Drum Sander Tweaks and Modifications

Drum sander owners discuss ways to get good performance from the sandpaper rolls. April 27, 2006

I am currently using a Grizzly 24 drum sander (Model G-1066) in my shop. At first I used 6 paper held on with a clip on one end and tape on the other. The problem was that the paper would not stay on for very long, so I changed to the hook and loop kit using 3 paper taped on both ends. Still not working very well. Is anyone else using this sander and do you have any suggestions to improve its performance? Which do you prefer - 6 on drum or hook and loop 3 paper?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
I've had the same sander as you for about 5 years. One thing I have found is tape over the clipped end also. This seems to help, and except when I am running a full 24" wide piece through, I try to stay away from the extreme right or left to put less stress on the paper ends. I haven't switched to the hook and loop yet. Still using the 6" wide paper partially because I like having the solid roller with coarse paper on. It seems to help flatten out my stock. Also, I use 3/4" wide packing tape, the kind with fiberglass fibers running through it, plenty sticky and very strong.

From contributor T:
I have a 1067z which I believe is the next model up with variable feed. It also has the 3 in hook loop paper. I also had the problem of paper tearing, but I believe my problem was with the paper itself. The loop was very easy to pull apart from the back of the paper. This was a new roll that had not been opened but was 3 years old. I called Grizzly and explained my problem, but of course they could not warranty the paper because it was more than 1 year old. I would recommend using 3 inch Mirka paper. I have some and it is almost impossible to pull the back apart from the front. Also, when wrapping the paper, make sure you are wrapping in the proper direction and leaving a 3/16 gap between the laps of paper and most important, don't try to hog off too much at a time. You can download the manual for the machine off of Grizzly's web site and it should explain the procedure.

From contributor D:
Diddo what contributor T said. I too have the Z series 24" and use only the 3" hook and loop. Never have had a problem to date. It's over 2 years old and is the most used machine in the shop at times, it seems. Strapping tape is definitely the key to holding the paper in place.

From contributor V:
I'm glad it's not just me that has had a problem. We also switched from 6" to h & l, then back again. What we do now is use the clip and make sure to stretch the spring to the max for tension. At the other end, we put a 1" wide piece of two side carpet tape first, then roll the paper over it. This keeps it from slipping on the drum. We put two wraps of packing tape over the end. Over that we use a 6" metal band clamp. It's solid as a rock and it doesn't lose tension at all. (We did have to dremel a notch in the rear bar so the band clamp wouldn't hit.) I've had mine for about five years and now that we use this technique, it works fantastic. As others have said, I try to stay under 22 1/2" so I won't hit the tape or clips.

From contributor E:
I have the 24" Grizzly, and have used it for about five years. Had a lot of trouble to start with, the drums are aluminum tubing with cast aluminum spider ends. The welds holding the spider to the drums on both drums broke loose from having been machined too thin. Had them re-heliarced, and turned at a machine shop. That part is fine. The bed was a piece of particleboard, and was nowhere near flat, so found a piece of 3/4" micarta and replaced. Now that part is fine. Re-engineered the dust collection system using custom built fiberglass pickups to 2-4" pipes, and that works pretty good - not perfect, but can live with it. Got rid of the clamping/tape method of holding on the paper and installed 6" wide hook and loop. Klingspor 6" wide paper works very well and lasts a long time. Machine is used every day - just don't try to hog off too much. It will have to do until a wide belt can be afforded.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the advice. Up till now, all I have used is Grizzly paper. Maybe a better brand of paper will help. I was using duct tape on the ends because I wasn't smart enough to think of strapping tape.

From contributor S:
I have had the 25" model for about 2 years now. I discovered the biggest problem is the weight of the paper. Find a surplus store or a metal working machine supply house and buy the black emery cloth in rolls. I get it at a surplus house and it costs less than the thin crap that both Grizzly and General sell as pre-cut pieces for this machine. The end clips aren't very good, and the extra weight helps keep the paper in place. The problems come when slack develops on the drum. When you get enough slack, the paper rolls end up with an overlap, and the excess thickness burns the wood, and then self-destructs the paper. I also spray 3M pressure sensitive adhesive on the drum. It cleans up with a lacquer thinner rag in seconds, and really keeps the paper in place. No tape means you can use the entire length of the drum. If you can't find the heavy paper, the adhesive really helps even when using the light stuff. Once I learned these tricks, I have been real happy with the machine.

From contributor M:
We also have a 24 inch drum sander from Grizzly. I still buy the six inch rolls. In the first week, I changed the clips and the box strapping tape. I replaced the clips by tapping the same spot that the clips were with a 1/4-20 1'' pan head bolt with a fender washer. The tape was replaced with a hose clamp long enough to go around the drum. It holds really well.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor K:
It may seem like an odd fix, but after hearing about if from a fellow woodworker, I drilled and tapped a few 1/4/20 holes in the far right end of each drum on my dual drum sander. I use a paper punch to put a corresponding hole in the sandpaper and then screw in a half inch round head machine screw to keep the paper from slipping. It works surprisingly well.