Advice Needed- Drum Sander or Belt Sander - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-04-2017, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Advice Needed- Drum Sander or Belt Sander

I've been looking to add a drum sander or a belt sander and I've come across a Jet Performax 16-32 Plus on Craigslist. Sander appears to be in good condition with no noticeable issues. It is roughly 5 years old, but the owner claims he's only used it a handful of times and has never replaced the paper. I enjoy building end grain cutting boards and little keepsake boxes which is what this will be used for. Do I need a drum sander, or would I be fine with a nice belt sander? I don't do it professionally I'm just a hobbiest. I know the drum sander would be much quicker and easier, but then again I'm not building them daily either. He's asking $650 for the sander, but I can purchase a top rated belt sander new for approx. $250. If a belt sander isn't a good option is his asking price fair, or is he on the high side? I appreciate any input.

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post #2 of 6 Old 07-04-2017, 05:21 AM
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When you say belt sander, are you talking a handheld belt sander? Guessing so, based on the price you quoted, but wanted to make sure

If you are, then a handheld belt sander and a thickness sander (drum sander, same tool different name) aren't horribly comparable tools. A thickness sander not only smooths a workpiece, it also brings it to a uniform thickness. And does a pretty good job flattening the piece as well. Personally, if I could swing it cash wise I'd go for the drum sander any day of the week just for the cutting boards, it'll clean them up faster with better results than a belt sander.

Honestly, for flattening and cleaning up cutting boards and keepsake boxes, I'd go for a low angle block plane before a belt sander. Not too fond of belt sanders, they work okay but when things go south, they go fast
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-04-2017, 08:32 AM
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I never have liked a drum sander. If for any reason the wood hesitates going through one it digs a ditch in the wood that is H to get out. What I like is a stroke sander. It's more versatile than other type of sanders however takes up a lot of space.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-04-2017, 12:06 PM
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A hand held belt sander will be difficult for a new to it person to control well. The drum sander you listed will work, slowly and like someone said will dig in whenever the feed slows. Changing paper on them is also slow. I have both a widebelt sander (too expensive for your use) and an old stroke sander that I bought for $200. It works great and is fairly easy to control. You can order belts of any size/grit from industrial abrasive suppliers.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-04-2017, 02:19 PM
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I too have a stroke sander, damn it is nice when you are building a bunch of doors, but I am looking for a 37 in Timesaver

But I agree with everything else said, I was going to get a drum sander but was talked out of it a couple yars ago
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-04-2017, 04:48 PM
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I have both hand and drum....

The hand held belt sander comes in several flavors... 3" wide and 4" wide and there may even be a 2" wide. Same for drum sanders, mine are a 12" Baby Grizzly and a 24" dual drum General Industries, one of the best.

Here's what I do know, the hand held has a learning curve that takes about a month or two of serious use. I've used one for years and it still takes a "break in" period to get it right without making strips or gouging. The drum sanders are finicky about depth of cut. Too much, and it will stall and sand a trench across the work. Too little, and it doesn't seem like it's doing anything, so there's a happy medium.

I don't know anything about the cantilevered style Jets which is what you posted. Anything cantilevered just doesn't seem right to me, but they may work perfectly fine ... I donno? The 16" width would be great for cutting boards, so maybe it's a good choice.
Probably best to get first hand advice or at least read the reviews in the woodworking mags or Amazon.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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