If you decide to take the plunge and buy a drum sander, youH probably wonder how you got along without one. Like any other machine, there are some things you should know about the drum sander that will help optimize its performance. Here are some tips:
• Be realistic—A drum sander is not a substitute for a thickness planer. It can thickness boards like a planer, but if that's the main job you'll be using it for. a planer would be a better choice. You'll get a better finish with several light passes instead of a single heavy pass. Your sandpaper will last longer, too.
• Use an adequate dust collection system—The bigger drum sanders require high-capacity dust collection.
• Clean the drum's abrasive paper often—Gum rubber cleaning slicks work well to keep the abrasive clean. If the paper stretches after a period of use, rewrap it lo lake up the slack.
• Start with a slow feed speed at first—After using the sander awhile, you'll know how fast you can feed the stock without burning or clogging the abrasive.
• When the abrasive paper no longer cuts well, even if it's clean, it's time to replace it—The service life of abrasive paper depends on wood type, feed speed and depth-of-cut, so, as you might expect, it varies widely.
• Use auxiliary stands or rollers to support long boards or frames as they enter and exit the sander—Otherwise, if the stock tips up or down, it's very easy to get gouges or snipes from the sanding drum.—D.S.
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A Fitting Home for Your Finest Flatware
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