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If you’re looking to reclaim scrap or smooth out the rough edges on pieces of stock, look no further than the JET 629004K Open Stand Drum Sander . This is a great, great tool to add to your workshop and here’s why:
For starters, if your stock goes through much re-sawing, you’ll often find yourself surrounded by varying sized thin sheets or strange wedge-shaped pieces and with the drum sander, they can each be turned into uniform, thick, usable stock. You’ll be shocked to realize how much use can be gleaned from a true, honest-to-God 1/8” of stock that fits neatly into a dado, or from a 30” board with 3/16” on one end and 9/6” on the other; most of it can be saved by sanding it down to 3/8, sawing off the smooth bits and sanding it down to ¼”.
You might want to invest in a pair of excellent calipers for use with it, since the built in gauge is not very accurate. The calipers (and a bit of patience) let you resaw your boards to about an a hundredth of an inch of thickness, before reaching for the sander.
The dust collection systems are great. Hooked up to a good dust vacuum, you’ll find little dust on the floor.
The one issue, if it can be termed as such, is that with even fairly find sandpaper, the sander will quite likely leave lines on your wood. However, if you don’t want lines you might want to try really fine sandpaper or opt for the fancier, oscillating kind. But the lines aren’t such a big deal and it’s not that hard to change the sandpaper. So long as you’re using Jet’s Pre-Cut sandpaper or sandpaper that you’ve used based on the Jet template, it’s fairly easy and quite manageable to get it right on the first try. You don’t need to be an expert, for that to work either.
We generally like to sand along the grain and since the saw marks are usually perpendicular to the grain, it makes it a lot easier to see when all the marks have disappeared. This not only indicates a smooth board, but also uniform thickness.
The JET 62900416 is a lot quieter than a planer which, even with ear plugs tend to be quite loud. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t loud, but it’s a lot quieter than most power tools. Additionally, there isn’t any tear-out on figured woods.
Now, if you plan to take stock from ¾-1/2”, this sander might be too slow for you. But if you’re using the planer for smoothing and fine-tuning the wood’s thickness, this is a great and much quieter alternative.
All in all, we would recommend the JEW 52900416 Drum Sander.