LumberJocks

Learning curve is tough...drum sander paper

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by BB1 posted 09-12-2021 02:14 AM 555 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The time arrived for me to change the drum sander paper for the first time. Carefully looked at the old paper before removing, pulled out the manual to see if there were any hints (not so much!). Then I wrestled with it for about an hour!!!! The little spring that holds the first end is so hard to deal with while also holding the drum in place. Getting the paper locked felt like trying to get yarn through the eye of a tiny needle. Got that set but then didn’t get the wrap oriented right so tried to adjust and pulled the end back out. SIGH! Then wrapping issues…over and over. Repeated errors, new errors. I was starting to sweat like I was working out. Finally got it! Hoping next time is easier. If anyone wants to share secrets on making this less frustrating, I would greatly appreciate!

Working on a side table… needed the drum sander for these cherry boards after glueup. Hopefully a project post in a while.



13 comments so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

7371 posts in 1806 days


#1 posted 09-12-2021 03:22 AM

For that pesky left clip, I keep a pair of vise grip pliers nearby that are set to close just the right amount to release that clip and hold it there while I get the fresh belt aligned in there. That leaves both hands free to futz with aligning the strip. Getting that right without struggling is critical, and might be the key to reducing some of your later frustrations.

Once I have it aligned properly, I remove the vise grips and roll the drum, keeping a narrow gap. You can use your palm to help tension it as you go.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View BB1's profile

BB1

2388 posts in 2064 days


#2 posted 09-12-2021 03:43 AM



For that pesky left clip, I keep a pair of vise grip pliers nearby that are set to close just the right amount to release that clip and hold it there while I get the fresh belt aligned in there. That leaves both hands free to futz with aligning the strip. Getting that right without struggling is critical, and might be the key to reducing some of your later frustrations.

Once I have it aligned properly, I remove the vise grips and roll the drum, keeping a narrow gap. You can use your palm to help tension it as you go.

- Rich

That pliers hint is going to be in my future plan of attack. My hand strength isn’t great (blaming lab pipette work for thumb issues). That first step was so frustrating. Seems like there would be plenty of room in the drum for a nice lever of some sort to make it easier. Guessing the spring is tight given mine is new so that likely compounded my struggle.

As you noted, being “off” from the start meant having to unwrap and retry when I wasn’t aligned on the right side correctly. I left the roll hang over the infeed table and that seemed to help me get it snug on the roller.

Thanks for the suggestions!

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

8231 posts in 3420 days


#3 posted 09-12-2021 06:01 AM

the answer is fairly simple, you need to enroll in the next prostrate examiners course.
I doesn’t help but gives you some insite to the “Damn Fool” who designed the setup ha ha.

you will get quicker but the process is a “cow of a design” imagine if you had short fat fingers I don’t think any petite ladies own the monsters …ask leftie Candy or mad jester!

Your boards look nice!

-- Regards Rob

View BB1's profile

BB1

2388 posts in 2064 days


#4 posted 09-12-2021 01:02 PM

Rob – somewhat relieved to know I’m not alone in the struggle. As I was rewrapping for the umpteenth time, thought to myself that I’m sure many LJ would have this done on their first try!

I bought several rolls of various grits but now question if I’ll ever use them in succession given how long it took me to change one. Hopefully will get better with the use of some tips and tricks.

I want to get a “cleaning stick” as I tried to use an old shoe (think this was an Izzy Swan tip) and only had modest results. Any suggestions on that would also be appreciated…anything to lengthen the time of each roll!

View splintergroup's profile (online now)

splintergroup

5748 posts in 2439 days


#5 posted 09-12-2021 02:50 PM

I find cleaning sticks useful for getting the stuck sawdust off, but not much more.
As soon as anything (glue, sap, etc.) leaves a “skid mark” in the paper, you’ll need to do a deep cleaning.

Sanding cherry is on of the problem woods. The occasional pitch pockets can raise havoc with getting a clean pass.

Foe deep cleaning, I’ll soak the belt in a sealed bucket of ammonia/water for a day (other clenaers like simple green, etc. can also work).

