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Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood? (Read 437 times)
 
Steve Arnold
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Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Sep 3rd, 2017 at 8:49pm
 
I'd like to start laminating some 1"x 1" x 24" or 1"x 2" x 24" pieces (some larger, some smaller) to be used as lids for my turned vessels.

I don't know if I should invest in a planer to get the thickness and smoothness I need for the glued joints, or if a drum sander would be better for that.

I don't want to have to buy both machines because they're not going to be getting that much use and I don't really have that much space in my shop.

I appreciate any of your suggestions.
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Chris Neilan
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #1 - Sep 4th, 2017 at 7:15am
 
For what it's worth, I have both. My wife gave me a Dewalt thickness planer several years ago. It has been great. Then I got into segmented turning and picked up a Jet 16/32 drum sander. I Love it. The thickness planer now lives in the garage (very noisy) and is used to get things close. Then to the basement shop to the drum sander. Perfect. By the way, if you do go the drum sander route, make sure you have a dust collector. Not sure a shop vac could keep up for long!

Side note: neither a drum sander or thickness planer are a good choice for flattening a board. For that use a jointer! I learned that to be true!
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« Last Edit: Sep 4th, 2017 at 7:18am by Chris Neilan »  

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Ed Weber
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #2 - Sep 4th, 2017 at 9:40am
 
Chris Neilan wrote on Sep 4th, 2017 at 7:15am:
Side note: neither a drum sander or thickness planer are a good choice for flattening a board. For that use a jointer! I learned that to be true!


A jointer will flatten 1 side of a board, to get both sides parallel you will need another tool.
(you can flatten both sides of a board with a planer or drum sander if you know how) There are countless articles written on the subject.

A drum sander may be the better choice, depending on your skill level and where you purchase lumber.
Typically a drum sander can handle shorter pieces, approximately 6". Most lunch-box style thickness planers can handle a minimum of about 10"
Another point to consider is a planer is limited in the fact that you have to align the grain direction to feed the machine properly or the wood will chip/split. A drum sander has no limitations on grain direction.
I have both and I do use my drum sander on a daily basis for dimensioning lumber.
If we knew more about the lids you're looking to make, maybe we could better help you.
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Steve Arnold
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #3 - Sep 4th, 2017 at 10:22am
 
Thanks for the replies Guys.

From what you've told me, it sounds like the drum sander would give me a smoother finish and make for better glued joints.

Is there a particular brand or model that you might recommend?
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Paul Gilbert
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #4 - Sep 4th, 2017 at 12:36pm
 
I would strongly advise AGAINST the Jet oscillating models.  The coupling of the motor to the drum is a kluge that should  make any Chinaman blush.  A standard Jet is OK (I converted the oscillating coupling to a standard flex type on mine).  If I had it to do over I would go with the Performax rather than the Jet.
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ALLAN KUNTZ
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #5 - Sep 4th, 2017 at 2:35pm
 
For what you are doing a table saw and a jointer are all you would need. Run your board over the jointer to flatten and square one edge. Rip it over size on the table saw and then back to the jointer. I have both a planer and drum sander. If I had to pick it would be the planer. You talked about segmenting and I have found to get a perfect fit from ring to ring I use a Cole jaws and a board with sandpaper glued to it to flatten each ring. If your rings are to big for the Cole jaws put a small face plate on a piece of MDF turn it round then draw some concentric circles on the MDF. Center your ring on the MDF and hot glue it into place and the use the board with the sandpaper to flatten your rings. I use MDF because hot glue peals off of it with a chisel.
I hope this was no too long winded
Al
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Ed Weber
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #6 - Sep 4th, 2017 at 2:59pm
 
Let's pump the brakes a bit,
The OP wrote.
Steve Arnold wrote on Sep 3rd, 2017 at 8:49pm:
I'd like to start laminating some 1"x 1" x 24" or 1"x 2" x 24" pieces (some larger, some smaller) to be used as lids for my turned vessels.

I don't know if I should invest in a planer to get the thickness and smoothness I need for the glued joints, or if a drum sander would be better for that.

I don't want to have to buy both machines because they're not going to be getting that much use and I don't really have that much space in my shop.

I appreciate any of your suggestions.

