A WoodNetter wrote in to his buddies to ask about the lines left in his wood by his 18″ Delta drum sander.

Here’s what he said:

“I’m wondering if anyone can help me out in eliminating lines in the wood after sanding on a drum sander (18″ Delta).

I’ve ran the grit schedule of 80, 120, and I”m getting ready to do 220, but the lines continue to show in the wood. I want to get a clean sand with the 220 if possible to stain next.

How are manufacturers machining the wood clean for staining?”

And here’s a note on the size of his project, which he mentions further on in the post:

“I currently have 400 bf of Rail and Stiles to sand as well as bookmatched door panels that are approximately 600 bf. This doesn’t include the next 3 projects, just a very large 5 piece entertainment system.”

Some folks suggested that this is just the way it is:

“We sand them to about 120 then hand sand with an ROS to stain.”

“break out the ROS and the vibrating sander it is just the way it is.”

Some recommended a wide belt sander:

“I had a Woodmaster drum sander that did as you say, left streaks in the wood. I tried premium paper, no difference. Finally I sold it and bought a widebelt, that all but eliminated the problem…”

An alternate view – “A widebelt sander does have a reduced line because the belt moves side to side as the tracking system keeps the belt in the center of the machine, but it still leaves lines.”

Others suggested he fix his sand paper:

“You can knock down those high pieces of grit on the sanding drums with a piece of sandpaper. Just make sure you dont use a lower grit than that of the drumpaper.”

“those erasers for sandpaper work great also “

A Note On Sanding Glue Ups:

“when sanding glue ups i scrape the excess glue first then run the panels at a slight angle so the glue does not get pushed down the same line and build up on the paper.”

Finally, the original poster has the idea that he can make a ROS (random orbit sander) out of his drill press.

In fact, he rigged something up already on his drill press that saves him quite a bit of time, that is, “a way to make a small ROS Head to place in my drill press and run through my feeder.”

“I took a 9″ circle of ply, put industrial strength velcro on it and some 150 grit paper put it in my chuck in my drill press, and set it up on my feeder. It worked pretty well and the lines are a little easier to remove than the drum sander lines. I am working on an attachment to create a ROS on the drill press with some sort of ecentric shaft. If I can create somewhat of a ROS and can cut my work in 1/2 on the sanding, it will save me 2 weeks worth of heavy sanding.”

Read the full WoodNet post here: Drum Sander Lines