Drum sander ETA? Repaired as of 2023/01/08

Does anybody have an idea of when the drum sander will be up and running?


As soon as possible. I have to remake a shaft then line bore the case for true alignment of the bearings.


You should hold a class to teach woodworkers how to machine that

‘A woodworker’s hands are lean and nimble, his brains would fit inside a thimble’. - Paraphrased from a disagreement between a Mason’s Guild and a Carpenter’s guild in the 18th century.

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Zach, it will be ready for use right after your project is completed. We all understand this unwritten rule. :slight_smile: The good ole Rotex can do anything this drum sander can. Just requires a bit more skill and attention while using it.


Actually, no it isn’t. That’s the problem. I had to level out the cutting board on the slab mill, and I think that did something to the surface, because even after almost an hour with an 80 grit pad the other night, there is literally no difference. I checked with the vacuum off, and I’m not even creating any sawdust.

The Rotex without a doubt is very aggressive. Sure about the paper you were using? Start with 80 or less.

100% on the paper. I triple checked after the first 20 minutes of no difference. And 80 grit is the lowest we have there

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We will take a look

The Estimated Time of Arrival of a DMS Drum Sander is 11.20492 microseconds before the Estimated Time of Death. So if you can effectively estimate when it will next be down, you’ll be able to figure out when it will be working again.

And the lathe and bridgeport shall become as the drum sander. :scream:


I just used the rotex and 80 grit this evening to clean up some planer snipe and it chewed through maple and purple heart.

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Im happy to report that the drum sander is now functional.

I remanufactured the part last night & today.


Thank you!!!

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Thanks @TBJK
Seems like this would be a good time to consider requiring special training for this device along with an RFID badge-in. Anyone feel otherwise? @Team_Woodshop


More RFID access for tools covered in Woodshop basics or other training classes is always a good thing, IMO, but more gatekeeping is not. This is not that unsafe of a tool nor one that is that difficult to use. It does seem to be more fragile of a tool, in general, than some of the other high use tools we have. Do we feel the problem with this particular tool is the amount of use, or amount of abuse?

The real issue seems to be, if I have been tracking over time correctly, is that getting parts from Powermatic and/or just fixing the thing when it does inevitablly go down* takes an inordinate amount of time so that even one general breakage issue, e.g. electronics go kaput, might end up having it out of commission for weeks or more.

If there any options for North American made drum sanders, e.g. like OneWay or Robust in the wood lathe world, we should explore, IMO.

Many thanks to Tim, Andy, H.B, etc. for jumping into the breach when these things need fixing!

My mom used to leave Post-it type notes on refrigerator with various bits of information for us kids. I don’t want to become my mother, and little notes stuck to a machine is not a good look, but the most common misuse of this machine is someone doing too heavy a sanding pass.
Emphasizing one simple instruction informing them to go lightly, might be all that is needed.
I have fought with changing the sandpaper in that machine, it is a “B”. I don’t think the average person using it can or would change it, even if trained.

The taking too deep a pass issue will be resolved. We will be adding a resettable breaker to the sander that will disengage the feed belt drive motor when too deep a pass is attempted. The side effect will be that the wood slab could be half-way in the machine when the belt stops advancing and the drum will keep on sanding to the requested depth. Could be that a nice round trench will be carved into the surface. You will find that I will zealously protect both machinery and volunteer’s time investment from poor membership behavior. Adhere to proper woodshop behavior and enjoy all the shop has to offer, otherwise I guess those non-conforming members will encounter gate keeping as you like to use the term. It isn’t an all you can break membership, and it certainly isn’t tear things up and expect a very small team to use their precious time to repair the breakage.

We are actively exploring other sanding solutions that aren’t reliant on Chinese parts.

I’ve no issue with holding people responsible somehow for abuse of tools. The gatekeeping term is in regard to requiring additional “special” training IF training isn’t really the issue. You tend to assume the worst in DMS users because you are at a higher skill level and also have more skin in the game as you depend on the tools for your job. The drum sander is no more difficult to use than the planer, but goes down far more often…right? And it only take one person out of N to create a long-term outage for that tool… additional special training isn’t going to solve that “1 out of N” issue.

Seems to me that if most frequent cause of drum sander downtime is too deep of a pass/cut, then emphasizing that specifc point in Woodshop Basics would seem to be the most direct solution.

And to @jeffhess point, maybe how to change the paper, although that issue should be resolved with better understanding of the management of depth of cut and also emphasincing use rubber eraser on the belt before, after, and during use

Thank you, HB and Jeff Hess for the amount of time you have put into bringing the sander back to life.

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