Reply by TungOil

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Posted on Powermatic PM2244 question

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1319 posts in 974 days

#1 posted 08-11-2017 03:04 AM

I have the PM2244. I’ll try to answer your questions:

- If I were to set the sander to 5/16” for example, is it likely that they would come out spot on at 5/16”, assuming I had put in the effort to ensure that it was calibrated correctly? Or is it likely that they will be very close, but not right on the dot? One feature that really sold me on this unit is it’s ability to sand thicknesses down to 1/32”. I don’t know if I would sand that thin right away, but I have 1/16” pieces in my shop right now that I would send through it.

It doesn’t quite work that way. The digital readout is relative, and it resets to zero when you start the machine. For my use, I take the first pass with the sander and zero the readout, then use dial calipers to get to the thickness I’m after. depending on the width of the piece and depth of cut I can usually get within a few thousandth of spot on. Remember you are working with wood here, even if you could mill it to +/- 0.001” today, it would change size tomorrow when the humidity changes. I have sanded veneer down to 1/16” no problems.

- If the sander is not necessarily intended to provide a precise measured thickness, will everything at least be consistent without adjusting the height?

yes, within reason. there will be some variance in thickness across the piece depending on hardness variations, what grit paper you are using, depth of cut and feed rate. Not unexpectedly, slower feeds, lighter cuts and finer grits produce the most consistent finished pieces. In my opinion 80 grit is the machines sweet spot.

- Should I expect any snipe, or similar issues? I have a DeWalt 13” thickness planer which will do this from time to time, but it’s entirely possible that part of it needs an adjustment that I haven’t done yet. One issue that comes to mind (which in reality I wouldn’t expect out of powermatic) is a wavy surface, like if you tried to sand a straight edge manually on a spindle sander.

No appreciable snipe from mine, and no waves either. What you will get is sanding lines, with any grit, even 220. you must complete the piece with a ROS to get a finish ready surface in my opinion.

Overall it is a very nice machine and does a good job for what it is. Don’t expect to be able to hog off 1/32” or 1/16” on a pass like you might with a wide belt sander, you must take light cuts. Use the machine within it’s limits and it produces very nice and consistent results. Hope that helps!

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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