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The Chatternator available as a stand-alone machine


Bill’s Custom Trim introduces a stand-alone model of the Chatternator, a profile sanding machine for removing chatter marks from trim. It joins the original model, invented by Bill Grom of Hotchkiss, Colo., that attaches to specific brands of molders.

Grom explains how the Chatternator came about. “I made about 6,000 feet of trim and had to hand sand the profiles. I could only do a couple of hours and my hand cramped up. That’s when I made the setup of a profile sander that would attach onto a molding machine and got the patent in 2018. It’s designed to get all the chatter marks out that the molder makes and doesn’t destroy the profile.”

He says the stand-alone unit can be fit to some molding machines for a single-pass operation with a few adjustments, but not all. More importantly, both machines take care of a tedious, but necessary task.

“When you run a piece of wood through any molding machine, whether it’s a $3,000 molding machine or $250,000 molding machine, you have a certain amount of chatter that’s acceptable within the wood standards, so many chatter marks per inch. Vibrations usually cause the chatter marks and some machines to do better than others, but you want to just get rid of the chatter marks because if you don’t and you stain or even paint, they show through. I guess it depends on how meticulous a person would be on what they want for a finished product.”

Both machines have a 6” material capacity and let the operator raise or lower the head of the machine to the depth of their molding profile. Sandpaper strips on the head are aligned to work with the shape of the molding so the profile remains intact.

“I worked with the down pressure, RPMs, and the feed rate of it, and found a sweet spot where it won’t distort the profile. It took a long time to figure out,” says Grom.

The Chatternator connects to standard electric service and is powered by a 110 AC drive motor, as well as a DC motor that delivers a variable speed feed rate of up to 25 fpm and a constant sanding speed of 875 rpm. Sandpaper is configured with and included with the machine, which attaches to the 24 flaps on the hub in a combination of 100 and 180 grit strips. Grom offers replacement paper if needed, buts says his machine has worked on the same set of brushes for over 35,000 lineal feet. A 3-1/2” dust port is located on top of the machine.

The stand-alone Chatternator sells for $2,495. The original sells for $1,695.

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This article was originally published in the October 2020 issue.

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