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How to Properly Use a Drum Sander?

November 02, 2022

Drum Sanders – What You Need to Know

What Are Drum Sanders?

 Drum sanders are horizontally computed single or  dual drums over a sanding belt that consist of a  strip of abrasives surrounding the drum itself.  These drum sanders are not meant to remove a lot of stock or material from a given surface; however, they are great for other purposes. Drum sanders are great for getting rid of unwanted imperfections along a surface giving a flat and even surface, along with a smooth and fine finish.

Tip; Do not try to remove a great amount of surface from your project, as it can lead to overheating and damage. 

What Are the Different Types of Drum Sanders?

The two different types of drum sanders that are on the market right now are closed and open drum sanders. Closed drum sanders are closed at either ends and can only go over material that fits through the opening – this may be a good option for you if you have a small piece to work on. Closed drums generally consist of dual drums which can cut sanding time by a lot and they are mounted onto four pillars. Closed drum sanders have a rear drum that enables you to have more control when using it. If you are looking to kill two birds with one stone, you can use a high grit drum along with a low grit abrasive! 

Open drum sanders allow you to go over bigger surface areas due to the drum hanging over the belt. If you are looking to sand floors or bigger furniture, these are the right option for you. Conveyor belts can be used with these to allow for a more precise and easier process.

What are the Features of Drum Sanders?

When looking to purchase a drum sander, there are a variety of things to consider before getting one. Below is a list of features you may want to look for.

Speed - Some projects that you work on may call for a slower sanding speed and others projects may call for a higher sanding speed. Drum sanders can come with speeds that can be varied which can be useful to numerous projects and jobs. 

Capacity -  Depending on the size of your project, it is important to pick either a closed drum sander or an open drum sander. 

Dust Removal - A system that will collect dust and particles as you are sanding is a good feature to have to stay away from clogging or coating.

Platen - Drum sanders that have a platen that is wider than the drum by one inch will help with the friction.

Noise Reduction - Drum sanders are quite loud, so looking for one that has a noise reduction feature can help tremendously for more tolerability and refraining from ear damage.

Motor Power - Depending on how much power you need, most drum sanders come between 1 HP to 5 HP. 

Quality and Budget - It is important to get a good drum sander, as the cheaper ones will give up on you fast. Although the better ones may be more expensive, they come with many great features – you may need those features, but you may also not need them. 

Which Abrasive Should I Use For a Drum Sander?

The abrasive grain that will be beneficial to a lot of projects is aluminum oxide. There are open and closed coats – open coats can allow for more airflow and wont allow for stock buildup or overheating.