WTB Drum Sander (20” or more)

Bill_L

Bill
Senior User
I’m interested in purchasing a drum sander. I plan to make some chess boards so that’s why I went with the 20”. I’d like a 19” / 38” so I could run the board through once as the boards are usually around 18”. I’d take a 10” / 20” too as I don’t have a ton of space. And if I get a drum sander I’m going to need a real dust collection system. That may be a new WTB post.

I don’t feel knowledgeable enough to buy used from FB or CL but trust the folks on this forum.

Thanks in advance.
 

ShortRound84

ShortRound
User
Hi Bill,

When I went through this process, I was told to avoid any older performax or delta models. Go with a recent model by Jet or Supermax if you can find one. I found a great deal (pre pandemic) on a Supermax 25-50 and it is awesome. Belt tracking stays true and leveling the drum to the bed is very straight forward.

I wasn’t sure how much I’d use it, but it gets used on almost every project. I actually just finished 2 chessboards, one in teak/holly the other curly maple/walnut, and the drum sander was indispensable. Leveling thin panels, cleaning up bandsaw marks, precision thicknessing, all become easy. Hope that helps.
 

LeoinTR

New User
Leo
Short,
Do you know why you were told to avoid older deltas? I'm looking at one right now that seems like a good deal. Mostly because a new one is fairly cost prohibitive for me at this point. I was actually getting pretty excited about it until I read your advice...
Thanks
 

ShortRound84

ShortRound
User
I read through some threads about the delta drum sanders where the belt tracking adjustment was tough to get right and needed to be adjusted each time the machine was used. For me that was a non-starter. Any machine that needs finicky adjustment I tend to stop using. Here's an example of the type of reviews/threads I read: 31-255X Delta X5 18" x 36" Drum Sander-Discontinued by Delta. Basically, poor table adjustment and tracking design. I wanted a drum sander that I could walk over to, adjust the height, and it would work. Drum sanders can screw up your almost-finished project in a hurry if the work piece pauses under the drum for any reason. That's why the auto adjusting belt speed in the later model Jet and Supermax models is so awesome.

As I remember it, I read that the evolution of drum sanders went from finicky (early Performax, Delta, possibly Grizzly etc.) to pretty good (later Performax, Jet) to awesome (Supermax, later model Jet). Like anything, some people love their Delta/Performax/Grizzly drum sanders... I went with the Supermax brand for its excellent reputation and when I called customer service, I spoke to a technical rep at their headquarters in St Paul MN who knew his stuff. He helped me get my used machine back in spec in <5 min (pressure rollers were set incorrectly).

The resale value is also high on Supermax machines (because of this reputation I suspect).

My only caveat is much of this info is hear-say, I've only ever used the drum sander I own, but its awesome!

I agree with RWE2156, my Supermax dust collection is great, as long as I remember to turn on the dust collector :rolleyes:.
 

ShortRound84

ShortRound
User
Here's the chess boards. Came out ok I think.

chess board 2.jpg

chess board 1.jpg
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
I have had issues with tracking on my Supermax.

After destroying a conveyor belt (and damaging another one) I think I've got the issue solved - a gap between one of the roller bushings and the bracket.

Also, the adjusting lever was turning whole screw, tightening the screw head solved that.

Very nice checkerboards!!!
 

LeoinTR

New User
Leo
Thank you for your insight. I'm so glad I found this community.

I've got a set of painted doors coming up, and I think I'll roll the dice with the Delta. I worked the expense into my bid, so at least it won't hurt so bad if it's a flop.
 

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