Delta 18-36 Drum Sander Accessories?

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Forum topic by SawdustTX posted 09-03-2016 02:32 AM 6183 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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344 posts in 3294 days

09-03-2016 02:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: delta 18-36 delta 31-250 drum sander

I would appreciate feedback on the accessories for the Delta 18-36 drum sander. Just got the sander (picture at the end) and looking at the add-ons. I’ve read the many bad reviews, I’m aware, but see my explanation below and wish me luck! :)

50-389 Extension Wings – I’d really like to add these since the sander table itself raises and lowers to change sanding thickness, which means you can’t use fixed in/out feed tables. These wings mount to the table so they raise and lower with the table. Anyone used them have any feedback?

31-281 Long Extension Arbor – this is the arbor for outboard pneumatic sanding drums. Any issues I should be aware of? And, anyone used the arbor for other 1” arbor accessories? Specifically I’d like to mount a few 2” flap sanding wheels next to each other to create a 8” wide flap sander.

31-289 Dust Collector tray – goes under the pneumatic drum – does it really catch most of the dust?

31-265 3” Pneumatic Drum or 31-269 4” Pneumatic Drum. Thinking I’d go with the 4”, because I already have an oscillating spindle sander that handles smaller curves. The concept of the pneumatic is it can conform to shapes, but does it really work?

And any of you who bought and hate this sander (again – I’ve read the many posts), anyone have accessories you want to sell?

Here’s the story – found the sander at an estate sale. Test ran it for 5 minutes, smooth, quiet and the belt tracked perfectly straight. Guy wanted $350, got it for $250 including the mobile base – which he welded together using square steel tube instead of the wood 2×2’s. Nice touch. It’s an early model, Made in America, model 31-250, looks brand new. I’m aware of all the bad reviews and tracking issues. Pondered long about it even at that price. But given the alternatives (not having a drum sander at all) decided it’s worth the gamble. Once I use it a bit, I’ll let you know if it was a good idea or not.

Thanks for any feedback LJ’s!

12 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6733 posts in 3463 days

#1 posted 09-03-2016 01:12 PM

I didn’t buy any of the extras for mine, though I must admit I gave the extension tables some thought. But in use I found I only need them for the most heavy and awkward pieces, and I was able to use mu roller stands for those few times. I had no interest in the outfeed drum sander, but maybe that was because I has a belt disc combo at the time. I know having that outfeed sander on (for me) would have been a headache since I rolled mine back against the wall most of the time. There was apparently 2 models of the 31-250 made: those that had problems (the more common ones) and those that didn’t. Lucky for me, mine was a good one and served me well for a lot years.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View SawdustTX's profile


344 posts in 3294 days

#2 posted 09-03-2016 08:41 PM

Thanks Fred, hoping I have the good one too. Ran great when I tested it, but that was without feeding anything through it. Should have a better idea Monday when I get to put some lumber through it.

View AandCstyle's profile


3290 posts in 3227 days

#3 posted 09-03-2016 09:00 PM

Sawdust, I have the extension tables but have never used them. I’m willing to mail them to TX if you want to pay for shipping. They measure about 18”x20”x4” complete, but I could remove the MDF tables and just send the support arms. I bought the machine used and got a good (not great) one. PM me if you have any interest.

-- Art

View SawdustTX's profile


344 posts in 3294 days

#4 posted 09-03-2016 10:42 PM

Art – that is incredibly generous! What a guy. I’ve PM’d you.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6733 posts in 3463 days

#5 posted 09-04-2016 12:40 PM

That is so cool! Way to go, Art.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Roger's profile


21047 posts in 3774 days

#6 posted 09-13-2016 11:27 AM

Sounds and looks like a good haul. I think all drum sanders can be finicky.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View SawdustTX's profile


344 posts in 3294 days

#7 posted 09-13-2016 01:19 PM

Roger – getting this one tuned up is proving you correct. Current status is I’ve now got a total of $296, and probably 2 hours of labor invested.

Still hunting for the external arbor and dust collector tray.

The sander hadn’t been used in years so the conveyor belt was stiff and brittle. It snapped in transit home. New conveyor belt $46.

The height adjustment mechanism would only move about 1/2”. Pulled the sanding table and motor, cleaned a ton of sawdust buildup out of the gears, threads, belt, bearings, etc. Apparently it had been used extensively without a dust collector. It was kind of fun seeing the stratified layers of sawdust telling the story of the different woods the previous owner had used.

With everything cleaned and lubed, it now works through the full height range, but to me it still takes too much force on the handwheel to adjust, like something is binding. Working that now. I think I’m going to go through the full initial assembly height adjustment alignment called out in the manual.

View MrMongo's profile


3 posts in 1646 days

#8 posted 09-13-2016 03:58 PM

I’ve had the 18-36 for several years, and have been happy with the tool. It took me a while to get the machine “tuned”, but once done, it has stayed parallel. If the original owner did not use dust control, then you will have to check it out thoroughly. This thing produces a LOT of sawdust, and if they didn’t use dust control, it will get jammed in between the work, rollers, and drum and cause them to get out of alignment.
I have the Long Arbor and 3” and 4” pneumatic sanding drums, but I use them on my Delta Disk/Belt sander. I have never used them on the 18/36, but it is the same accessory, so I would expect it to act the same. Overall they have been very useful for sanding irregular shaped items.

-- Steve, Plainfield, IL

View SawdustTX's profile


344 posts in 3294 days

#9 posted 09-13-2016 04:25 PM

Appreciate the encouragement Steve! Looking forward to getting this thing humming along and making stuff smooth.

I spent over an hour with a shop vac, various brushes, compressed air, and rags getting all the built up dust out of and off of everything. I think I got at least a half gallon of dust out of the center of the hollow drum. Amazing. Hope the original owner wore a dust mask, clearly he never used dust collection.

Still hoping to find the long arbor and pneumatic drums. Delta and any suppliers no longer stock them, but I’ll go check if they are the exact same parts for the Disk/Belt sander and still available.

View Dviolante's profile


1 post in 1442 days

#10 posted 02-08-2017 07:40 PM

Greetings All,
Im new to the board. Stumbled across this forum while searching for a set of In/Out feed tables for the Delta 255X Drum Sander (Part #50-389) Has anyone found a source for these? I just aquired a like new sander and aligned it ground up. Very happy with it so far but can see feed tables are in order. If anyone has a set of brackets they could trace, I could probably make a set pretty easily. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

View ToughCut's profile


88 posts in 2576 days

#11 posted 10-04-2019 08:45 PM

I have had this sander for 5 Years and love it. Takes awhile to get the belt to track, turns out very fine adjustment do the trick. Don’t know how I did without it. Just picked up the what I believe to be the last In feed/Out feed Tables. Brand new still in factory box. Looks pretty simple to install.

-- If you are not willing to learn, No one can help you. If you are determined to learn, No one can stop you.

View SawdustTX's profile


344 posts in 3294 days

#12 posted 10-04-2019 10:21 PM

@ToughCut, wish I could say the same. Now three years since purchase, it sits idle in my shop.

Could never get the raising/lowering belt/pulley mechanism to work. I can get everything dead level and parallel and it sands beautifully, but soon as I try to raise or lower the table, the belt skips teeth on the gears and thing gets way out of level. I’ve cleaned, adjusted, read everything online I can find, nothing helps.

Got frustrated and busy and ignored it for 2 years. Couple months ago I dug into it, took apart the raising mechanism to see if some combo of clean/lube/alignment/new parts might help, and then had to jump on some other projects, so again it sits. :( Hoping to get back to it soon, I really like this thing, want to make it work!

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