I’ll stretch out the soaked belt on the sidewalk with a brick at each end to hold it in place, then give it a hose down with a focused nozzle. Some really bad fouling will need another soak.

I just hang them up with a clamp on the bottom tip to keep them straight until they dry.
After learning this, my belts last until the grit goes flat.

You have a different sander than I do (Performax 16/32), but after over a decade of use I can swap out belts in under a minute, but I understand the issues with finger clearance at the motor end 8^)

For the belt cleaners, Klingspor (woodworkingshop.com) has decent prices (cheaper that Rockler, etc.) but you can buy deli-loaf sized sticks from MSC for even cheaper.

View BB1's profile

BB1

2388 posts in 2064 days


#6 posted 09-12-2021 03:26 PM

Splintergroup- I had no idea the belts could be “deep cleaned.” I started to get dark maroon streaks on the cherry and there was a pretty bad “globbing” strip on the belt and my running shoe cleanup attempt couldn’t touch it. Going to look into a cleaning stick for routine maintenance. Thank you for the sources.

Under a minute – now that’s impressive!!! I likely cannot even get the roll out of the box that fast. ;) Good to know that practice does help.

View splintergroup's profile (online now)

splintergroup

5748 posts in 2439 days


#7 posted 09-12-2021 07:27 PM

Yeah, the heavy backing makes the belts essentially waterproof. Never had one fall apart after soaking, even with 5+ more cycles. I buy the big rolls of belts from Klingspor’s and cut my own. Saves a few bucks, but then again my DS is one of the most used tools I have.

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

4807 posts in 4325 days


#8 posted 09-12-2021 09:02 PM

I have a Jet 10/20 and know your pain. One tip I learned here for burning is to narrow the strip so that there is a bigger gap. That way, when the belt heats up and expands, it won’t lap over itself. You should still check the tension on the belt after it warms up. I’m able to hold the spring with the tool and/or use my big fat fingers and then pull the paper taut with a pair of needle nose pliers. I try to change the belt as seldom as possible. I’m seriously contemplating pressing my wood lathe into service as a drum sander with hook and loop paper that I can get my gorilla-sized mitts on the sand paper easier.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View BB1's profile

BB1

2388 posts in 2064 days


#9 posted 09-12-2021 10:05 PM

Splintergroup- I’m just starting to see the many ways the DS can be used. Glad I added it (gift from my dogs of course- they are generous).

Steven – I got some of the pre-cut to make this easier (haha…that didn’t really work out!). I did trim the right side so I could more easily get it locked in. Hadn’t thought about belt heating up. I didn’t observe there to be an overlap problem thus time but will add that to my mental checklist

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

8231 posts in 3420 days


#10 posted 09-12-2021 11:22 PM

I had a dog once, I call him mechanical
one day in the pub some smartie piped up, “your dogs called mechanical eh”!
I replied yep!
He then asked if he kicked him in the butt would he make a bolt for the door ?
I replied no,... but he may make a spring for your nuts!

Anyway this may be of more interest. Again the comments are very valuable.

https://www.lumberjocks.com/robscastle/blog/series/6502

Plus if you ferret about LBD Littleblackduck made a jig for cutting rolls to length. again only if your interested.

-- Regards Rob

View BB1's profile

BB1

2388 posts in 2064 days


#11 posted 09-12-2021 11:40 PM

Rob – thanks for the link to your blog. I saved the original roll I used as I thought it would be a good template if I want to cut my own in the future. Based on your experience and splintergroup’s recommendation, giving it a good cleaning needs to get on my to do list. Thanks!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

7924 posts in 2037 days


#12 posted 09-19-2021 02:17 PM



.... Plus if you ferret about LBD Littleblackduck made a jig for cutting rolls to length. again only if your interested.

- robscastle


Thanks for the vote of confidence rc...

Drum sanders are great, however, are a dog when it comes to changing rolls…

First off, buying in bulk is a shitload cheaper than individually. That’s why I made a jig for cutting rolls for my sander (Jet oscillating)...

Another handy tip for securing the RHS end...

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View BB1's profile

BB1

2388 posts in 2064 days


#13 posted 09-20-2021 01:55 AM

LBD – thanks for the added info.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com