The Steel City Dual Drum Sander Blues...and the Cure!

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Blog entry by Boxguy posted 04-20-2012 05:22 AM 11361 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I had the low down, no good, dual drum blues…but I have found the cure. I have had a 27 inch Steel City dual drum sander for a couple of years and while I liked what it could do it was driving me crazy trying to keep sandpaper on it. The clips didn’t hold…I fixed that. The paper kept wrinkling and tearing. I tried different brands of paper and 4 inch paper and 6 inch paper. I wrapped the ends with tape. I tried Steel City’s tech service (not a good experience). Nothing worked. I had the Steel City Dual Drum Blues…then it was Lumber Jocks to the rescue.

After reading their comments on Steel City sanders, I wrote to Lumber Jocks Jerry and Carson. They responded that they had had good luck with their Steel City sanders using hook and loop technology and said they had been running them that way for a while. After a little searching, I found that Woodmaster Tools could furnish me with both the Velcro mat and felt backed paper. They even sent me a PDF of their machine’s manual which gave very thorough instructions. If you are going to do this conversion read Woodmaster’s manual and get a buddy to help. Rolling the drum, peeling the backing paper away, and wrapping the Velcro evenly takes at least 4 hands and some patience.

It was an investment, but for $200 I got a 25-yard roll of 120 grit and a 25-yard roll of 150 grit and enough sticky-backed Velcro to do the job. Turns out it was money well spent. Thanks to Lumber Jocks named Jerry and Carson, and Woodmaster Tools I am cured of the Dual Drum Blues. “I am cured…cured I tell you…and I can sand! Stand back and just watch me go.”

With hook and loop backing and felt paper this sander finally works like I always thought it should. I have to tape the left side of the sandpaper with reinforced packing tape, but you let the right side float! If the paper stretches or the hooks flatten out with time…no problem it just self-adjusts. What a change, the sandpaper battle is finally over.

My Steel City always had potential, but the paper was just a frustrating mess. What I like about the tool is that it will crank down 12 inches. I don’t have many one foot thick boards, but being able to sand the top and bottom of the cut-off box top makes the joint of the two halves of a box fit perfectly after you add the hinge. This was the only machine that would crank down the 7 or so inches I need to do that job. It also means I can glue an attached lid on a box body and have a perfect joint.

You got the Steel City Dual Drum blues? Velcro is the cure!

-- Big Al in IN

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13653 posts in 3846 days

#1 posted 04-20-2012 06:20 AM

i have read that solution
from various LJ’s

i have a 13” wide belt sander myself
one without a platen
just a 4” rubber drum at the bottom
ad a smaller steel one on top
and a sanding belt
not the best and can’t find them anymore
came out just before the spiral ones like yours
(but for $100 at the time a great deal)

i used to work in a cabinet shop
where we had a 52” dual drum oscillating sander
it had spiral paper on it too
the rollers were big enough to have a good
paper attaching lockdown bracket at both ends

always left herringbone sanding marks
but easy to finish sand out

one thing i did there for formica counter tops
(and still do with mine for small glue ups sometimes

is turn the feed tray on
without the sanding running
and pass the glue-up through
makes a great press that rolls out any air or wrinkles
just crank down to where it engages the work
but not enough to mess with the rollers
or scratch the work

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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