A drum sander is a cheaper alternative to a belt sander (whether it's a stationary or mobile one). This sander's specific purpose is to smoothen out the finish of wooden floors. As many other drum sander reviews would take note, it utilizes a rotating drum instead of a continuous loop or belt of sandpaper to abrade surfaces to smoothness.
A belt sander is a device that makes use of a sanding or course belt that revolves continuously on its axis like a fast miniature treadmill for smoothening, trimming, scribing, and sanding purposes. Meanwhile, stationary drum sanders are the smaller, cheaper alternative to stationary wide belt sanders (although it's prohibitively large compared to mobile sanders).
Both types of sander have stationary and mobile forms. While there are inexperienced people who find using a drum sander harder because it takes a bit of getting used to tuning the machine up, those who are experts at drum sander technology mostly prefer this device over belt sanders for their affordability and comparable sanding capabilities.
To use a mobile drum sander, you need to first get a feel for it. These are big and heavy machinery, after all. You should get used to holding the device. When attempting to bring a hardwood floor to a smooth finish, you should start on a non-visible area. If you make a mistake, you can avoid complications since the area isn't visible anyway. Once you get the sander moving, you can sand the board from side to side or on a diagonal direction. The idea here is to smoothen out the floor evenly without missing any spots. Meanwhile, a stationary sander should have individual boards feed unto it until their entirety is sanded smooth.
Here are the different drum sander types.
This sander allows you to maneuver your boards easier, thus letting it leave a smaller footprint and making it more versatile to use. On the flipside, the machine makes you lose out stiffness and you'll more than likely have to run the material through twice to sand both sides versus just doing it once.
The closed-end type of drum sander has a typically wider construction. It's designed for fast sanding of huge work pieces and large materials. Because its drum is wider, you'll end up doing more work at roughly twice the rate of its open-ended counterpart. Of course, the extra bulk also means you have to pay more money in order to get one.
Double-drum sanders also offer twice as much sanding power as the open-ended variant, but this time it goes about it by doubling its sandpaper content. This means that you don't need to have the paper changed as often as a standard drum sander. You can also do two-stage sanding by putting in two different paper grades (course sandpaper for the rough edges and fine paper for finishing and detailing).
Here are the specifications to watch out for when shopping for the right drum sander.
Your drum sander should be good at dust collection to keep saw dust or metal particles from entering the device and ruining its internal moving parts. This is also a major consideration for workers or family members with allergies.
Instead of having a variable speed rate measured in feet per minute, (stationary) drum sanders require you to change the feed rate so that softer woods don't end up sniped, scratched, or even friction burned. You want to have more control over how the plank is fed into the machine to better adjust to various sandpaper grits.
Your drum sander should have two sandpaper attachment modes available to it. You can either hook and loop the sandpaper or instead peel and stick it. The hook and loop technique is preferable to the hobbyist woodworker since you can just remove the paper before it loses its grit. Peel and stick requires adhesive and uses paper that's ruined when removed.
There are drum sanders that are as small as 8 inches or those industrial-level ones that reach all the way up to 37 inches. You should pick the sander that suits your needs, whether they're personal, commercial, or industrial in the level of work. Typically, a woodworker can work with a 16-inch sander and at 25-inches you're practically a woodworking workhorse.
When choosing the top drum sanders, you need to categorize them by size. Sanders are most commonly available as 8-inch, 10-inch, 18-inch, 25-inch, and beyond devices. The 37-inch ones are usually reserved for furniture workshops or factory work. They vary from as big as a sewing machine to as large as a HVAC or small refrigerator. Choose the size based on your needs (personal or commercial).
This 230-volt and 25-inch drum sander offers 5 HP or horsepower of pure sanding strength. It's considered a quality machine by people who use it because of its consistency. It's cost-effective enough to do the job of a comparatively more expensive belt sander. Your investment is secured with the Powermatic 1791290 mainly because of its heavy steel cabinet that can deal with rugged handling and a feed motor that's connected to a gearbox that's two-speed (it can go forward and reverse). You're also ensured of a mar-free finish with your sanded wood through its Durometer Rubber surface.
The only thing that will be sanded down is the rough spots. The end result won't end up with any dents or imperfections when all is said and done thanks to the design and construction of the 1791290. In terms of pet peeves, the sandpaper it comes with is an issue. It comes wrapped with a 4-inch wide roll of Klingspor sandpaper but you can only purchase 3-inch paper rolls that are harder to wrap around the drum. Putting on the wraps also requires quite a bit of trial and error because of the lack of a template. This machine for some reason wraps in the opposite direction as other sanders.
Meanwhile, theJET 649004K22X44, it's a highly recommended planer-like product that's capable of removing a decent amount of material in one pass (but not as much as a real planer power tool, admittedly). Its main claims to fame are that it requires minimal assembly, so that means easy setup from you, the conveyor bed ensures smooth feeds thanks to its precision-flattened steel conveyor bed, and the stock is quickly removed thanks to its 1.75 horsepower motor. It also easily collects dust to its 4-inch dust power.
