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Drum Sanders - Gregor1 - 07-30-2022

I see that on some drum sanders, the drum moves up and down, while on others, the table moves up and down. Are there pros and cons to each?

Thanks  Greg

RE: Drum Sanders - fredhargis - 07-30-2022

If you use infeed/outfeed stands, when the table moves you (presumably) have to adjust each of the stands. I had a Delta DS, and it had the table moves. In the years I had it and used stands I typically didn't adjust them all that often.....so maybe it's not as big a headache as some would want you to think it is. I now have a Supermax, and the table is stationary so it doesn't matter to me. But even so with the adjustable table you could get the extensions that fasten on it, those would move with the table if that's the type of DS you have. There's probably some other pros/cons, but that's the big one I remember.

RE: Drum Sanders - kurt18947 - 07-30-2022

I have a Performax (pre Jet) 16/32. The drum moves on that one and I was concerned about the drum not staying parallel to the table (conveyor) but it doesn't seem to be an issue though i don't use it much. The benefit of the fixed drum in my mind would be rigidity of the drum mounting. One thing to keep in mind about small drum sanders is that they are certainly not planer substitutes. I'm able to take a few thousandths off per pass or it'll trip the motor overload protection. I think some of the new machines have a mechanism to monitor electrical load and slow the feed conveyor if necessary.

RE: Drum Sanders - Gregor1 - 07-31-2022

I understand about not taking much on each pass. Right now I am only taking about .007" with each planer pass, and still I am tearing it up. It may take me a while to sand to thickness, but I have lots of time. I HOPE !

RE: Drum Sanders - Bill Tindall - 07-31-2022

I got a good deal on a used Jet (Perormax design) drum sander.  It has become an essential tool in my shop.  I never finish sand on it. (I never machine sand much anyway.  Can't achieve my standards compared to hand sanding).  It is used for accurate sizing and occasional thickness planing.  In this capacity the coarser grits enable thicker cuts to be taken.  I have used this machine with a 36 grit belt to remove a lot of material per pass whereas at 120 a 1/64" cut may overheat the motor.

On some models changing belts is a trying experience.  

I think buying a drum sander is a poor way to solve planing issues.  Better to buy a helical head for the planer if tear-out is intolerable with the wood being worked.

RE: Drum Sanders - Gregor1 - 07-31-2022

You are probably right, but $600 for a cutter head would go a long ways toward my drum sander, which $ for $, I think I would get more use out of right now.

RE: Drum Sanders - fredhargis - 07-31-2022

Greg, somewhere back in here I'm sure you mentioned your DC set up, but I don't remember what it is......anyway, bear in mind that the DS produce mountains (literally) of very fine dust. It takes a pretty good air flow and pretty filtration to capture and contain that dust. Just something to keep in mind.

RE: Drum Sanders - Bill Tindall - 07-31-2022

(07-31-2022, 09:01 AM)Gregor1 Wrote: You are probably right, but $600 for a cutter head would go a long ways toward my drum sander, which $ for $, I think I would get more use out of right now.

Tell us how you will be using the drum sander and I will comment on the choice between cutterhead and drum sander.  The sander is not a good way to either sand or thickness.  It is the best way to accurately size.  And it has application when veneering with home made veneer and preparing bent laminations.  

My industrial sized planer has a conventional cutterhead and on-board sharpening.  I have never seen any reason to own a  helical cutterhead.  I do not use lumber that incorporates knots for any purpose so the need to plane knots is irrelevant.  On-board sharpening negates the huge benefit of the insert cutters.  But for many the insert cutters is advantage enough to make the change.  I have seen the finish come off these cutter heads so smooth that 180 grit hand sanding follows.

RE: Drum Sanders - Gregor1 - 07-31-2022

All I have for a planer is a Dewalt bench top, 12" planer, model #733. I hope to someday upgrade to a 15". For this reason, I don't want to spend the money on a new head.

RE: Drum Sanders - cpolubin - 07-31-2022


Just to verify, are you still getting bad tearout if you feed the board through the opposite way?