May 3, 2022

What is a drum sander used for

A drum sander brings power and precision to sanding wood and other surfaces, which is essential for anyone working with wood. Whether for hobby projects or professional work, a drum sander can make wood sanding faster and easier. Drum sanders cut wood with a circular saw blade and move through the material like a drill press. Let us look at some uses of a drum sander.

Uses of a drum sander

It flattens end-grain boards and works well for faces and edges. If left in place too long, a belt sander can eat right through the wood.

A drum sander is a finishing tool. If you have used a sander before, you might think of it as a thickness planer. The machines are effective in removing surface wood. You can use it for quick material removal, and the learning curve is low.

The difference that comes with sanders is that they are finishing tools. A slow drum sander removes minute amounts of wood with each pass. Multiple passes produce more heat, resulting in burnt sandpaper, blown fuses, and damaged wood. Removing layers of wood is less affordable and time-consuming.

A drum sander is a power tool to sand flat surfaces, such as wooden floors. It has a cylindrical wheel called the drum with an abrasive material like sandpaper attached to its surface. You should keep the sandpaper on your drum sander clean. The drum is moved at speed using an electric motor to sand the surface.

A drum sander is for sanding wood floors. If your wood floor is poor, a drum sander can fix it. The drum sander sands long planks to make them thinner, flatter, and smoother. It sands floorboards, panels, frames, plywood, fence boards, and long planks.

Use the drum sander as a finish sanding tool. It is for finishing wood floors. The drum sander can improve your workflow and quality of work. The drum sander has enough power to sand out imperfections and make your wood floor look beautiful again. 

Serious mature carpenter putting wooden plank in drum sander for woodworking

How to properly use a drum sander

  • Use only the weight of the sander when running the sander. 
  • Do not add extra pressure.  
  • Follow the grain of the wood.
  • Pull the drum sander in straight lines.
  • Overlap each line the way you would when mowing a lawn
  • Stop frequently to rest your arms and empty the dust bag.

How to use a drum sander woodworking

  1. Slide your workpiece under the sanding drum and adjust its height, so the drum touches the workpiece. Make your first pass or two at this setting.
  2. Match your abrasive grit to the job.
  3. Find the feed rate.
  4. Take light passes on doors and frames.
  5. Skew the board.
  6. Keep the abrasive clean for effectiveness.

What are drum brushes used for

Drum brushes are for soft drumming. They are for jazz music due to their beautiful swishing sound as they produce a softer sound.

How to use a drum sander

A drum sander works in two ways. One method is going along the length of the floorboards from side to side. Tilt the machine before turning it on and off. Do not stop in one place because the sanding belt can easily damage the floor. Choose sanding belts that match the condition of your flooring. The sandpaper comes in different levels of abrasiveness.

Another method is sanding the floor diagonally, turning around, and going back from one corner to the opposite. Tilt the sander as you turn. Start over again from the adjacent corner to be sure you have sanded the entire surface. 

If you use coarse sandpaper, work in stages, changing the grit.  Go over the floor again with medium and then fine sandpaper. There are some places that a drum sander can not reach. For those areas, use an edge sander to complete the job. 

Gather your equipment and materials before you start working. You do not have to pause looking for a tool, as that will take much time. The equipment includes a drum sander, dust mask, hearing protection, and safety goggles. Safety comes first before anything else. The material to be used as sandpaper. Purchase more sandpaper than you need.

When using a drum sander, you will buy long strips of sandpaper unsuitable for any other use. Buy more sandpaper, as you would not want to be short of sandpaper while your drum floor sander is on the rental. Purchasing more sandpaper cuts means more rental time and costs.

Let the drum sander sand In the opposite direction of its motion. Pull your drum floor sander, not push, meaning you move the sander opposite to the drum motion. Do not attempt to get close to trim, baseboards, doors, walls, and other elements that will not be sanded, as that can damage these items with a drum sander, either from the moving drum or by hitting these areas with the machine’s housing.

Sand lightly with the grain. Use only the weight of the sander when running the sander. No extra pressure is needed. Follow the grain of the wood, pulling the drum sander in straight lines, overlapping each line the way you would when mowing a lawn. Make regular stops to rest your arms and empty the dust bag.

Drum sander vs planer

The difference between the two is that the purpose of the planer is to cut wood to size, and the purpose of the drum sander is to sand. For a different depth for the wood, the planer would be the tool to use.

Drum sanders are machines used to sand wood and plastic (Fintechabrasives). A planer shaves wood from the surface of boards (Thedailygardener).

The planer and drum sander are powerful tools for any woodworker to have in their arsenal. Either machine can help create great-looking projects and save time during the building process. They both have a place in any workshop.

The planer and drum sander are both powerful tools for woodworking. Either machine can help create great-looking projects and save time during the building process. A planer will remove stock much more quickly than a drum sander. You will use a coarse grit for surfacing, meaning several grit changes to get to the smoothness you are looking for in a drum sander.

For pre-planned and edged lumber, choose the drum sander over the planer to enjoy the benefits of a machine that can sand rough panels and wider surfaces and produce a professional quality sanded finish. If you plan on using rough-cut lumber, the drum sander performs better.

Drum sanders are for sanding wood and smoothing out large areas and removing less wood in one pass. On the other hand, planers are used to even out surfaces on your woodworking projects and remove more wood.

David D. Hughes
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