I lost a Delta Sander (31-250) in a flood and went to replace it only to
find that Delta has discontinued their drum sander line.
Performex seems to have become Jet now, and Grizzly has come out with one
with the movable table (like the Delta had). Has anyone had any experience
with either? Or do you have another recommendation? Any experience with the
Steel City Wide Belt?
My shop is in my basement and I would have a problem getting a large one
down the stairs unless it came apart easily.
I have the Jet (Performax) 10-20 and really like it. I rarely do
anything wider than 20 so it was a good fit for me, plus takes up
minimal room in my very overcrowded shop.
I don't know if Jet cheapened them when they started to be made in
Taiwan, but I do find that the drum to bed parallel adjustment needs
frequent checking and reseting. Easy to do, but seems it ought to stay
put better than it does. I permanently mounted it to a plywood stand
and it doesn't need adjusting quite as much as when I would move it around.
The Delta is still available unless you have some inside information.
I shopped'em about 18 months ago and was going to get the Performax 16/32.
I ended up with the 22/44 Performax. The biggest turn off for me on the
Delta and the styles like the Delta is the table that raises and lowers. If
you use in feed or out feed tables or supports these will have to be
Having said that these machines can be used in place of a thickness planer
but I strongly advise against that as it is a very slow process. Use the
machine for sneaking up on a thickness and to sand a surface flat. If you
don't thickness sand rough stock your adjustments should be minimal and your
out feed and in feed supports will not be so touchy regarding height
adjustments, so the style machine may be a moot point.
Don't scrimp on size. Actually I was looking at the 10/20 as I mostly
wanted the machine for sanding veneers that I cut on the band saw. I
decided that this smallest size would perhaps be too small and thought
16/32. My wife and another 16/32 drum sander owner talked me in to the
22/44. I am very happy that I chose the larger size. I find that with the
extra width I also get extra height. Extra height is great for flattening
the tops and bottoms of drawers and boxes. This was especially handy when
building a couple of 12 drawer jewelry chests a few months ago. I built the
drawers to fit with no clearance on the top and bottom sides and used the
drum sander to make the height fit perfect.
The Performax came as 3 separate pieces, the base cabinet, the conveyor belt
and the drum sander assembly. This makes putting the sander in a specific
location relatively easy. It is still heavy in the 22/44 configuration,
lots of cast iron, but 2 people can move the unassembled sander relatively
easily. It probably weighs between 200-300 lbs. total. IIRC the 16/32 and
10/20 versions use a lot of aluminum and are considerably lighter weight.
Buy your paper in bulk. Typically the 22/44 paper in precut 3 roll boxes
cost between $8 and $10 per roll. In bulk as little as $3 per roll.
I agree with Leon. The PerforMax 22/44 Pro is a great tool and well
worth the extra money. Every piece of stock making up my pieces has
been through the drum sander. I use it for sneaking up on final
thickness to ensure uniformity accross all material. There is a side
benefit for figured material. The planer will cause chip out of
figured woods. The drum sander does not.
I was told by a local dealer that Delta has dropped the line and is just
getting rid of their stock. Apparently, after they shifted production to
China, issues that were sometimes annoying on the US made machines became a
source for a never ending stream of complaints.
As to the Performax, do you have the standard model or the PRO unit?
Also, their pricing seems a bit strange. Any idea why the deluxe model PRO
is cheaper than the regular PRO and if you drop down to the regular 22/44
the unit with an enclosed cabinet is cheaper that one with an open stand.
That's depressing ... but, I also contributed with two depressing mistakes
Read the Houston Chronicle (thrown in my yard without permission); and
called/attempted to call the Social Security Administration to get them to
straighten out a year missing on my benefits statement which was apparently
the results of a computer snafu between them and the IR'erS.
... ruined the rest of the month in two swell foops. This entire country is
increasingly nothing but shitheads, wherever you may look.
I have the small preformax which is now jet. It works great for all my
small projects. I looked at the grizzly at the time that I bought this
one and decided to go with the JET.
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