Performax 22-44 Drum Sander

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Review by GaryK posted 01-23-2008 06:45 AM 21757 views 2 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Performax 22-44 Drum Sander No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This is from the Manufacturer:

The Performax Plus Drum Sander Features an exclusive SandSmart controlled, infinite variable feed rate from 0 to 10 feet per minute for superior finishes with no overloading. Patented, abrasive take-up fasteners mean quick paper changes while a TEFC motor prevents dust infiltration. A continuous-duty design allows heavier use for longer periods. A precision-flattened, reinforced steel conveyor bed with a no-give power feed conveyor belt offers consistently smooth feeds. The drum height and downward pressure are adjustable to eliminate snipe. The Mini sander also Features a self-cooling, machine-balanced, 5-inch by 10-inch extruded aluminum drum with zinc-plated steel tension rollers mounted next to it. An easy-to-use cast iron, height adjustment, hand wheel allows both radical height changes and minute adjustments to 1/16-inch for precise stock removal. A safety power switch with overload protection on the front of the base protects the operator from accidental starts. Operating at 1,700 RPM, the drum also Features a sealed ball bearing for permanent lubrication and smoother sanding.

SandSmart conveyor control for load control
4” dust port for easy collection
1 3/4hp motor for fast removal of stock
Precision-flattened reinforced steel conveyor bed for smooth feeds
Minimal assembly required for easy setup

Max. Width: 44 in.(Two passes)
Min. Length: 2-1/4 in.
Max. Thickness: 4 in.
Min. Thickness: 1/32 in.
Drum Dimensions (dia. x L/in.): 5×22 in.
Drum Speed: 1,700 rpm
Dust Port Dia.: 4 in.
Conveyor Motor: 43 in./lbs. Torque; Direct Drive, DC
Conveyor Variable Feed Rate (FPM): 0 to 10
Motor (TEFC): 1-3/4HP, 1PH, 115V
Net Wt. Benchtop only (lbs.): 282 lbs.
Minimum of 400 CFM dust collection recommended
20 Amp service required
I bought this about 3 years ago, and have never looked back.
Getting the drum parallel to the table during setup can take a little trial and error, but once done
I have never have to adjust it again.

Getting a raised panel and it’s frame the same thickness has never been easier.
When resawing your own veneer this makes it a breeze to sand to a consistant thickness.
Works great on uneven glue-ups. I usually plane things thicker than needed, glue it up and
then run it through the sander to final thickness.

I use it on almost every project.

I didn’t get the infeed/outfeed tables as shown in the picture but I did get the stand. Add some
nice big wheels and it rolls around great. This thing is HEAVY. Over 200 pounds so unless you plan
on not moving it get some wheels.

Save some money and get the sandpaper in bulk rolls. You will go through a bit while you are getting
the hang of what you can and can’t do with it. You are protected against feeding too fast because
the infeed controller will slow down if you try taking too much material off.

You will also want to get one of those belt cleaning things that look like a big eraser. It makes your
paper last a lot longer. Dust collector is a must. This thing make a lot of dust fast.

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

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4767 days

18 comments so far

View gizmodyne's profile


1784 posts in 4869 days

#1 posted 01-23-2008 06:54 AM

How is it when you have a larger piece and turn it? Even results?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5078 days

#2 posted 01-23-2008 06:56 AM

Nice machine,

I seen the original prototype of this machine being demonstrated by its inventor

at the National inventors conference, in Red Lake Falls MN, quite a few years ago.

At the time I didn’t think it would turn out so successful.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4767 days

#3 posted 01-23-2008 07:06 AM

John – You know I have only ran something through to test for that when I first set it up, and once
after I moved to Texas to make sure that it was still OK.

It was even, but I tested it with a narrower piece. I have never had anything wider that 22” to actually
test it out. With the real wide piece you might have to re-adjust it.

Thanks for bringing that up. I forgot about it since I have never done it.

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

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4653 days

#4 posted 01-23-2008 11:46 AM

I have the same machine. I second the rating, and would gladly recommend it to anyone looking for a drum sander.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6869 posts in 4758 days

#5 posted 01-23-2008 02:25 PM

Hi Gary;

Thanks for the review.

