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Drum sander or Flatmaster?

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Forum topic by jklingel posted 04-15-2021 09:51 PM 462 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jklingel

200 posts in 2244 days


04-15-2021 09:51 PM

Is there any advantage/disadvantage of a Flatmaster over a typical drum sander when dealing with cupped, ridged, or wavy boards? Can you generally control the “squeeze” on the board with a Flatmaster and take out cups, ridges, or waves better than a drum sander will do? An 18” wide sander is big enough to allow me to turn boards 90 degrees to sand out irregularities on 99% of my projects. When I cut boards into strips and re-glue them into a whole board again, they sometimes get out of flat (a gradual cup of sorts) or end up ridged. By “ridged” I mean that not all boards faces are in the same plane, off by maybe 1/64th inch. Right now I flatten boards (up to 10” x 16”) w/ an 8” belt sander and then finish them manually on a 12” sanding belt clamped over a piece of glass. That hand work is getting old and I am thinking about an electric sander. Thanks. j


11 replies so far

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splintergroup

5141 posts in 2309 days


#1 posted 04-15-2021 10:33 PM

I’ll quite often fix cupped or bowed boards on my DS by placing the part on a thick MDF sled and use shims to support the part and keep the sander from pressing it flat (cup side down at first, usually).

I’ll also correct twist this way, works great!

Once the surface is flat, verified by previously covering the surface with edge to edge pencil lines, I’ll flip it and finish.

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

7259 posts in 2807 days


#2 posted 04-16-2021 01:31 AM

I would think a flat flatmaster would more quickly allow sanding out the cup because you can control the force pushing down and let the sander do its job without just making a thinner, still cupped board. I also think perfecting the technique to be able to do so with repeatable results could have a steep learning curve requiring lots of practice.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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Madmark2

2673 posts in 1675 days


#3 posted 04-16-2021 03:02 AM

Its been reviewed HERE at LJ’s

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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jklingel

200 posts in 2244 days


#4 posted 04-16-2021 05:19 AM

Thanks for the replies. I have tried shimming with a planer and it does work fairly well, but had no idea how a drum sander would do. Thinking it over, they really are pretty similar machines, so why not trim twisted boards the same. Yes, I saw that review, but wanted more info. Thanks for pointing it out anyway. I am now leaning toward a drum sander and will read all the reviews I can find on the web. Here, one of the Laguna sanders it rating pretty well. I have their 8” belt/12” disc sander and it does pretty well, though the belt does need fiddling with more than I’d like to.

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1872 posts in 2736 days


#5 posted 04-16-2021 09:51 AM

I remember ads for these things many years ago. Thought they were a toy, but the reviews suggest otherwise.
So it seems, for well under a grand you get a sander. No issues with belt tracking, no fighting putting on the paper, etc. I can see the tradeoff requiring a little skill instead of just feeding the machine.

How does it work with very thin stock? Like veneer right off the BS? Could one put on a static drum on top as a backer?

Reading about how the paper expands on the drum, does this effect also work on drum sanders with a hook and loop mod? Their videos were not much help. My oak block with PS strips does get a bit old.

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ibewjon

2431 posts in 3880 days


#6 posted 04-16-2021 02:57 PM

I bought one new, and it is a nice machine. I have bought two smaller ones used. I also have a 19/38 drum sander. All have their uses. No dust cloud with the flat master, the dust drops down for easy collection. Flat master is a smaller investment.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

5249 posts in 3075 days


#7 posted 04-16-2021 03:02 PM

I have a home built flatmaster and works well. However, it would take a long time and difficult to flatten a board.

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jklingel

200 posts in 2244 days


#8 posted 04-16-2021 04:08 PM

Thanks for more info. j

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tvrgeek

1872 posts in 2736 days


#9 posted 04-16-2021 09:23 PM

I think one may get adds to my list. Not sure where to put it though.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5141 posts in 2309 days


#10 posted 04-16-2021 09:58 PM



I think one may get adds to my list. Not sure where to put it though.

- tvrgeek

“To add you have to subtract” as my wife reminds me. Heck, I have had plenty of advanced math so I just multiply (my shops sq. footage) 8^)

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ibewjon

2431 posts in 3880 days


#11 posted 04-16-2021 10:05 PM

It can be like a bench top tool. Small enough to move and lean in a corner.

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