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Thread: Talking to my drum sander

  1. #1
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    Talking to my drum sander

    I bought this overly expensive piece of equipment, thinking it was good at sanding. I bought a Supermax 25/50; mostly to sand burls for making small boxes. This darn thing gums up so easily that I have just given up even using it! I use zirconium belts, at 80,100,120 grit. They always gum up with burl, and pretty much anything but poplar and walnut. What a waste money! Now I'm trying to find the secret trick that will clean this junk off the once used sandpaper without taking it off multiple times and scrubbing it with harsh chemicals. Does anyone out there in maddening gum world know how to get this crud off the paper? Those rubber sticks do not work! I am running very light passes and going through as fast as I can.
    A couple pics.....

    IMG_4823.jpgIMG_4824.jpg
    Where did I put those band aids?

  2. #2
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    What do you consider a light pass? I limit my material removal to no more than .005 - .010 per pass. I’ve also found that 80 grit seems to be the sweet spot For grit on my machine. . Anything finer and the passes have to be impossibly light. Anything more coarse and the finish takes too long to clean up. I find the rubber eraser belt cleaners work very well.

  3. #3
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    How many horsepower is your DC.. Is it at least a 5 inch hose to the sander? that looks like only one dust port smaller then 3 inches. You need two or three 3 inch plus ports use a tee to get there. You might add 3-5 hp of air compressor to run a air arrouser just behind the drum contact. Or probably more efficient to add a regenerative blower.
    Bil lD.
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 10-31-2019 at 12:19 AM.

  4. #4
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    I ran one set of paper, 100 and 150 grit for 2 years and didn't gum up. I have a 5HP dust collector and take no more than .005" per pass. Usually .005". I mostly run oak and walnut. That said, I replaced the paper recent and ran a bit of pine and the new paper gummed up a bit right away. Once in my new space a wide belt machine is high on my list.

  5. #5
    At least one of the supliers of pattern making shops sells a "pitch solvent" that can be used on sand paper.

  6. #6
    I just cleaned a couple belts on my 25/50 sander with Simplegreen and it does a pretty good job. I roll the belt up, place it in a container of full strength Simplegreen and soak it for 24 hrs. I then unroll it and hit it with a nylon brush to loosen up any gunk adhered to the belt and soak it for another 24 hrs. Then rinse with plenty of tap water and dry.

  7. #7
    Not sure what to say. I have a Jet 16-32 that is used every day. I run walnut, cherry, pecan, maple, cypress, pine, cedar, ipe, wenge, koa, mango, and probably some others i am forgetting through it. The belts have been fine. I have stuck with 80 grit belts and they have held up very well with a little touch of the rubber stick now and then. I think they might have even been fine without the rubber stick.

    I take light passes, but not crazy light. At times I have been a little impatient and gone a little heavy on the pass and still been okay. Basically it has been pretty forgiving.

    I have seen a little burning in spots on the cherry and on the koa if i am not careful, but even then the belt looked okay.

    It may help that I generally run only short pieces through it. That may mean that it doesn't have time to heat up as much, I don't know.

    I have a 2HP DC hooked up directly to the sander (there is a Y connector and the other side of the Y has a gate that I close when using the sander), so I get pretty hood airflow.

    Edit, I should mention I did have much more trouble with belts clogging up on my previous machine, a Jet 10-20. I liked it okay until I had the new machine and realized how much better it worked. Not sure if the difference is airflow or what. I upgraded the DC at the same time, so the clogging may be mostly that. There are a lot of other ways that the new one is MUCH nicer though.
    Last edited by Pete Staehling; 10-31-2019 at 8:36 AM.

  8. #8
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    that looks like dust consolidation to me. I'd try to improve your vacuum.

  9. #9
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    Anything with pitch will gum up, so I don't even try anymore.

    I found a power washer removes most stuff off gummed up sanding strips.
    John

  10. #10
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    Seems like the response is pretty consistent. Sanding pitching material will leave pitch. I sand some pretty figured materials and have yet to see anything like what you are getting. Is the material coming from a supplier who processes/dries it well? Maybe an alternate supplier?
    I am familiar with modern idioms but they are outside the vocabulary of what I want to say.

    - George Dyson (composer)

  11. #11
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    I have a dust collector that hits 500A on start up and I have the same problem op. I think the head spins to fast. Unfortunately for me it's a necessity for the work I do.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dueane Hicks View Post
    I am running very light passes and going through as fast as I can.
    Dueane
    I've never found that setting the speed to fast helped with my drum sanders.
    My 3HP, 27" dual drum sander takes very light passes,and the speed is definitely not "fast".
    Some woods do give me issues, and I have used a rag with acetone in between passes to wipe the board down with some success. Never tried to run burl of any type though.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    How many horsepower is your DC.. Is it at least a 5 inch hose to the sander? that looks like only one dust port smaller then 3 inches. You need two or three 3 inch plus ports use a tee to get there. You might add 3-5 hp of air compressor to run a air arrouser just behind the drum contact. Or probably more efficient to add a regenerative blower.
    Bil lD.

    Its a 1200 cfm 4"; I think the problem might be the type of wood I'm running through it.
    Where did I put those band aids?

  14. #14
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    I guess I'll chock it up to sticky wood species. It was a large box of silver maple burls, all about an inch thick. I don't seem to have this trouble with other woods like mahogany or oak. I'm not impressed with the paper I got either.
    Where did I put those band aids?

  15. #15
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    The drum to the right shows the dust flow is not enough about one pipe diameter from the center dust port there starts to be loose dust stuck to the drum clear to the ends. Bu then that theory falls apart on the left hand drum.
    Bill D.
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 11-01-2019 at 12:58 PM.

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