• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Performax 16-32 Drum Sander

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Steve Maskery

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2004
Messages
11,799
Reaction score
142
Location
Kirkby-in-Ashfield
This is one of my newer acquisitions, I've had it about a year. I'm very pleased with it.
It arrived in a couple of very large and heavy boxes, and my friend and I spent a couple o hours putting it all together. We had some trouble, but that was us being stupid, trying to make it considerably more difficult than it actually was. It came with lockable wheels (very useful) and a selection of abrasives. Also a bit of bent wire which is supposed to make changing the rolls easier – I never use it.
Roll-changing is surprisingly easy. The drum has a spring clip at each end. You lift the lever, slid the point of your roll in, wind it on and do the same at the far end. This one is not quite so easy to handle, hence the bit of bent wire, but I soon got the knack. I can now remove a belt and replace it with a new one in under 2 minutes without rushing.
The main arm is adjustable for parallel and is quite solid in use, provided you don't do something stupid like lean on it, when it will move enough to show on your sanded surface. The feed rate is adjustable and works well.
If sanding very long pieces, you will need extra support, and if you let the end drop, you will get snipe like on a P/T. Similarly, if you are sanding a large rectangular frame, you need to make sure that the part hanging out over the side does not lift the part under the drum up into the drum itself. With care, the finish produced is excellent.
I have a couple of small gripes. The machine takes 3" abrasives. You cannot use 4½" stuff that is widely available, as the end does not end up at the right place on the circumference of the drum. So you have to buy the proper Performax rolls, or rip standard stuff down to 3".
Dust extraction is good now, but when it arrived, the spigot on the top cover did not fit into my dust extractor (when all my other machines do), so I had to scrape it down to size.
Make sure you keep your paper clean. If it gets clogged, it is very easy to burn a stripe down your workpiece. I've done this recently on a cherry bookcase. Nothing for it but to go back a couple of grits and start again.
The rise and fall handle works in the opposite direction to may RA saw, so I have painted on it which way is up! (I have a similar problem with the switches on my Bosch / DW cordless drills. Why can't manufacturers agree on which way is clockwise?).
All in all I've very satisfied with it, it makes finishing so much easier.
Highly recommended.
 

johnjin

Established Member
Joined
11 Nov 2003
Messages
620
Reaction score
0
Location
Whaplode Lincolnshire
Hi Steve

That was a very nice review on another of the less commonly known about machines. Always very interesting to learn more about these tools from the people who use them, and to file it away for a rainy day, so to speak.
Thanks for taking the trouble.

All the best

John
 

johnelliott

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2003
Messages
1,105
Reaction score
0
Location
Near Swindon, Wiltshire
Thanks for the review, Steve. Would you say that this machine is a quick way of sanding wood? I've often wondered whether the motor is powerful enough.
John
 

Steve Maskery

Established Member
Joined
26 Apr 2004
Messages
11,799
Reaction score
142
Location
Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Quick, yes, but not instant!
Also, as I've just been conversing with CHris about, it is a workhorse sander, not a finishing sander. It is unrealistic to expect a surface that can be French polished. I usually sand up to 180 with the machine, then 180 and upwards with my ROS, finishing by hand with the grain.
Cheers
Steve
 

Ian Dalziel

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2004
Messages
568
Reaction score
0
Location
Scotland
Steve,
Good review, I really need to get my finger out and do some myself, I have the 22-44 it’s big brother, which has exactly the same good points and bad, the only downside on mine is I cannot clean the sandpaper roll with a normal belt cleaner as the guard round it seems to have a magnetic proximity switch which doesn’t allow the machine to run with the guard off, not that I ever do, I have since found a flat belt cleaner which does the job well. Just run it through the same way as a piece of wood Belts and spares are available from finishing techniques 01706 825819 contact richard ainsworth they were the original performax importers, they also sometimes have second hand machines available.

Regards
Ian
 

Chris Knight

Established Member
Joined
14 Jan 2004
Messages
6,641
Reaction score
3
Location
SE London - NW Kent
I have the 22-44 as well and my experiences largely parallel Steve's. I do find that the sander leaves annoying scratches and because they run the length of whatever you are sanding and they are so precisely parallel, they are very visible, so I scrape or ROS them out.

I simply tricked my proxomity switch into thinking it was connected by taping a bit of metal to it and happily take the cover off to use a belt cleaner. It is put on by the importers, the USA model doesn't have them - or at least they did not when I bought mine a few years ago.

The thing comes into its own for table tops and the like. If you have edge glued a big table or panel and left it a bit fat then the Performax is brilliant at reducing it to the right thickness. You can take off about a 64th of an inch at time with a 120 grit belt and there is ample power for this. I have been caught out a couple of times with trying to overdo it and then the machine cuts out (I think it is a thermal overload cut-out). To reset it you have to undo the cover of the switchgear on mine - there is no external reset button.

If you want to sand very thin material, it is best to put it on a carrier, I have sanded thin material on the main platten/abrasive carrier belt but then the rotating drum can abrade the carrier belt and quickly wear it out. This is because if you leave the machine shut off for long periods, the carrier belt can develop a few semi-permanent humps where it passes around the end rollers.
 
Top