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Thread: 'nuther dumb question

  1. #1
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    'nuther dumb question

    In contemplating my planer dilema I had a thought. I know, dangerous thing, but still... At least 50% of what I do involves segmentation, or glue-ups of some sort and I've been in the need for a drum (thickness) sander for some time. I've just been putting off spending more money. But I got to thinking that it might make more sense for me to get something like this instead of replacing my planer with another. I've had the planer about 4 years and doubt if I've put over 10 hours on it. Okay, I've read all the reviews about burn marks, etc., but I never remove more than 1/32" with my planer anyway, so feed rates and hogging off a lot of stock is not an issue for me. What say the experts?

  2. #2
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    Billy, I have been looking for an excuse to buy one also and will someday. My only thought, I don't know how quickly the glue will "clog" the belt. Then again, don't know if this is an issue to be concerned with. Sorry no help, just what I have tossed around in my head.

  3. #3
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    I have to admit, I've got one of the smaller performax (10 20) cantilevered drum sanders and I love the thing.

    I've used it on making a few cutting boards and it just works great.

    I mainly make small stuff so it's perfect for that.

    What to expect from a drum sander:
    1) It will make the piece you are working on level and smooth

    What not to expect:
    1) That it will be finish ready
    (You'll still have to finish sand most likely as it
    will leave fine lines in the work piece)

    2) It's not a planer. Don't expect to be able to hog
    of a lot of thickness with it.
    Plan on taking lots of very shallow, slow passes.


    So even on edge grain glue ups, the sandpaper lasts a long time and doesn't load up that bad and can be cleaned easy with a rubber crepe thing.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  4. #4
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    Thanks guys! That's about what I was thinking.

    Brent, like I said, I don't even hog our wood with my planer. And I fully expect to have to finish sand. I do even out of the planer even if it doesn't look like it needs it. I'm just fussy that way. The slow part doesn't bother me much either. I'm such a perfectionist I'm slow already... why I don't do woodworking for hire. I just can't make myself rush something and feel good about it.

  5. #5
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    Doh!

    Didn't mean to imply anything. I've just seen some other threads (maybe in other places) where I think folks expected way too much from a rolled up sheet of sandpaper

    I know I've got a pretty lowend drum sander, but I've really been quite happy with it.

    And trust me, some of the cutting boards I've made, I've had some elevations changes of at least an 1/8 to 3/16 or more that needed to be leveled out, and the drum sander just the ticket. Might have taken a little while, but it worked...

    (Oh, and dust collection is mandatory)
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Grove City, Ohio
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    If the drum sander will fill a need in your shop and you have a working (or easily repaired) planer, then go for the sander.
    I do not see these two machines as interchangeable, even though they can perform similar tasks in the shop.
    I think that the drum sander would be great for the segmentation work.
    If you do buy the Grizzly I will be looking forward to your review.

  7. #7
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    ozarks
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    if you`re doing crossgrain surfacing or working with squirrly wood then sanding to thickness is the best bet, but for straight grained work a planer will give you many more feet of surfaced wood for your money and time investment.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    I would love a thickness sander, go that way. You can clean up wood with a sander as easy as with a planer, in fact used wood cleans better and safer with a sander. The grits of the sanding drum or belt can change to hog off thickness and then finer grit for smooth.

    If a planer is not your best tool then go for one that will suit your best needs.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2007
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    Solomons Island, MD
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    23
    I wouldn't get rid of your planer, but I also dont believe you will want that style of drum sander either, heres why, You will be limited to just 12" inches. now your work maybe small and that might be fine, But I believe that later you will want to do something bigger and then you will be limited to that 12". I recommend that you get an open drum sander like a Performax that you can flip the workpiece and do up to 32". I know these cost a little more, but maybe you can look for a good used one, Craigslist, Forum Classifieds, etc. (Stay off Ebay, bad things seem to happen there). I've learned the hard way to get what you want now instead of going low and regretting it and then trying to get your money out of it, you will almost always find yourself paying more.

    I wish you luck what with you ever decide, just offering advice from hard learned experience.


    Scott
    Operation Urgent Fury 83'

  10. #10
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    Dec 2006
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    San Antonio, Texas
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    Been gone all weekend. Thanks for the replies, folks! I still haven't opened the planer back up to identify the problem, but I will soon enough. I'm also not committed one way or the other yet. I just like weighing my options before the time comes. I learned several years ago that buying tools of this nature just because one looks good and "should" do what I want is usually a mistake. I did this with a lather and TS, but have since learned. I wish I could afford and had the space for one of the big drum sanders and planers, but such is not the case. I currently have access to a large commercial plane and drum sander for $2/hour, but I've enjoyed the benefit of having a smaller planer in my shop so I'll likely keep one. But I've also been in the need for a small thickness sander because of my segmentation work so I'll have to weigh out the pros and cons of each, should my current planer not be worth fixing.

    My first thought on sanders was the smaller open ended Performax (or the new Steel City version), but I've read about alignment issues and other problems. Hence my interest in the 12" Griz. I'll figure it out when the time comes.

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