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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking into getting a wide drum sander, I wouldn't have a problem with a wide belt sander though keep in mind I do not have three phase power. The upper end of my budget for it will be around $2500-3,000. I would rather spend 1500 or so on a solid used machine but that's no always possible. Want 27" width as a minimum and wider is always better so I've been leaning towards the open end machines.

I would love to hear from those that have the machines or are very familiar with them. Not very interested in debating their necessity, though I'm open to other ideas if you have them. Thanks for your input.

Tyler
 

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Sawdust Creator
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First question....where do you live as pointing out used ones will be difficult if we're using earth as your location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I live in East Texas, travel to Dallas fairly regularly on business. I can likely do the legwork on finding a unit (though a heads up on a good deal is always appreciated) But I'm more looking to hear opinions on specific machines. Open vs closed, oscillating vs standard, drum vs lower end wide belt. Also what brands seem to have a superior design etc.
 

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If I were in the market, a wide belt would be my choice. I hear too many issues about drum sanders being very difficult to operate, replace the paper, etc.
Bill
 

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Machine Machine tool Office equipment

I am very happy with the shopfox w1678

I have used it to sand doors and bubinga veneer once. I have had no problem as of yet sanding thinner than the specified minimum thickness. I have sanded to 1/8 inch with no problem on my machine. I am just a hobbyist but the machine appears to be well built and the speed adjustment on the conveyor can be slowed to nearly a stop. My 2 cents
 

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Not trying to be the least bit negative.But,besides price.....the bigger the sander(sort of irrespective of "style")....the more dust collection,power,floor realestate they eat.

Just consider the overall impact.Very useful tool/equipment......but it comes with a bigger price tag than whats hangin on the machine.Best of luck with your decision.
 

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I bought a Performax Super max for a school shop, huge industrial dust collector system. It was practically useless. Without oscillation, the sandpaper would load and start burning the work. At times you could get a few pieces through without problems but that was the exception. It didn't matter what I sanded, how slow or fast I went, how light the cut was or what grit I used. It would suddenly start burning half way through and ruin the work piece. Replacing the paper was expensive and you have to cut the rolls with a long taper on each end to fit the drum and correctly fit in the keepers.

I spent several years working in some architectural cabinet shops where we had Timesavers, Butferings or Northtech wide belts. These run from the 20,000s to 100,000s. Not everyone in these shops had permission to operate the wide belts. Set up could be a little tricky. I didn't expect the Performax to be on a par with these machines but I thought it would do some basic work.

I taught carpentry and cabinetmaking. One of the drills I used to teach was doing layout for building house walls. I used 1x3x16s for my students to practice on, simulating top or bottom plates. I would hand out a house blueprint and students would layout the window ROs, doors, partition leads, studs, jacks and cripples on the 1x3s just like a carpenter would do with the plates. We would do this numerous times throughout the year until everyone was competent. One use I wanted the sander for was to run these 1x3s to remove the pencil marks so I could reuse the pieces. I would have 15-30 students, typically three 1x3s per student. I would seldom get 4 or 5 pieces through the sander before it started burning in some area. I wasn't looking for a fine finish, even a kiss with 60 grit would have been fine but the sander couldn't do it. No way could I use fine grits for actual work. Maybe if all I did was a couple short, narrow pieces on rare occasions but not for regular use. You always ran the risk of burning the work half way through.

Non oscillating drum sanders, open or closed end, will only work for hobbyists doing small volumes. The cost of the paper will be substantial. You need serious dust collection for any of these sanders. There are some single phase sanders out there. They use belts, not a wrap around the drum. They also require compressed air and typically a dedicated electrical set up. If you are in the business and need a decent widebelt, you'll have to pay more than your budget. Used sanders I'm leery of, since it can be a real chore to fix if they have been misused or abused. Leasing to own can be a great option. You'll be able to see if the machine works for your needs without purchasing and change if needed.

I have no experience with this machine and don't know the price but it's typical of entry level, single phase widebelts.
http://www.wwthayer.com/Sanders-Ramco-Open-Wide-Belt-Sanders.asp
 

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If you want more than 27", it will get pricey. I had an old Beach 36" drum sander bought used from a new/used machinery business. It was a dream. Would make nice single passes. Most likely if you find an old machine that big it will be 3PH. You might just replace the motor with a 220V, 1PH.

Or, a stroke sander might fit your needs. It would be less costly.






.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the input guys, lots to think about still. Dust collection isn't really an issue, I have a huge unit. There's a 22" open end oscillating drum unit that I've been contemplating. Still open to any suggestions.
 

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I recently got a used drum sander from a guy that upgraded to a bigger machine, while there I noticed an open end type and ask him about it. He said it was a POS reason being when used as an open end, the unsupported end has a wider gap over the width..
 
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