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Any thoughts on Flatmaster vs. Sand-Flee for flattening and finishing?

3730 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  retfr8flyr
I'm thinking of getting a V-drum sander, either a Flatmaster or a Sand-Flee.

I've noticed that the folks that make the Flatmaster are not shy about promoting as a tool for flattening boards. Is that really practical? Is there some reason why their product has the upper hand in this regard compared to the Sand-Flee?
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I can't speak about the Sand Flea but I have the 24 inch Flatmaster and I am very happy with it. http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/3709
Thanks. Have you had success in getting a flat board with both faces parallel with each other?
I have a "V" sander that I got to flatten out checkerboards. IT did not work well for that. Because my manual feed rate was not consistent I got a wavy surface. I now only use it for sanding flat the edges of small boxes before gluing in place the top and bottom. Works great for that.
I have no comments on how well those sanders work, but
if you can, just as an experiment, try making a panel for
a raised panel door using hand planes to flatten and
thickness the panel. What's really required is
not "dead flat" but rather "flat enough".

Drum thickness sanders are a tedious was to establish
parallel board faces as well. They have their uses for
sure, especially making delicate parts. Like with all
these decisions, the right machinery for you depends
on the type of work you want to produce.
Jim, I noticed that the Flatmaster folks are selling a pair of fences that have "feather wheels" to hold down your stock for more consistent contact with the drum. I wonder if that might solve the problem you experienced.
Jim I added the side fences to mine and they work great. I haven't had any problems getting a flat surface using my sander. I made several end grain cutting boards this past winter and it was a life saver, for getting a flat surface after glue ups. I haven't had any wavy surface problems, I also try and use a steady feed but it's not always possible to be that steady. Could you possibly have had the adjustment of the paper off? When I have mine set correctly, it takes off such a small amount per pass, that even if I vary the feed rate it still comes out very smooth.
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