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sanding drum ?

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For finish , in my opinion , I would go the thickness sander . As for price , well that can vary depending on the manufacturer (as is the quality ) . I'm currently saving for a thickness sander and will be buying the Byrnes model . I already have a couple of the Brynes machines and know how well designed and built they are .



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A planer is used to bring a board to the proper thickness.  Since it uses blades thiss can be done fairly quickly.  However the downside is the exact accuracy you need and the blades have to be sharp.  Unless you are an expert in sharpening this can get pricey.  A thickness sander used different grets of sandpaper to achieve the same resulr.  It might take a little longer but you can achve quite a bit of accruacy and control the final finsh on the wood.  Fom what I have seen Jim's sander is the way to go.

David B

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With a planer you can only go down to a certain thickness. With a drum sander you can get the wood paper thin. I use a planer to dimension bigger stock.


There's also a handy tool called a Wagner Safe-T Planer that goes on your drill press. With care, and with the blades nice and sharp, you can bring wood to thin dimensions. It's quite cheap compared to a drum sander.



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I just purchased a planer and intend to use it to quickly level out rough stock to size.

It will dial down to 3/16" but 1/8" pass at a time

I could rip this with my band saw to individual board (i.e.. plank) thicknesses or scroll saw to make other individual pieces

I would use a sander to finish.

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What is the difference in the wood drum (used to bring it to the correct thickness) and a planner?

Technically the difference is that a sander rips the surface of the material in the same way that a fall on the concrete rips your skin to lesser and lesser degrees depending on the size of the rocks glued to the paper and a planer cuts the skin as if you were slicing it with a razor or other sharp or dull blade. also remembering that dull tools are very dangerous. this applies equally to sanding drums a dull one can cause a fire because of the friction.


That said, it really depends on the use that each tool is used for. It is easier to control a thickness sander than it is to control a thickness planer, because when the material is fed through the thickness sander the drum presses down on the material and it does not try to jump up, the planer blades because of the nature of their action try to raise the material and so there needs to be rollers to hold down the material being planed as it is fed through machine.


The type of wood the density of the grain and hardness all have a bearing on how well it planes and as already stated above the blades need to be very sharp to ensure a good surface.


The planer cannot polish metal as the sander can. If I had an option to purchase either or and was going to be using ready prepared dimensional material I would opt for the sander, and for larger billets I would and do use a jointer planer rather than a thickness planer.


A good saw and the sander would provide the most versatility for resizing wood supplied by the reputable suppliers of wood for model shipbuilding.


This is just my opinion on the principles of your question as I do not own either tool but have adapted others to do the same work when I have needed.



Edited by michael mott
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