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Grizzly Baby Drum Sander

Grizzly Baby Drum SanderI'm glad I bought the G0459 12" Baby Drum Sander when I did, it has since gotten noticeably more expensive. Drum sanders are not very efficient at stock removal and I've tripped the circuit breaker (20 amp house circuit) more than a few times. It does do a good job of cleanup and does provide a pretty decent surface when using 150 grit. I use 220 on a random orbital to finish up. Because shop space is tight I have it on a furniture dolly which works well (not uncomfortably low). I did have two quality control issues, a stripped plastic gear in the belt drive motor and velcro that delaminated from the sandpaper. Both were taken care of by Grizzly at no cost to me... delamination is an issue with my replacement paper as well... Heat is the culprit, letting the drum cool down before changing grits prevents it.
May '11: Since I have not tripped a breaker since changing the feed motor and adjusting the machine, my guess is that (aside from initially trying to use the machine like a planer, i.e. trying to take off to much material per pass) my gear and feed motor troubles were caused by a feed belt that was tensioned too tight at the factory. The pressure rollers were also too low and that may have contributed as well. You don't need anywhere the same pressure as you would with a planer. Too much pressure can cause snipe because the feed belt is a bit spongy and when the stock enters/leaves the second pressure roller the stock gets pushed down/springs up. I significantly reduced snipe when I set the rollers just a hair lower than the wrapped drum. I hold the stock just a bit high - a very slight pressure against the roller - when the stock enters and leaves the sander.

Conveyor Belt Motor

Conveyor Belt MotorAug, '10: I thought I stripped another conveyor drive gear, but this time it was a broken motor shaft. It turns out that Grizzly is on their fourth drive design and I am not the only person that has had this problem. Three out of the four negative reviews at Amazon are because of conveyor belt motor breakage. The latest design is direct drive - the motor is mounted to the end of the conveyor drive drum/shaft - and a retrofit kit is supposed to be available sometime in Aug ('10). Instead of waiting and hoping for a good discount on the $180? price, I went the DIY route. I was hesitant to try a DC motor that might not work with the existing controller (~75VDC max output for a 110VDC labeled motor?). I ended up getting a brand new AC gearmotor (Bodine) on eBay for $70 shipped. The 19RPM runs the conveyor belt close to the same speed (~11FPM w/ 1:1 sprockets) that I used to run it (pointer straight up) and the 100in-lbs of torque is probably overkill (43in-lbs is pretty common on bigger sanders).

Conveyor Belt MotorJan '14: I got an email asking how I mounted the gear motor. The mount is two pieces of steel angle (screwed together, could be welded) with the leg of the top one sandwiched between the roller adjuster casting and the bed. The bottom angle was made from a scrap of channel with one leg cut off (I'm not sure why, it doesn't look like it would have been in the way). I also drilled and tapped the bed so that I could use screws in all four holes of the casting. I used the stock sprockets and chain. I couldn't find a sprocket that fit, both the gear motor shaft and the relatively narrow chain, and had to use some sort of sleeve (don't remember) to get the stock sprocket to fit snugly on the 1/2" gear motor shaft.

Apr '17: Someone emailed requesting more information about my gearmotor. It is a Bodine type 34R4BFCI-Z4 (Series 34R-Z, Model 0448), 115v, 1a, 1/15hp, 19rpm, 90:1 ratio, 100lb-in. While it works as desired, it was just the cheapest/best solution I could find on eBay at that time.
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Comments [ new ]

Re: Grizzly Baby Drum Sander
Posted by Mike on Saturday, 19-Mar-2016

I too have one of the Grizzly sander. My feed table stopped working while sanding small pieces of oak. I took the feed motor off and noticed inside one of the gears had broke. Plastic gear on a metal motor shaft. Grizzly wanted $160.00 for a replacement motor assembly. I needed it soon I am building a oak crib for my daughter and her husband. They shipped the complete motor assembly and when I tried to put the gear onto the motor, guess what it's to small. The shaft on the new motor is bigger, used digital calipers and the new shaft is .389 bigger ? Grizzly does not show the drive gear listed individually. My next step is to take the old drive gear to a local machine shop and have it made to fit ! I'm glad I work within the same business as the machine shop, it's still going to cost me $50.00 to have the hub and sprocket made to fit. At least the crib might be done !

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Re: Grizzly Baby Drum Sander
Posted by Garry Loeffler on Sunday, 23-Nov-2014

I have a baby drum sander .I did not know 8" was as small as you could go. I make segmented bowls. Has anyone made a sled for putting smaller segmented rings , 3 or 4 inches through the sander safely?


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Re: Grizzly Baby Drum Sander
Posted by Dave on Tuesday, 25-Nov-2014


I often use a sled (PB or MDF board) that's longer than the work to compensate for the spongy feed belt (i.e. to reduce snipe). I'd think small pieces would have to be fastened to the sled and that you'd have to arrange them in a line so that you had more than 8" in length going through the sander.

Re: Grizzly Baby Drum SanderAttaching side strips to the sled, the same height and longer than your combined pieces, minimizes snipe even more. It is a pain because it's a one time thing, the strips are only effective if they get sanded along with the parts. They need to be at least 4" longer on each end to be in contact with the pressure rollers before/after the parts contact/leave the drum... found/added example image.

If you contained the parts with side strips and front/back stops, you might not need to fasten them to the sled. They'd have to fit tightly together and you'd have to take really light passes... This could be a bad/dangerous idea, 3-4" is pretty darn short and the friction of the rotating drum will try to lift the pieces off the sled.

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