There are many ways to achieve thin parallel strips for laminating (not the same as segmenting). It all depends on the project and the skill level of the operator.
Jointers and planers have limitations when it comes to grain direction.
If you only want to purchase and/or only have room for one machine, a standard drum sander (Not oscillating) may be the best fit for the project at hand.
Without knowing any details about the lids intended to be made, I'm only guessing.
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ALLAN KUNTZ
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #7 - Sep 4th, 2017 at 4:17pm
 
Sorry i read the OP wrong. I would still take the planer. Hard to remove !/4" with a sander
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Steve Arnold
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #8 - Sep 4th, 2017 at 7:05pm
 
Just to clarify, as Ed said, I'm interested in laminating, not segmenting. In other words, gluing 1" x 1" x 12" pieces of wood together and then cutting them into a circle and then shaping those circles on my lathe.

I'd love to be able to post a picture as an example, but I haven't been able to figure out how to post an image on this forum yet.  Embarrassed
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Len Mullin
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #9 - Sep 4th, 2017 at 10:05pm
 
Steve, it depends on what you actually want to do, with the sander or planer. Each piece of equipment is meant to do different jobs, the the planer is good for removing excessive stock. The thickness sander is meant to remove a minimal amount of stock, to bring a piece of wood to a finished piece of material. I have both machines, and even though either one gets little use, I'd hate to go without one or the other. But, if you can only afford to purchase one of these tools, then the planer is the one to purchase. With it you can take very light cuts to bring the stock into dimension with very little sanding.
Len
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« Last Edit: Sep 4th, 2017 at 10:15pm by Len Mullin »  
 
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Ed Weber
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #10 - Sep 5th, 2017 at 8:45am
 
Steve Arnold wrote on Sep 4th, 2017 at 7:05pm:
ust to clarify, as Ed said, I'm interested in laminating, not segmenting. In other words, gluing 1" x 1" x 12" pieces of wood together and then cutting them into a circle and then shaping those circles on my lathe.


So, just to clarify,
You want to glue XX number of pieces of 1" x 1" stock together to make a flat piece.
(this is edge gluing or panel gluing, not lamination)
Once together you plan to shape on the lathe.
A couple of points.
You can mill (prepare) the pieces on either a planer or drum sander. Much of the decision comes down to
1. Are you just prepping box store lumber or pre-milled and sanded lumber or are you cutting your own.
2. Do you plan on flattening the glued panel after construction.

If you're just cleaning up (truing) pre cut lumber and don't need to remove a large amount of material a DS will do. If you're getting rough lumber or need to drastically change dimensions, a planer might be a better fit.

If you glue up a panel and then plan to flatten it and/or remove excess glue before you mount it on the lathe, consider this.
if flattening with a planer you must make sure that the pieces in your glue-up all have their grain aligned in the same direction or you risk tear out, among other things.
If using a DS you need not worry about grain direction.

So, getting the pieces ready to glue, a planer will do the job. After the piece/assembly is glued a DS is a better choice.
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Steve Arnold
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #11 - Sep 5th, 2017 at 6:08pm
 
Ed Weber wrote on Sep 5th, 2017 at 8:45am:
1. Are you just prepping box store lumber or pre-milled and sanded lumber or are you cutting your own.
2. Do you plan on flattening the glued panel after construction.


1. I'll be cutting my own lengths of wood.

2. The only reason I might need to flatten one side the panels after they've been glued together would be to attach a waste block to them. I guess I can accomplish that though, using my electric hand sander.

It sounds as if I might be better off with the planer.
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Ray Stubbs
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #12 - Sep 5th, 2017 at 6:54pm
 
One thing to consider, in segmenting, when a ring is glued up the grain structure will be going in all different directions. This makes it difficult to put through the planer. You would be planning with the grain, and all angles in between for the same ring. Doesn't work well at all. So if your interested in doing segmenting in the future, you will need a drum sander.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #13 - Sep 5th, 2017 at 8:57pm
 
Again as I've already said and Ray just emphasized.
Planer grain direction dependent
Drum sander unidirectional feed, no grain direction limitations.

I don't know what tools you have or what other woodworking (if any) you do but if all you need to do is cut parallel strips and glue them a single time, maybe those tools are overkill. You can get a good quality ripping blade for your tablesaw and be done. (if you have one)

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Steve Arnold
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Re: Drum Sander or a Planer, What Do I Need for Laminating Wood?
Reply #14 - Sep 5th, 2017 at 10:25pm
 
Ed Weber wrote on Sep 5th, 2017 at 8:57pm:
You can get a good quality ripping blade for your tablesaw and be done.


That's exactly how I've been doing it to this point. I was under the impression though that I needed to smooth the pieces even further prior to gluing them together.
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