled shaper, the 24" PM
planer and a stroke sander.
Within five years, Eddie was running 40,000 bd-ft thru the shop in a
single year, primarily at that time doing the wooden platforms for
Craddock-Terry shoe company there in Lynchburg. At that time the plaque
business had fallen off but the remnant of it was access to the drum
sander when I wanted...
The sander was an old Smith unit Mr Davis got from Lane on a swap; iirc
it was 20hp. Initially there wasn't enough dust collection and things
got real messy the first time we turned it on! :)
HUH! and no I know! I did notice that Jet is really getting onto this
type machinery and even some of their sanders closely resemble the SuperMax.
Oh BTY I was not pointing fingers at you about the difficulty you were
having with the slides or indicate that you were incapable of figuring
things out. Initially I had problems with the up/down thing too. BUT I
also had problems with pronouncing certain words until I learned and I
did not request that the words be spelled differently so that I could
say them. ;~) My comments were aimed more at those that do not do any
woodworking and try to tell us the best way to do so.
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