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Grizzly Baby Drum Sander

Grizzly Baby Drum SanderI'm glad I bought it when I did, it has since gotten noticeably more expensive. Drum sanders are not very efficient at stock removal and I've tripped the circuit breaker (20 amp house circuit) more than a few times. It does do a good job of cleanup and does provide a pretty decent surface when using 150 grit. I use 220 on a random orbital to finish up. Because shop space is tight I have it on a furniture dolly which works well (not uncomfortably low). I did have two quality control issues, a stripped plastic gear in the belt drive motor and velcro that delaminated from the sandpaper. Both were taken care of by Grizzly at no cost to me... delamination is an issue with my replacement paper as well.

Grizzly Baby Drum SanderAug, '10: A couple of years later the drive belt motor broke. It turns out that Grizzly is on their fourth drive design and I am not the only person that has had this problem. Three out of the four negative reviews at Amazon are because of drive belt motor breakage. The latest design is direct drive - the motor is mounted to the end of the drive drum/shaft - and a retrofit kit is supposed to be available sometime in Aug ('10). Instead of waiting and hoping for a good discount on the $180? price, I went the DIY route. I was hesitant to try a DC motor that might not work with the existing controller (~75VDC max for a 110VDC labeled motor?). I ended up getting a brand new AC gearmotor (Bodine) on eBay for $70 shipped. The 19RPM runs the conveyor belt close to the same speed (~11FPM w/ 1:1 sprockets) that I used to run it (pointer straight up) and the 100in-lbs of torque is probably overkill (43in-lbs is pretty common on bigger sanders). All in all it was a time consuming PITA.
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Oscillating Drum Sander

Oscillating Drum SanderA bunch of CVG Fir edges were causing me grief. Its not the first time I've had issues with edges that the joiner couldn't fix. The cheap Grizzly has the guts and separate plastic housing both screwed to a piece of laminated MDF. I mounted the guts to a piece of 1" MDF that fit in an old router hole on my saw table extension. Its not ideal for straight line sanding but it does a pretty decent job. A slow and steady feed and taking a second pass (without moving the fence) are important.
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Performax 10-20 Plus

Performax_10-20_Plus.jpgNeeding to make custom edgebanding stock for my Holz-Her 1432 CP/B finally motivated me to buy a drum sander. Most of my other needs are cleaning up stock S4S material, i.e. surfacing VS thicknessing. A drum sander seems like it would be better than a planer for my needs.

I was going to buy mine from Amazon for $487 shipped when I saw an auction on eBay and was able to get one for ~$50 less. While advertised as new and in perfect perfect condition it was not. It arrived with a bent Foot Plate. Upon further inspection I discovered the damage extended to a bent Base Assembly (Images).

The bent base shows where this machine is weak and can flex, how the sanded board might come out of the machine slightly thicker on the edge of the board that was on the open side of the machine.

Since I bought/returned the Performax, Grizzly has come out with a 12" drum sander and that is the machine I now own. While I don't like the drum setup (taping the paper on), I do like the four post/closed end design. Even if I thought the quality of a double pass on the Performax 10-20 would be to my satisfaction, 20" would be too small for any job where the 12" Grizzly was too small (e.g. cabinet doors). For the boards and edging I need a sander for, 12" is plenty.
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Lakeside Industrial Parts Supply Inc.
Parts "for Holz-Her edgebanders and panel saws, and Kundig sanders which are available at substantial discounts!"
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