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  #1  
Old 09-18-2017, 08:27 AM
lizzard lizzard is offline
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Default Opinions on thickness sanders

I tooling up fo an electric line. I need to find an accurate, affordable, and durable thickness sander. This will be solid/chamberd electrics.

Any help?

Chris
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:23 PM
printer2 printer2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
I tooling up fo an electric line. I need to find an accurate, affordable, and durable thickness sander. This will be solid/chamberd electrics.

Any help?

Chris
That sounds like, I want it quick, accurate and cheap (can't remember the exact words), sure you could have it but pick two, as the saying goes.
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:51 PM
Martin Keith Martin Keith is offline
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I use the Delta 18-36. I like it because it has a fixed sanding drum and a moving conveyor, which seems to me like the more reliably solid approach (as opposed to a moving sanding drum and fixed-height conveyor). All the widebelt-style sanders have moving conveyors.

I further improved the machine by enclosing the "open" end with a custom-bent 1/4" thick aluminum plate, which greatly improved the rigidity and efficiency of the machine. However, even before this mod, it was a fairly solid machine and I've done plenty of work with it.

I just saw another builder sing the praises of the new Supermax machine.
It has the moving drum design that I don't prefer, but he said it was very rigid/accurate and, in his mind, a step up from the Delta he'd had before.

For solidbodies, where the thicknesses are not as critical, any one of these machines will be adequate. For acoustics where you're targeting thicknesses to tolerances of .005" or less, you have to be a bit more fussy.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:03 PM
Halcyon/Tinker Halcyon/Tinker is offline
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Like when people ask here about guitars, you need to state your budget.

I also have a Delta 18-36 and it works, painfully slow, but it does the job eventually.

It is obsolete however, so finding parts is a crapshoot.

I've had my eye on a jet 22-44 oscillating sander, but if you can step into a wide belt you'd be a lot happier.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:40 PM
SMan SMan is offline
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I bought a Grizzly open end drum sander and then lent it to my buddy because I wasn't ready for it (and there it stayed). He tells me it works great. He has thicknessed both acoustic sets and solid bodies. Some day I hope to use it myself.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/18-1...m-Sander/G0458
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:47 PM
tadol tadol is offline
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In the "old" days, they'd make them themselves - a hand turned drum with a inclined bed underneath, cheap, could be accurate, but earned the nickname "widowmaker" -

The Performax/Jet line are nice - the wider ones nicer not because of the extra width, but because you have more drum area to use before you need to change the paper. The drawback to them is because only one side is anchored, they tend to have tiny issues with parallelism between the head and the bed - nothing that would seriously affect most cabinet or furnituremakers, but potentially problematic for luthiers. Better units have heads that are fixed at both ends, and can be fine tuned to be absolutely parallel. Grizzly has a pretty nice one -

When evaluating any of these, make sure you have a dust collector that can move an adequate volume of air to pull all the dust, and has filters fine enough to trap it - without really good dust collection, the best sander units will be pretty much useless, but great dust collection can make the lesser sanders quite tolerable -
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:22 AM
N K Forster N K Forster is offline
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I had one of the Jet machines - I used it once and put it on eBay. After using an industrial machine in a Kitchen shop for years, the Jet was a joke. A bad one!

Now I' do what I've always done and what we did when I worked for Stefan Sobell - visit a local machine shop who has one of the big €10K machines and hire it by the hour every few weeks. That way, I get superior, faster results and it costs me around €200 a year.Maintaining the machine is someone else's job. And I'm not tying up thousands in a machine that gets used only a few times a year.

Here is a video I made about it:



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Old 09-26-2017, 08:12 AM
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Bill Kraus Bill Kraus is offline
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Default Woodmaster sander

I am not sure what your price range is, but I purchased a woodmaster W-2675 at the recommendation of a furniture making friend of mine. This machine has been running in my shop since 2004 with no problems. It has a 24" fixed drum with adjustable height infeed table. much more affordable than a belt style thickness sander, although it's a bit slower. I find that it is perfect for lutherie. I could not be happier with this machine. Made in the US.

http://www.woodmasterdrumsanders.com...tail.cfm?PID=2
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
I tooling up fo an electric line. I need to find an accurate, affordable, and durable thickness sander. This will be solid/chamberd electrics.

