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Rocky R
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to purchase a used Performax 16-32 Plus sander from a friend; however, I'm not sure if they are still in business. When I Google it, I do see a Jet 16-32 sander that looks similar. Is this the same company? My concern is getting replacement parts if needed. Any thoughts, folks?

Thanks
 

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I believe it's the same sander, Rocky. However, I'd pass on it. I sold mine 3 months after I bought it. I never could keep it aligned and the carrier belt was starting to come apart at the seam. Not worth the hassle.
 

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Performax was purchased by the parent of Jet, WHT. They kept the name for awhile, but eventually changed to Jet and associated white paint scheme.

Parts should be available from Jet.

Some folks love drum sanders, others hate them.

I have a Performax 16/32, purchased in the late 90's. I initially had the same problem mentioned by Gene Howe - my conveyor belt would not track properly. At the time this was new, called Performax and they told me the same as the instructions. I could never get it to track correctly.

I later ruined the belt by sanding thin material (< 1/8in) for a friend. The drum contacted the belt in spots and the belt lost its abrasive, so the wood slipped.

I bit the bullet and purchased a new belt. Tracking problem solved. So the original belt was the issue.

The drum sander produces a LOT of heat. Take light passes, as in 1/4 or max 1/2 turn.
Drum sanders can easily burn the wood. I had some instances when I put on a new strip of abrasive and the first pass developed gum/resion streaks which burned the wood and I had to throw away the strip. This was with very light passes. Some woods more than others.

It is very easy to burn the wood with a drum sander. The heat can melt resins in the wood, they solidify on the belt, then burn the wood. If you see dark streaks, this is what happened.

I switched to the Klingspor blue zirconia abrasive. More expensive, but it develops much less heat and so far has not gummed up, so I actually get good yield.

http://www.woodworkingshop.com/categ...MINUM+ZIRCONIA

Another problem I had was that no matter how I fed the wood, and despite the light passes, I would get a dip in the centre of the wood compared to the ends. Since I only have used this one drum sander, I cannot tell if it is my technique vs the machine.
 

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crosseyed & dyslexic
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I just purchased the Jet 16-32 last weekend. The enclosed dvd which came with the sander still features the Performax version of this sander, the only difference I could see is the one I bought has a 4" dust port where the Performax came with a 2 1/2"?
It took me a little while to get it setup properly, I have to admit the belt tracking does require a light touch. If you are used to tracking a band saw or belt sander there should be no problem. The only major difference I found was how long it took to really see what your adjustments did. the movement of the belt does take a minute or two, so DON'T over adjust.
I haven't put a lot of wood thru it as of now, but what I did came out great! I'm really looking forward to using this unit.

Dave, thanks for the heads up on the "blue" I'm on it.
 

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A closed sander would eliminate the alignment problems I had. I should have been more specific. It was the head alignment that gave me fits. I could never get it to stay parallel. Wood came out thinner on the open side. Very frustrating.
Since thicknessing wasn't my aim, flatness was, I eventually bought a "V Sander" kit from Stockroom supply. Have never looked back.
 

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Rocky R
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A closed sander would eliminate the alignment problems I had. I should have been more specific. It was the head alignment that gave me fits. I could never get it to stay parallel. Wood came out thinner on the open side. Very frustrating.
Since thicknessing wasn't my aim, flatness was, I eventually bought a "V Sander" kit from Stockroom supply. Have never looked back.
Thanks. What is a "V sander kit"?
 

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Thanks. What is a "V sander kit"?
A Canadian company called Stock Room Supply sell a kit to make a different style of drum sander called a FlatMaster, where the drum is under the table. The drum mounts on a V shaped piece of steel.

See this thread. I have a 30in FlatMaster and prefer it to the Performax, but it is not cheap. I was pondering about mentioning, but your original question was about purchasing a Performax.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f12/16-drum-sander-48978/
 
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