Management of load is also dealt with dependably with its propriety SandSmart load control. The machine is an all-in-all dependable sander that's quite silent for something so large and washing-machine-like in bigness. It won't easily trip your 25-amp circuit or end up with an overheated motor thanks to JET technology. In terms of downsides, the sanding drum parallel to the table tends to end up askew in some models (by as much as 0.375 inches). It's also difficult to attach the sandpaper belt to the drum. The second clip can't be seen and the clearance between the frame and drum is tight, so those with big hands will have issues in accessing the clip.
The JET 649003K Model 22X44 is yet another 1.75 HP beast of a benchtop drum sander that's able to get the job done with many of the same technologies that its 49004K enjoys, such as its SandSmart variable feed rate that goes from 0 to 10 feet per minute as required and its aluminum drum that's precision-machined and self-cooling to ensure less downtime and smooth sanding every time. The motor it has is also capable of running continuously so that you can get a fresh supply of sanded planks and logs for your woodworking needs.
It comes with an infeed/outfeed tables and stand that's mostly optional. I find this machine quite pleasing when I bought it even without the infeed/outfeed stand because it's easy to change belts with this piece of equipment once you get used to attaching it at the motor end. In terms of downsides, it's limited to certain customers ending up with just the bottom feed table and not the motor. This means its flaws are mostly from poor shipment of certain units rather than issues on the Jet 649003K Model 22X44itself. This sander is also quite heavy so find help when moving it around.
The JET 628900 Mini is quite impressive for a 10-inch drum sander model. Aside from obvious advantages like smallness for better mobility (since many gadgets nowadays are experiencing miniaturization to make them more portable and less unwieldy to handle), the Jet 628900 Mini also has key specs like quick sander paper change to increase productivity and decrease downtime, 20 inches of wideness and capacity for sanding large-surface work pieces, large hand wheel to make adjustment easy, and a 4-inch dust port so that you can keep your work area clean because of all the collected sawdust.
It even has the ability to change its feed rate from 0 to 12 feet per minute depending on the volume of your work. Finally, it has a motor that has 1 HP in horsepower rating, which means it's only 0.75 HP short of other models so it should dependably sand down all sorts of surfaces and work pieces big and small (except the exceptionally large ones that only bigger sanders can deal with). In terms of flaws and drawbacks, the belt it comes with has issues in tracking. While it's able to sand dependably for a drum sander its size, the belt still tends to eat itself from going off the side of the rollers.
The Powermatic PM2244 has a lot going for it even when compared to its Powermatic 1791290 counterpart. It has an integrated LED control panel that shows you info on DRO, belt speed, and power being used by the machine, making it one of the more advanced sanders on this list. Furthermore, you're assured of an exceptional finish thanks to this sander's Feed Logic. This cutting-edge tech is also responsible for keeping your feed from being overloaded. Additional height reading is also done through the secondary absolute depth scale. This further ensures ideal finishes and dependable precision sanding.
The Powermatic PM2244 also has a steel hood and a 4-inch dust port that ensures cleanliness around your workshop because all the dust particles are collected within that designated container. Meanwhile, its drum carriage is made of tough cast iron, which provides consistent performance and strength. In terms of flaws, Powermatic also has issues in quality control wherein faulty machines can end up on the doorstep of customers. What's more, because of its cast iron carriage, you still need to watch out for moisture and the like because unlike aluminum carriages, iron has a tendency to rust when not carefully maintained.
Your ultimate drum sander choice should be based on the quality and size of the material you're sanding. If you need to sand down timber you've cultivated or scoured for yourself from the great outdoors (that is, logs you've chopped by hand), you need industrial-strength stationary drum sanders capable of handling the roughest and rawest of hardwood imaginable. You should also consider getting a mobile, handheld, or floor-based planer drum sander for installations that already exist (like already installed floors that require smoothening).
If you're running a production shop, then maybe those 8-inch or 10-inch sanders won't be able to cut it. Production-size 37-inch sanders should be of interest to you instead. Again, the 16-inch sander is a good place to start and 25-inch ones usually cover all bases for personal woodworker hobbyists and even small commercial-grade applications. Floor drum sanders, meanwhile, should be capable of maintaining perfect square edges when you pass them through your rough floor like a lawnmower or a mop. These ones require higher speeds than your typical stationary sanders that have wood fed to them.
Chop saw and miter saw are often mistaken for one another. And while it’s true that they have confusing similarities, these two tools have significant differences that make one a more effective and appropriate tool for certain purposes than the other. So, to set records straight, we’ll discuss in brief the basic similarities and differences between the two in terms of their appearance, characteristics, function, and, finally, their application.