I have the Delta version, and while it works, I don’t recommend it.

I’d rather switch than fight.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Grumpy's profile


26439 posts in 4630 days

#6 posted 01-23-2008 10:50 PM

Thats a nice piece of equipment Gary. Thanks for sharing.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4845 days

#7 posted 01-24-2008 11:32 PM

I have the 16×32 version and it is everything that Gary said it is and then some. It is THE handiest machine in my shop. Dust collection is an absolute must.

Lee, I looked at both the Delta and the performax (side by side) and if I remember correctly the salesman recommended the Performax – based on the height adjustments. As I recall the Delta’s table raised up and down and the Performax’s drum moves up and down for height adjustment.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Ray's profile


86 posts in 5050 days

#8 posted 01-25-2008 12:12 AM

I have the 16×32 also and live it!
I have found it difficult to get the sandpaper strips on perfectly at times but dispite that I still love it.

View mot's profile


4927 posts in 4815 days

#9 posted 01-28-2008 03:08 AM

I also have the 16-32 and just love it. I set it up once and it’s been fine since. Once you get used to changing the paper on it, you can do it in a jiff. Nice review, Gary!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile


35223 posts in 5179 days

#10 posted 01-28-2008 03:35 AM

I have the Ryobi 16/32 And it works great.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Splinters's profile


190 posts in 4962 days

#11 posted 02-13-2008 01:46 AM

Any suggestions where I might be able to find some of these sanders side by side so I could compare prices and capabilities?

-- Splinters - Living and Loving life in the Rockies - -

View Dansww's profile


10 posts in 4541 days

#12 posted 03-02-2008 04:28 AM

I have had the 16/32 for about seven years and I have run miles of stock through it. Getting the belts to stay in place was a problem. After running stock through it for an hour or more the belt will gather to the right side of the drum over lap and create burn problems. I fixed this by using spray-on contact cement and now the paper will stay in place. If you plan on using one of these sanders for large job I recommend buying a bottle of patients to go with it. I still have burn problems but it seems to be from other issues I am still working on. Dan

-- Making Antiques for the Future

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4427 days

#13 posted 05-31-2008 09:01 AM

I have an older version of this machine.

Mine is the one that mounts to a radial arm saw and runs
off the saw’s motor. I have had it for a long time. I bought
the conveyor belt as well. I picked up a very solid, very heavy
Delta RAS and modified it for use with the Performax.

1. It is S.L.O.W. – and it will stall if you try to overdo it on
thickness in one pass. In fact you have to run wider stock
through it 2-3 times to get it to thickness, owing to deflection
of the drum. Go in tiny increments on wide stock.

2. It is not a substitute for a planer.

3. If you work carefully and are patient it is very useful for
thicknessing small parts like guitar bindings. If you use this
to sand drawer fronts (for example) you are either very
patient or lack a faster way to do it, ie. random orbit sander
like Festool 150.

4. You spend a lot of time standing around waiting for the
stock to come out the other side.

5. Stuff goes wrong. You have to monitor it constantly
to make sure it feeds right and doesn’t hang up on thicker
sections of the work. A methodical (and painstakingly slow)
approach is best.

That being said – if you build guitars or need to thickness small
parts consistently it’s a great tool to have. It run at about
1/10 the efficiency of a lunchbox planer in terms of getting
your wood to thickness. Incredibly tedious for some work -
just the tool for other work.

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4948 days

#14 posted 05-31-2008 01:08 PM

I just got the Grizzly and so far I love it. One of the plastic pieces was cracked. I called – got a new one in a couple of days. Not sure how I got along without this machine.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View Sac's profile


268 posts in 4412 days

#15 posted 01-09-2009 03:18 PM

After reading another review I saw where SPalm mentioned that Jet bought out Performax. I noticed that there are still Peromax as well as Jet being sold. I do like the Grizzly tools. Some great comments here. I hope to add a drum sander to the shop this summer after I save some more. Thanks for a great review Gary.

-- Jerry

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