Drum sander - advise

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Forum topic by Nicky posted 12-14-2007 08:33 PM 5682 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Nicky's profile


698 posts in 5058 days

12-14-2007 08:33 PM

Happy Holidays to all!

I’ve made a few boxes this year as gifts, mostly out of figured maple. I’ve ruined some nicely figured wood sending it through the planer. I do enjoy making these types of projects.

I’m thinking about a drum sander. Not settled on brand, size, features. I’ve looked at a JET 10/20 and the Perfomax 16/32,. Woodtek has a 25” model.

What features should I be looking for? Is bigger (wider) really better? I’m thinking that I’d use it to thickness material; what other operation would you use a drum sander for?


-- Nicky

9 replies so far

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5003 days

#1 posted 12-14-2007 08:38 PM

Hey Nicky,

I have a 16-32 and love it. I look for things to use it on now. There are some that say that a close ended sander is better for alignment and uniformity and lack of finickyness in setup…then there are others that prefer the open ended sanders for their capacity.

I like my 16-32. They are great at dealing with figured woods and woods that are prone to tearout with planers. They will dimension stock but you have to go slow and make a million passes if you want to knock it down aggressively.

I use it to remove planer marks and jointer marks. I use it before finish sanding. I use it to remove bandsaw marks after resawing. Overall, I’m a big fan of my drum sander.


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

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5127 days

#2 posted 12-14-2007 08:44 PM

The wider one would be better for example if you are sanding 12 inch by 12 inch panels. With the 10/20, you would need to make two passes to sand each side just once. With the 16/32, one pass per side.

I am thinking of a drum sander as well, but not decided on which way to go. I see that Woodcraft has the 22/44 for not a lot more than the 16/32. I wonder at what point would the fixed width ones be best? I guess it depends on the width of the items you are sanding. If you are always building boxes that are 12 by 12, then you do not need a wide sander.

Anyone else?

Great comments Mot.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4841 days

#3 posted 12-14-2007 10:12 PM

I got the 22/44 for the price of a smaller one because the place I was buying it from sold out of 16/32s at a woodworking show. I love it, bot mot (tom) is right, you gotta make a lot of slow shallow passes to get a good job.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4841 days

#4 posted 12-14-2007 10:29 PM

I used to have the “General 24 Dual Drum Sander, but insurance didn’t kick in enough for me to be able to replace it. The setup on it was a little finicky, but it was a great machine once it was set up (and General’s tech support was very helpful). The dual drum setup was nice, because you could remove twice as much material in a pass or use two different grits – coarse for removal and fine for cleanup.

I would hesitate to go smaller than about 24” on a closed end machine, because a lot of pieces are built up to about 24” wide, especially in cabinetry. However, a 16/32 would take care of almost everything in a single pass and only require a second pass on a few pieces.

Oh, one other thing – some machines don’t have variable feedrate. I would strongly recommend variable feedrate. It’s really worth having.

-- -- --

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5032 days

#5 posted 12-15-2007 04:35 AM

I have the 16/32 Performax and can’t imagine how I ever got by without it. I use it for almost everything that goes on my workbench. I don’t really use it for sizing stock to the thickness I want, although you could, but it would be very slow. I also have a planer and use that to bring stock down to the thickness I need, then run it through the drum sander to get everything smooth and flat.

In my opinion I think that the 16/32 has all of the features that you would ever need in a small shop. I can just about gaurantee you that once you have it, you will never want to be without it. It is not intended for finish sanding, so you will still need to do something to get your project ready for final finish. The drum sander get you pretty close though.

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

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4840 days

#6 posted 12-15-2007 07:08 AM

I asked the same question. Check THIS out.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Karson's profile


35267 posts in 5367 days

#7 posted 12-15-2007 07:29 AM

They are a great tool. Ive got the Ryobi 16/32 bought it about 8 years ago at a factory reconditioned store for a great price.

-- 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 IowaWoodcrafter's profile


280 posts in 5042 days

#8 posted 12-15-2007 08:58 AM

I’m saving my pennies for the Jet 22-44. At first I was considering the Grizzly 24” dual drum sander but I don’t have a 30 amp 220v service, only 20 amp. I have a co-worker that has the Jet 22-44. He leaves 120 grit in it at all times. He only does a final hand sanding with 200 grits.

I really want to try my hand at bent lamination as well as creating my own veneer. I also need something to do some final thicknessing of figured wood. I tried using my planer on some curly maple. I was only successful when planing about a 64th each pass. $100 saved up so far, only $900 more to go. lol

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

View Nicky's profile


698 posts in 5058 days

#9 posted 12-15-2007 04:37 PM

Thanks to all for your replies.

Seems that you’re pleased with the open ended machines (from this post as well as other.) The Perfomax has very good reviews; I’ll most likely go with the 22/44.

-- Nicky

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