Whether you’re a professional woodworker, a weekend hobbyist who enjoys do-it-yourself woodworks, a student working on a school project, or a homeowner toying with the idea of a one-board bench for your garden, the same rules in woodworking safety applies. And it won’t hurt to know the basic dos and don’ts in woodworking as much as it would if you didn’t.
Not convinced yet? Let’s look at the numbers.
In 2011, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) published a report on woodshop machinery-related injuries, and below are the estimated annual statistics.
The numbers are undeniably big and the report only goes to show that woodshop accidents can and do happen. But the damages resulting from them may be significantly decreased, if not avoided, only if and when woodworkers are armed not just with the tools and machinery but also with the proper knowledge and safety gears.
If used the wrong way and without necessary safeguards, woodworking tools and machines can, in an instant, turn what’s meant to be an awesome masterpiece into an awful disaster. Severed fingers, blindness, deep cuts and wounds, and, in extreme cases, amputations are just some of the common injuries that result from improper handling of machines, and of passing up on safety gears.
Cutting a board in way that could result in a “kickback” wherein the board gets pinched and thrown back forcefully towards the body is one of the common woodshop incidents that cause injuries. Removing the blade guard, putting the hand directly behind the saw, getting sloppy with nail guns, and being careless with utility knives also made it to the list of small mistakes that produce big numbers of injuries.
Now, this article is not meant to scare you away or discourage you from developing and practicing your potential and artistry in woodworking. This is meant to increase your confidence when working with wood by sharing with you some of the basic safety rules that will allow you to create wooden furniture and art pieces without cutting your thumb, shooting a nail into your body, puncturing your eyes, or cracking your ribs.
As redundant as it may sound, safety gears are for your safety. And more than the thrill and satisfaction you’ll get from creating a wooden piece of artwork or furniture, your safety should always be your top priority.
Don’t run the risk of puncturing your eyes, losing a finger, or damaging your ears just because you’re too excited to get work but too lazy to wear your safety glasses, hand gloves, hearing protection, respirator, overalls, and other necessary safety gears. A little inconvenience can spell great difference especially when you’re working with huge planks of wood, blades, and nail guns.
Clothes that are too loose as well as dangling jewelry items like bracelets and necklaces can easily get caught in a saw blade or cutting head and put you in a dangerous position when working. Wear something that will not just allow you to move comfortably but will also keep you from getting entangled in cutting machines.
Drugs and alcohol are not something you want running in your blood when working with your power tools. Woodworking requires full attention and focus, which you cannot do if you’re intoxicated.
So, if you want to keep your wood shop an accident-free zone, make sure you stay away from substances that can negatively affect your state of body and mind, and keep you from giving your 100% concentration when working.
Disconnecting power tools from electricity source before changing blades is one simple rule that, unfortunately, many woodworkers tend to forget. One thing you can do to avoid forgetting this life-saving rule is to use one extension cord for your power tools that run on the same voltage. That way, you’ll be somehow forced to unplug cords when switching tools and be more conscious of disconnecting your power tools before changing blades.
Dull tools not only tear wood fibers and cause breakage but are also unpredictable and can run out of control, which can put you at risk of getting hurt. If you’re using a blade or chisel that’s not sharp enough, you’ll have to exert more force and effort so you can get your desired results. The trouble with it is that the more force you exert, the less control you’ll have over the machine or tool. And the less control you have, the higher your risk of getting into an accident.
Wearing safety gears and keeping your tools and machines in good working condition won’t be enough to keep you safe from harm if you don’t know how to position yourself and where to place your hands and tools while working. Generally, you should avoid standing and placing your hands directly behind the blade. Make sure also that there are no nails, screws, and other metals laying near saw blades as these can cause kickbacks and severe injuries when left unchecked.
This is very important not just for first-timers but even for professionals. Tools are designed for specific purposes and using them the wrong way will not only render them damaged and useless but also unsafe. So if you’re not sure how a tool or machine works, be sensible enough to consult someone who knows how to operate it or, at least, read the instruction manuals and do some research.
Now that you know the life-saving basics of woodworking, you can begin and finish your work safely, confidently, and hazard-free.
Wood is without doubt a very popular material in the construction and home decoration industry. From doors to tables, cabinets and picture frames, wood simply takes home the crown. But as the demand for it goes higher, so is the need to come up with methods and technology that can process it fast enough to meet the increasing demand.
Nonetheless, despite the high requirement for mass-produced wooden products and the efficiency that power tools and machines offer, the classic appeal of and craftsmanship put into hand-made ones leave a very good reason why it would be a shame to let traditional woodworking fade in the shadows of modern technology.
Traditional woodworking is a wood crafting and processing method that uses traditional hand tools like saw and chisel instead of power tools and machines like jigs, bits and routers. It puts a higher premium on quality and authenticity than on efficiency and a product’s commercial feasibility.
