“We thought we could improve the finish of a work piece,” says Patrick Curry, director of product management for JET woodworking products. “We could also increase the life of the abrasive belt and also eliminate, if not reduce, the burning of the wood. Those are the three major things we were trying to accomplish, and I think we accomplished all three.”
The oscillating mode engages with the push of a red button located on the top right side of the carriage. Should the user, for some reason, decide to perform linear sanding without the oscillating option, the button simply needs to be pulled out. Curry says the result of the oscillation is clearly evident to the eye, regardless of what species of wood is being sanded.
“If you run your work piece through and it’s not in oscillation mode — it’s running just like a regular drum sander — take that piece out and look at it up in the light. You will see some very fine lines going across that work piece. Now take that same piece, turn the oscillation mode on, run it through and you won’t see any lines or any streaking on that work piece. You can take that work piece straight out of the machine and finish it. You won’t have to do any further sanding.”
Curry says he expects the machine to normally be run with the feature engaged, adding, “If I was sanding with it, I would never run it without the oscillation.”
The drum sander has a work-piece capacity of 44" wide and 4" high. The drum is powered by a 1-3/4-hp single-phase motor, and the conveyer runs on a separate smaller motor. Ceramic trackers underneath the bed maintain tracking of the feed belt, so when the belt comes over to one side or the other it will hit the ceramic trackers and not tear the belt.
The oscillating drum sander also features JET’s SandSmart technology, which determines feed rates by the amount of amperage any given work piece is drawing.
“Let’s say, for some reason, you are not paying attention and you crank your handle down a little bit more than you should have. You put your work piece in there and it takes a really big bite; bigger than you had anticipated,” Curry explains. “The SandSmart technology measures the amp draw of the drum motor. It sees that the amperage is going up and automatically lowers the feed rate, which lets you pass that work piece through without stalling out the drum motor and ruining your work piece.”
JET designed the drum sander for heavy use in a small cabinet shop.
“I really believe that a small cabinet shop that’s doing cabinet doors — a cabinet door already glued up — will benefit because it really works great across grain. You won’t believe the finish you get in oscillation mode,” adds Curry.
Sanding belts are available in various grits. JET sells its “ready to wrap,” already-cut abrasives that are pre-cut for the drum sander. The user only needs to open a spring-levered latch, hook one end of the abrasive, roll it across the drum and hook it into the other end and the change is complete.
The closed-stand cabinet on the 22-44OSC model has a wider footprint than JET’s 22-44 model and is designed to allow the operator to be closer to the machine. The cabinet also has a built-in storage area for abrasives and other materials.
The JET oscillating drum sander, model 22-44OSC, is priced at $2,049.