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Thread: 60 to 120 grit jump on Drum Sander

  1. #1
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    60 to 120 grit jump on Drum Sander

    Could I jump from 60 to 120 grit on the drum sander or is that too big of a gap? I have a bit of 120 laying around and wanted to pick up some 60 to flatten a bad cutting board glue up on my part but am not sure if that is too big of a gap between grits.

    Secondarily, what brand paper are peoples favorite these days? I'm in a bind today so have to likely get supermax as that's all they'll have in person but am curious what others are using.

  2. #2
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    I use the supermax or klingspor paper & can't see any difference. I flatten panels at 60 grit then switch to random orbit sander to remove the scratch marks.

    I might be in the minority, but I never go through the grit sequence on my drum sander. I use one grit to remove what I need then switch to the RO. I find that even at higher grits the drum sander makes more pronounced scratches.

  3. #3
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    I pretty much only use 100 on my drum sander for leveling and thicknessing...and like Bob, move to the ROS for finish sanding.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    I use only 80. It is not worth my time to use the higher grits.
    Charlie Jones

  5. #5
    Should not be too big of a jump. I go to up to 220 grit occasionally. only takes a second to change paper. Check out Keystone Abrasives for new paper.

  6. #6
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    I'm going to go against the grain and say it is too big of a jump if you are only going to do one pass with the 120.

    Now if you were going to do 3 passes with the 120 (maybe 2 could work) then yes. All that requires is a teensy weensy lowering of the drum and sending it through again. Also experiment with sending the stock through a second time without lowering the drum. But 60 grit scratches are deep! I would not want them showing up in my final finish.

    Drum sanders are interesting tools. Some consider them a "rough" prep tool, others use them effectively as a fine finish sander. The secret for fine finish on a drum sander is light, light, light passes. I use 220 all the time but people tell me I have more patience than they do. Perhaps that is the key.

  7. #7
    I agree with Dave. Way to drastic tactic. Unless you are basing ok-ness on “it’s a cutting board , the deep knife cuts will draw your eye
    away from the mere deep scratches”.

  8. #8
    The rule of thumb I use for skipping grits is to step up no more than 50% of the first grit #, e.g. 80-120, 100-150, etc. Otherwise the finer grit takes too long to get out the coarser scratches.. With a drum sander you have to balance that against the time it takes to switch grits, but the principle remains. 60# is very coarse- 80# is a more common starting point unless there is severe tearout or gross inaccuracies in your glueups.

    If I had a drum sander (I use another shop's wide belt) I would use it for leveling and keep 80# or 100# on it, finishing with a hand-held sander.

    "only takes a second to change paper"- that doesn't sound like the drum sanders I have seen.

  9. #9
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    The key to living with a drum sander is to not make the paper work too hard. If it gets hot, you get burn lines and waste time and paper. 60-100 followed with a ROS or 120-150. I rarely go lower than 80 grit. 120 has all it can do to get the 80 grit scratches out within it's limits. Dave

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zellers View Post
    I'm going to go against the grain and say it is too big of a jump if you are only going to do one pass with the 120.

    Now if you were going to do 3 passes with the 120 (maybe 2 could work) then yes. All that requires is a teensy weensy lowering of the drum and sending it through again. Also experiment with sending the stock through a second time without lowering the drum. But 60 grit scratches are deep! I would not want them showing up in my final finish.

    Drum sanders are interesting tools. Some consider them a "rough" prep tool, others use them effectively as a fine finish sander. The secret for fine finish on a drum sander is light, light, light passes. I use 220 all the time but people tell me I have more patience than they do. Perhaps that is the key.
    You were spot on here. The 60 scratches were very deep and I didn't get them all out. This was for leveling after my first glue up before making the next round of cuts. I got most of the scratches out to a degree that was more than acceptable for a glue face but definitely not for a side that'll be showing. Looks like I'll need to grab a roll of 80 for that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    The rule of thumb I use for skipping grits is to step up no more than 50% of the first grit #, e.g. 80-120, 100-150, etc. Otherwise the finer grit takes too long to get out the coarser scratches.. With a drum sander you have to balance that against the time it takes to switch grits, but the principle remains. 60# is very coarse- 80# is a more common starting point unless there is severe tearout or gross inaccuracies in your glueups.

    If I had a drum sander (I use another shop's wide belt) I would use it for leveling and keep 80# or 100# on it, finishing with a hand-held sander.

    "only takes a second to change paper"- that doesn't sound like the drum sanders I have seen.
    This seems like a good rule of thumb.

  12. #12
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    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
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    I am fortunate enough to have a double drum sander. The first drum has 100 grit and the 2nd has 120 grit. Then it is on to the ROS. This set-up came in real handy for a large run of cutting boards last year.
    If I had a single drum machine I would just run 100 grit in multiple passes to get to a level surface.

  13. #13
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    Feb 2017
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    Based on a couple of videos I saw online I wouldn't go coarser than 80 or 100, maybe even 120 grit. One video was by Half Inch Shy; a very reputable woodworker. He says the scratches with paper too coarse are very difficult to get out when sanding to stain or finish. Based on my limited experience using 120 on a the drum sander I got last year, I'd say I personally wouldn't go coarser than that. Even with 120 it takes a bit of sanding with 120 grit on a RO sander to get rid of the scratches so they are not visib If there is enough wood to take off that 60 grit is required, it would probably be best to plane it. A drum sander cannot replace a planer for flattening; only take something that is close to being flat down to complete flatness. At least that is my opinion. A drum sander just has to work too hard to replace the functions of a planer.

  14. #14
    glad I have had stroke sanders. Have a Pro drum sander (wide belt) only ever used it to calibrate, that is what it is good for.

    I know people have space restrictions. As a sander drums are mickey mouse.

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