Love it! Use it all the time. Wish I bought it sooner

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Review by Rick posted 12-22-2009 08:29 PM 6640 views 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Love it!  Use it all the time.  Wish I bought it sooner No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I love this drum sander. I use it every time I dimension pieces for a project. I used to go to my ridgid 12 inch planer every time, and I still do if more needs to be taken off. But I prefer the finish the drum sander puts on my pieces before I start cutting them up for whatever I’m making. If you do a lot of inlay this is a must have machine. You can sand a piece down to 1/32 inch with this one. I usually only go to 1/16 or just past that for my inlay. Then I cut the strips to width on the table saw.
I bought the aluminum extensions for it but I don’t have them on and I don’t really need them on. First of all I don’t have the room in my shop to have the extensions on (I have a small shop). Second, I like to do faily small projects that don’t require long boards.
I have an old jet dust collector hooked up when I’m using it. The shape of the hood on the sander allows it to collect nearly everything. Very happy with that.
It is a little difficult to get the sanding drum perfectly parallel with the conveyor surface. I finally figured out an easy way though and you’ll want to do this too. Use your wixey digital angle gauge (or another like it).
Put the angle gauge on the conveyor surface and zero it. Then set it on the top of the drum and tighten the bolts down when the gauge reads zero. There’s still a little trial and error in there but it’s as fool proof as this setup can get.
The only part of the tool that gave me problems was the conveyor belt alignment. It took me forever to get the belt to track properly. I don’t have any tips for that. Just keep messing with it.
Oh, it’s also very easy to remove sand paper and put a different one on.

UPDATE: had to add one of the most important reasons I love the drum sander. Thanks to Charles for reminding me with his article. NO TEAROUT while dimensioning thickness like with the planer. Not on the most notorious tearout wood in the world, cause it’s a sander.

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 4058 days

16 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4156 days

#1 posted 12-22-2009 09:20 PM

You made an excellent choice with the Jet drum sander. I bought the Jet 22-44 sander just recently and find that I use it even more that I thought I would. Another good way to align the drum with the table is to loosed the bolts and lay a flat square object on the table. In my case I used a 24” level and then lowered the drum on top of the level. Once it touches the level all the way across I tightened the bolts and it was parallel and done.
You can buy sandpaper for you sander at a very affordable price at
I bought a couple of 50 yard rolls and cut to size. Much cheaper than the pre cut strips.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4836 days

#2 posted 12-22-2009 09:26 PM

I have a 22/44 Performax that I got before Jet bought them out. I use it all the time.

Another good place to get rolls is:
Some things are cheaper than Greg link above and some aren’t.

I get ROS disks in bulk at both places also

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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10262 posts in 4836 days

#3 posted 12-22-2009 09:29 PM


-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 4058 days

#4 posted 12-22-2009 09:30 PM

Hey Greg. You know I tried that method of aligning the drum also, just a little different. I took a 2×4 and milled it to size. I then put a dip along the length of it by running it over the tablesaw blade diagonally. I thought that would help hold the drum in place. I also thought that this was going to be my fool proof method. I just set the drum down on it, like you did with the level, and tightened it up. But I quickly found that, while tightening the bolts, that it could adjust the drum enough to not be satisfactory. So I tried again and again and could never get it to tighten down parallel to the conveyor. I was pretty frustrated with myself. Then I noticed my digital angle gauge and had a thought.

View CharlesNeil's profile


2501 posts in 4718 days

#5 posted 12-22-2009 09:43 PM

i have and agree drum sanders are the best machine to help your woodworking improve, love them

I set mine up by sanding two pieces , one on the left one on the right , and then gently adjusting until they are exactly the same , not going to say i havent started with a 7/8 piece and ended with a 1/8 , but it works pretty well ,
here is newsletter i wrote last month on drum sanders as well as sandpaper and cleaning , it might help ya some… been running one of these for about 25 years…got one when they first came out …best tool i own

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4669 days

#6 posted 12-22-2009 10:54 PM

This is a nice review, Rick. I have a drum sander at the top of my tool wish list. i appreicate the info that you are posting on this particular sander.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View cpollock's profile


34 posts in 4261 days

#7 posted 12-23-2009 03:14 AM

Thanks for the reviews and comments. I have one as well. Its slow compared to a planer, so I reserve it for final dimensioning. To reiterate Rick’s “update”, it does make working with crazy grain much easier. That’s why I got it, the african mahogany I was trying to plane was giving me the mother of all chip-outs in my planer, even with brand new blades. The sander fixed that.

I just read Charles Neils’s excellent article, and his advice will help. I guess I need to be a little more aggressive in changing the grit for the dimensioning steps.

I have been slightly frustrated iin aligning the bed to the drum. I find the adjustment mechanism to be very crude, where basically you loosen the four bolts that hold he entire head, bump the head into alignment, then hope that it all doesn’t drift by the time you tighten the bolts again. There is no pivot point to work with. Did anyone find a way to overcome this? I figure there has to be a better way than the frustrating way was trying. I still, after hours of trying, have a slight wedge in the thickness of the gap.

View a1Jim's profile


118134 posts in 4425 days

#8 posted 12-23-2009 03:20 AM

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

539 posts in 4534 days

#9 posted 12-23-2009 03:44 AM

You might want to try this store for the sandpaper also.
I have been in the store and real nice people to deal with.

-- Joe, Ga

View paulcoyne's profile


133 posts in 3968 days

#10 posted 12-23-2009 04:12 AM

oh i really want one, had some lovely maple pannels glued up and then thicknessed but they kept getting tearout a drum sander would be great…

-- thats not a mistake... i ment that

View TroutGuy's profile


224 posts in 4559 days

#11 posted 12-25-2009 07:51 AM

I have the Performax version of this one, and love it! It makes sanding end-grain cutting boards a piece of cake! I use it for thicknessing too. If it tears out on the planer…

One thing I’ve learned, that seems somewhat counter-intuitive: If your workpiece is showing burns (oak is notorious for this), INCREASE the feed rate. Power sanding generates heat. Increasing the feed rate decreases the time the workpiece has, to absorb heat at the point of contact.

-- There is nothing in the world more dangerous, than a woodworker who knows how to read a micrometer...

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 4058 days

#12 posted 08-17-2010 04:41 PM

I just did my first multi board panel glue up since high school shop class. I got the boards glued up pretty flat with each other but not perfect. I picked the flatest side and ran each panel through the sander with that side down. I even took advantage of it being a 16-32inch sander because my panels were 18-22 inches wide. So after one pass I rotated the board and ran it through again. Then I did the opposite sides.
I should put those pictures on here. Seriously sooo happy that I pulled the trigger on this purchase still.

View john925's profile


81 posts in 3764 days

#13 posted 04-16-2011 11:28 PM

Great idea on the angle gage Rick. Just got mine and I haven’t yet checked the drum alignment yet but using this simple method, I’ll give it a try. Sounds good. Thanks for the tip.

-- John, Brentwood, CA

View Jonathan Alson's profile

Jonathan Alson

18 posts in 3330 days

#14 posted 01-04-2012 06:37 PM

Not a bad choice at all, the feedback I gathered on the 16-32 had similar praise ( drum sander reviews ).

Nice review, would you mind if I used some snippets of it on the site?

View Rick's profile


367 posts in 4058 days

#15 posted 01-04-2012 06:43 PM

Thank you Jonathan.
Yes you may use this on the web site.

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