Most helpful critical review
114 of 115 people found the following review helpful
All Hat, No Ranch. Actually, it's junk!
on June 8, 2009
I have owned an earlier version of this machine for six years and have also had several years experience with the Performax 16/32 and the Jet 22/44 drum sanders. I use these machines for several applications, but mostly for precise sanding of musical instrument parts.
I bought the Delta because it has a moveable cast iron table, which I thought would be much more precise than the Performance and Jet machines. I also bought it because of its 18 inch capacity. The machine is well built. Fit and finish is very good. The precision is there, but that's where it ends.
When feeding stock into the sander, it is very difficult to get it started through the in-feed pressure bar, which is too tight and is not adjustable. When the stock comes up against the out-feed pressure bar it stops, causing the drum to dig into the stock, ruining glue surfaces or worse, destroying expensive instrument parts at critical thicknesses, unless you physically keep feed pressure on the stock to prevent it. This happens even when removing five or six thousandths of an inch from narrow material.
The motor stalls under loads when it clearly should not. I have experienced stalling when removing fifteen thousandths of an inch from oak, maple, etc 8 inches wide. Wider stock is obviously worse.
Changing sanding strips is difficult to say the least, given the inaccessibility of the spring loaded clips that hold them to the drum.
The sander came with an accessory inflatable drum sander attachment, which I installed and immediately removed because its rotation didn't even resemble Concentricity with the shaft that drives it.
My experience has shown me that I should not have underestimated the durability, strength and precision of the Jet/Performance machines and that I made a mistake when bought the Delta.
I wouldn't buy the Delta machine again, at any price.
Update, September 23rd, 2014. Today, the in-feed roller fell out of the bracket that carries it and the out-feed roller isn't far behind. Delta no longer supplies these parts. They are obsolete. Eleven years out and no parts back up? Propriety does not allow me to use the expressions and words that I have for this machine or the manufacturer. I will, however say, without compunction: This machine is a piece of junk and has been since it was new. It was the last Delta machine I bought and now,is surely the last I will ever buy.