Any help?

Chris
"Affordable" can only be defined by you and it depends on your budget and how fast you want to remove wood. I started out with a Performax 16-32 which I still own. As previously said, drum sanders are painfully slow and will get the job done (if) time is on your side? Another downside is the drum turns too fast and generates a lot of surface heat, which burns some wood. If you are working with oily and resinous woods then the resins will QUICKLY load up your sand paper and aggravate the issue. Therefore, you will need to change sand paper quite often, which can be expensive and a pain in the keester.

After I got fed up with my drum sander, I took the plunge and bought a Grizzly 18" wide belt sander. Wow, what a world of difference a wide belt sander makes. What took 30 minutes to sand on the drum sander, takes 2 minutes on the wide belt sander. The wide belts don't load up with resin and you can take much more aggressive cuts to remove wood. Wide belt sanders are not inexpensive but as they say, time is money. Only you can decide which one you can justify.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:40 AM
RogerC RogerC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMan View Post
I bought a Grizzly open end drum sander and then lent it to my buddy because I wasn't ready for it (and there it stayed). He tells me it works great. He has thicknessed both acoustic sets and solid bodies. Some day I hope to use it myself.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/18-1...m-Sander/G0458
I just picked up one of these a few weeks ago after years of lamenting the lack of one. I got mine used off CL for very cheap, but it was in immaculate condition. As others have said, a drum sander isn't a good way to thickness material (not what they're for), but I use mine to do the final leveling/removing snipe after the planer, and it works great.
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:05 AM
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As Tim said, there is no comparison between a widebelt sander and a drum sander. I bought a Grizzly open end widebelt sander for our school shop and it is great. Not without some quirks but they are manageable. With a 60 grit belt you can remove some serious stock fairly fast. Then one pass with a 220 belt and it comes out smooth. Its ideal.

At my home shop I can't justify something like that and don't have (or want to deal with) the infrastructure to support it (it "wants" a 50 amp circuit! and dedicated air). I run a performax 10-20 which is great for delicate purfling thicknessing and things like that but completely inadequate for any sort of production work.

Nigel's approach makes a lot of sense too. Tool upkeep and maintenance is something many people don't discuss but is an important part of running a shop and can eat up whole days at the worst times.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:24 AM
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Too many variables. What's your budget, width requirement, how fast do you need it to perform in?
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2017, 10:35 AM
Halcyon/Tinker Halcyon/Tinker is offline
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I sure do miss the 36x108 Timesaver. Going down to the 18x36 drum sander was a real buzzkill. I bought it because once I started getting into the intricacies of individually voicing every guitar, I needed a tool for thicknessing tops in my own shop so I could do it as needed, rather than trying to foresee what a batch of wood would require in the future, since every single piece is a different thickness.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:41 AM
Truckjohn Truckjohn is offline
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Yes.. Important to decide how much you will use it and how much you intend to spend. Important also to decide what you may use it for - look at expanding capabilities if necessary... A 16" wide unit will likely handle most electric duty... An 18" or 22" wide unit if you want to get into Acoustics...

I have the Jet Performax 22-44. Its great for my building hobby where I do a few a year and also play around with resawing (*cough* wrecking) guitar wood.... It is slow, but plenty accurate. If I was "Going into Production" and time really was money - I would re-evaluate to verify it still met my needs...

As it stands - it's far from my guitar making bottleneck... Finishing is my bottleneck.. But I would upgrade my bandsaw well before I went after the sander.... Big changes to my sander is very very low on the list.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:57 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzard View Post
I tooling up fo an electric line. I need to find an accurate, affordable, and durable thickness sander. This will be solid/chamberd electrics.

Any help?

Chris
Why won't a 15" planer do for electrics? Cheaper and faster than a good sander. You need to finish sand anyway.

And doesn't this thread belong in "Build and Repair?"
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