What drum sander to buy

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Forum topic by tooljunky posted 02-28-2007 01:18 PM 35596 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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35 posts in 5077 days

02-28-2007 01:18 PM

I have been looking for a drum sander, because I cant offord to buy a wide belt sander or at least that is what my wife is telling me. Most of what I have looked at is on the web. I started out thinking one of the 16-32 Performax would work for what I was going to use it for. I have a couple of sets of Kitchen cabinets to build and want to sand the raise panel doors flat after glueing and plaining to save some time. The 16-32 Performax sander has some mixed reviews, so I started looking at the Powermatic DDS-225 and some of bothers like the Grissley 24 inch dual drum. What do you think I sould buy.

-- [email protected]

41 replies so far

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5127 days

#1 posted 02-28-2007 06:41 PM

I have not done much research on this yet, but I did read the Jet drum sanders were good models. I am not sure how they compare to the price or performance of the Performax.

A good topic to bring up, since I have been debating between a drum sander and a planer. I have read the planer would be the better of the two, since it would take forever to sand down a board, compared to planing it off.

Maybe Don or Dick will have some ideas for us.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Karson's profile


35267 posts in 5367 days

#2 posted 03-01-2007 01:24 AM

I have the Roybi thickness sander the 16/32 version. It works fine. I roll my own sandpaper because its cheaper that purchasing their precut ones. I use Zircoma rough for taking the wood down fast and then finer grits as I get to final thickness.

But since I’ve bought a great planer (grizly 20” with carbide insert teeth) I’ve not used it much.

I have found that when sanding cherry it’s real easy to burn the wood. All you need is a piece of sanding dust to build up on the paper and you get a burn strip down the board. And it’s already 6” long before you see it an raise the sanding drum. You need to sand slow and use the rubber sandpaper cleaner blocks to keep the papr clean.

-- 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 Obi's profile


2214 posts in 5203 days

#3 posted 03-01-2007 03:07 AM

I own the Performax 16-32 and besides my table saw I use the sander most. It’s actually more like a 15-30 but if you want to make sure that your 24” doors are flat, I highly recommend it

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 5122 days

#4 posted 03-01-2007 04:21 AM

I had the big one Delta makes and the smaller one Roybi Makes. I sold them both. I found them cumbersome and I was disappointed. I know I am fussy but the large sanders never got the job done for me. I think you can do a much better job with a other ways of sanding for a lot less money and headache.

Of course we all would like to find faster easier ways to do our sanding. One thing I have concluded for me is there is now machine or short cuts in this area of woodworking.

-- Dusty

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dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5280 days

#5 posted 03-01-2007 06:43 AM

Don’t know how it will work, but I’m trying a 6” air powered random orbit sander on my next kitchen. Just got it today and gave it a quick try. I will know a bit more after sanding all the doors in the kitchen(Uchh!) Looks like it will be quicker than a belt sander. A thickness sander is still on the list after a good lathe and a good bandsaw. (and the addition to the shop)(and getting some money in the bank)(maybe a newer truck)

View Obi's profile


2214 posts in 5203 days

#6 posted 03-01-2007 11:08 AM

Well, since flat and smooth was on the cabinet agenda, a drum sander came before the lathe and the bandsaw. Even though Arched raised panels require cutting out the arches with a tool I still don’t have, next cabinet job will buy it. And I just picked up a 4’ lathe, 10 Craftman Chisels, a 4” planer, and a drill press for $150.00

Chrismas’ seem to be getting longer and longer these days. Last Christmas lasted about 4 months. For Christmas 2005 I got a cabinet shop, so far besides the regular Christmas gifts, I got a pick-up. It may only be a 1987 Dodge Dakota but we don’t have salty roades here, so it’s still in pretty good shape

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5266 days

#7 posted 03-01-2007 05:04 PM

I got to meet , see the inventor of the first Performax, & watched a demo of it at the Minnesota Inventors Congress quite a few years ago. I never thought it would turn out to be so successful. If you ever get a chance, try to attend that congress, it’s really interesting.

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

View fsg's profile


1 post in 5070 days

#8 posted 03-02-2007 03:23 AM

Look at the woodmaster drum sanders. I have the 3875 model, but they have several different sizes and reasonably priced. Plus, they have great customer service and they are made in the USA. Everyone, that I know that has had a Performax or Delta thought they were garbage. Since, I got the Woodmaster, I didn’t realize how many friends I had.

View Obi's profile


2214 posts in 5203 days

#9 posted 03-02-2007 04:24 AM


View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5127 days

#10 posted 03-06-2007 07:13 PM

So did you get that sander yet?

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View SteveM's profile


108 posts in 5133 days

#11 posted 03-07-2007 02:39 AM

I picked up the Delta X5 at the Atlanta show a couple of weeks ago and am pleased so far. Yes, it will burn cherry and others but so will a hand tool. I have a Dewalt planer and use them both. I’d like to hear more about rolling your own strips as the manufacturers are real proud of the ones they sell.

View Karson's profile


35267 posts in 5367 days

#12 posted 03-07-2007 02:48 AM

I buy 3” wide sandpaper (or whatever your sander uses) Mine is 3”.

I take an belt and lay it out on top of the strip and cut to match. luckly the end of one belt is the beginning of another so ther is really no waste except for the beginning and the end of the roll.

I bought Zircona belts for planer sanding 40-50 grit. It will take the rough boards down quick. and then 100, 180, 220, 280 and 400. I don’t use the 400 much because its easy to gum up the sandpaper and get a burn. So I’ll ROS for the final sanding.

The 180 grit does leave a noticable scratch pattern (all straight lines) where a ROS 180 is not usually noticable.

-- 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 schroeder's profile


702 posts in 5091 days

#13 posted 03-07-2007 02:58 AM

I think, for the most, I’m not a fan of drum sanders – There is a Performax 16-32 in our shop and it is in my opinion, (no disrespect to Obi) only valuable if rarely used. Maybe others(Obi for certain) have had better luck, but the sanding belt burns at the slightest overcut and are easily ruined. The drive belt is constantly “walking” from one side to the other. The solid drums against solid wood leaves little margin for error (basically the margin is the grit you are using) and for the money, I would seriously consider upgrading to a Grizzly stroke sander. I just gave up on the thing – but it is a REALLY old model, maybe they have improved – I defer to others

A friend bought an “off-beat” brand of drum sander, a 5HP, 48” monster and it has the same problems as our smaller version and now sits in our “dead tools” pile – (which if anyone is interested and lives close enough to get it (Oregon), you can have it for the price of the motor).
my two cents -

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View Obi's profile


2214 posts in 5203 days

#14 posted 03-07-2007 05:32 AM

I’ve burned a few belts but I’ve realized that it was probably due to glue. I was using a 36 grit paper and it was taking off a lot a material.

As far as the side to side drift that is adjustable on mine with a hanging wrench.

View Karson's profile


35267 posts in 5367 days

#15 posted 03-07-2007 05:42 AM

I agree with Obi. You have to adjust the tension on the feed belt to get it to track straight.

-- 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]

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