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wide drum sanders


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Does anyone have any experience of using a wide drum sander? I have seen them in the Axminster caclogue and elsewhere. Do they work? I want one pimarily for sanding kitchen cabinet doors. I woould love a wide belt sander ,but have niether the funds or the 3 phsae power needed to run one. so i am looking at a 24" drum sander. Anyone any thoughts??

Chris Knight

Established Member
14 Jan 2004
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SE London - NW Kent
I have a Performax 22-44 sander. This is a good unit for sanding wide glued up panels or anything that needs to be brought to a constant thickness. It excels for repetitious tasks of this nature (eg where you have lots of things that need to be the same thickness.

I would not however consider it by any stretch of the imagination as suitable ro producing a finished surface for and transparent finish - maybe OK for painted surfaces. Unless one changes sanding material several times during the job to progressively finer grits, the longitudinal parallel scratches that the sander leaves are too obvious and objectionable.

I always use a smoothing plane and/or scraper on panels I have sanded with this machine. I would not use it for frame and panel doors where either the rails or the stiles will be sanded across the grain.

You can get minor snipe at the ends of the panel - like a planer can produce. Also the edges that enter and leave the drum area can become slightly rounded.

You can only remove 1/64th inch in each pass, whatever grit you are using as on a wide panel, any more bogs down the motor.