This is not to say that modern woodworking methods are inferior to traditional ones. Both have benefits and drawsides. And depending on the goal that you’re trying to achieve, either of these methods can very well serve your purpose.
The satisfaction you’ll get from creating something unique with your bare hands is the most compelling reason why you’d want to do it the old-fashioned way. Here are the basic steps to get you started.
This is used for keeping your wood in place for planing and sawing.
This is used for removing rough stock and jointing board edges.
This is used for trimming joints and end grain, and for putting champers on edges.
These are used for rough dimensioning lumber.
Use the dovetail saw for cutting joinery along the grain, the carcass saw for cutting across the grain, and the tenon saw for making deeper cuts.
These are used for making accurate and square or angled lengths.
This is used for removing waste from dovetail joints and for rough cutting shapes on the board.
A high quality bench chisel set would be worth spending for. You can use it practically for any project and can last for years.
This is used for chopping rectangular holes on the side of your board for tenon insertion.
You can use this for checking the accuracy of your squares, and for scribing joints.
Get a good quality metal try square ranging from 9 to 12 inches, which you will need for scribing square line on the face of your board.
This is also known as the bevel gauge that is used for scribing angles on your piece.
Also known as dividers, compasses are used for taking and replicating measurements on a work piece.
A good marking gauge will help you transfer measurements with ease and accuracy.
A folding rule is used for taking rough measurements when cutting boards.
Marking knives are used for making accurate marking lines for your cuts.
Using dull tools will only waste your time, material, and energy so be sure to have sharpening supplies to help you keep your tools sharp.
This is used for hitting your chisel when cutting joints.
A large shoulder plane will help you cut most sizes when trimming tenons, cutting rabbets, etc.
You’ll need clamps to hold joints together until the glue hardens.
One benefit of traditional woodworking is you won’t need too much space for your work and storage area. A small loft, basement or garage will do as long as you can keep your work area quiet and clean and have a safe storage for your hand tools.
This requires discipline but if you’d be patient enough to do this, you’ll save yourself a great deal of time and money in the long run.
The more knowledge you gain about the different types of wood, the defects you need to avoid, the possible sources of lumber, and the lumberyard language, the higher your chances of getting the perfect wood for your project will be. So, take time to learn.
Practice makes perfect. Marking, measuring, cutting, and fastening are just some of the basics you’ll need to learn and keep on practicing in order to sharpen your woodworking skills.
Here are some helpful tips for beginners.
Apart from wood and tools, you’ll need knowledge, skills, patience, discipline, and practice. But if you’re up to the challenge, then your traditional woodworking adventure would be nothing short of an exciting and fulfilling one.
In any woodworking project, you’ll always have your work cut out for you. That’s because even small projects would require skill and knowledge of the craft. Cutting the wood to right size, placing joints properly and accurately, and prepping the surface for finish are just some of the things you need to master for your projects to be successful.
For many projects, a low-priced table saw, a piece or a couple of hand planes, a chisel or two, and an orbital sander would do. However, as your skills grow and your projects become bigger and more complex, you’ll need larger, more powerful, more efficient, and more expensive tools.
The following woodworking tools should be enough to get beginners started:
As you keep practicing your craft, your skills and experience grow, and the size and scale of the projects that you’d like or need to do also increase. This is when you should consider investing in upgrading your tools. Your budget and available space should also come into play when making a decision to upgrade.
A bigger miter saw or table saw, a small jointer and planer are some of the power tools that most woodworkers would initially look for when upgrading. A miter saw would increase your speed while a table saw, which takes longer to setup, can make superior cuts. Routers and sanders are also some of the most common benchtools you’ll find in woodshops.
A track saw, which is ideal for making rip and cross cuts on plywood, are compact and handy. They can cost as much as a table saw.
Small jointers are useful for straightening edges while small planers help you clean up glue joints or prep rough timber quickly and easily. Getting a small floor model or bench model drill press would also be a good thing to consider as you can use it for most woodworking needs without much hassle.
If you do a lot of resawing, a bandsaw would be of good use to you. Getting a sturdy and powerful one would be necessary if you’re working with wide boards. Band saws can also cut faster and are safer for use than tablesaws although a table saw rip is generally smoother than a bandsaw rip.
If purchasing more advanced hand tools and machines would expand your capabilities and meet your needs and goals for your next projects, then going for an upgrade would be a wise decision. However, you should also weigh carefully whether a machine or just skill is needed for the project.
Finally, if you have tight budget and feel that you can still improve your skills and do much with your hand tools, then you may consider saving more money and waiting a little longer until you’re capable of purchasing and using more powerful tools and machines. Interim-sized ones don’t help much in improving skills and efficiency so it’s better to go for the bigger ones if and when you decide to go for an upgrade.