Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.

Re: Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Postby Andy Bounsall » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:15 pm

I use a Ryobi 16/32 as well. Not too big, as Clay said, and it does a fine job. They haven't been made for some years but perhaps you can find a used one for a reasonable price.
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Re: Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Postby Ed Minch » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:13 pm

I have a high-end cabinet shop about 3 blocks from my house. He charges me $20 to put whatever I want through his machine, so I have the rosette installed when I bring down a guitar's worth of stuff. The machine has a 4 foot wide oscillating belt, 20 HP belt motor, a 3 HP feed motor, and it takes about 45 second to change belts. Pretty funny to watch ukulele sides going through this 7 foot tall monster at .055.

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Re: Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Postby David King » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:16 pm

My biggest improvement to my drum sander was switching over to Mirka abranet sanding rolls. In the process I finally figured out how the paper hold-down clip was supposed to work on the left hand end of the drum. The narrower abranet doesn't line up with the right hand side clip so I just put a short strip of high tack double sided tape on the edge of the drum and then stretch the strip as tight as I can get it. I put a layer of the brown freezer/binding tape around the right end of the drum over the strip to hold it all in place. After the first couple of passes I peeled off the tape and retightened the strip as the loop backing has a tendency to compress a bit. There has been no stretch since and no need to clean the grit with the gum stick. I never get any scorching of maple and the abranet cuts much faster even in finder grits so less hand sanding or scraping after. Basically the screen allows air to flow through the grit and it stays much cooler.
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Re: Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Postby Barry Daniels » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:36 pm

What grit Abranet do you recommend using, David?
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Re: Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Postby Arnt Rian » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:59 pm

Thanks for the tip David, I'm going to give those a try. I have been using the Mirka Ceros sander with the Abranet pads for some years now, and it has made finish sanding so much easier.
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Re: Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Postby David King » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:20 pm

I used 120 and it's been a reasonable compromise between speed and smoothness. The grit in the abranet seem much more uniform than with traditional papers so less likely to leave random deep scratches. If I were hogging material off I'd start with 80 grit and switch to 180 to clean up. With my bandsaw set up I'm rarely taking off more than .005 per side which is 2-3 passes.

I'm not the first person to try this by any measure and when I first read about it the early adopters were leaving a 1/4" gap between wraps (Mirka only seems to come in 2-7/8") and simply cutting the wrap ends to the same angle as the 3" wide cloth.

You could also apply a full layer of PSA hook material to the drum and stick it down to that but that results in a much springier abrasive layer that will tend to round over edges.
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Re: Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:34 pm

Do you think leaving the 1/4" gap would be a problem? I read the thread about this over on the OLF and they jumped through all kind of hoops to deal with the width issue.
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Re: Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Postby Bryan Bear » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:59 pm

I don't think a gap in the wrap would be an issue but I confess I don't understand why they are leaving a gap. Is it because the roll is not long enough otherwise? I don't see why the width would matter. If you cut the angle such that the cut is the same length as the drum circumference, you should be able to wrap any width without leaving a gap.
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Re: Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:46 pm

Hi Bryan,
I think the problem was that to fully wrap the drum the end of the strip didn't line up with the slot for securing the strip.
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Re: Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Postby Bryan Bear » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:45 pm

That makes sense. I didn’t think about that because I just use tape on my shop made sander.
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Re: Thickness sander-- build or buy?

Postby Matthew Lau » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:51 pm

Bob Hammond wrote:Hmm, weren't you the guy who was wondering if it would be possible to build without a shop? These machines do take up space. Where would you use it and store it?



I actually have a limited power tool workshop.
It's just that I only get a handful of hours in it a month.

Most of the time is work and preparing for work.
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