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Drum Sander - Great Deal, Or Not?

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Bow Bender:
Back just a couple of days before Christmas I was in town and was driving by a large pawn shop where I occasionally stop in to see if they have anything that I could use. I occasionally find great buys on sporting goods, tools and other things there. I had made the rounds through all the aisles checking out the guns, knives, fishing, camping  equipment and finally got around to the tools. I checked them out and didn't find anything that I needed and was headed toward the door and was going past a row of generators and compressors and noticed somethig that looked out of place. It was sea foam green and I could make out the word "Grizzly" on it. Upon closer inspection I realized it was a G0459 Baby Drum Sander!  I have been wanting one of these for years, but being the tightwad that I am, I never felt comfortable spending that much for a new one. I gave it a quick visual inspection and the only thing that I noticed was the sand paper was worn out and the dust collection port on top was broken and needed to be replaced. I tried the thickness adjustment and found that it was very stiff and that looked like the threads on the adjustments needed cleaning and lubricated indicating that it hadn't been used in quite a while. The date on the data plate said that it was manufactured in 2006, so it probably didn't have too awful many hours on it. I could rotate the drum and the bearings seemed smooth and the conveyor belt looked in good shape also. I looked at the price tag and it was listed for $450.00. I had pulled it out of the row of other equipment where I could inspect it and the shop manager came over to see if he could make a sale. He asked if I was interested in it and I told him that I was, but with it being Christmas I was short on cash (but really I'm just a tight wad) and asked him what would be the best deal he could make for it. He said you'r in luck, today every thing in the shop is 50% off for Christmas!  Wow! That just brought the price down to$225.  I asked him if we could plug it in and make sure it would work and if it does I would take it. He brought a dolly that has a lift on it and we put it on there and raised it up to work bench height and plugged it in.  I pushed the power switch and it powered right up. But, the conveyor belt wasn't moving. We started checking everything, the drive chain was in place. the gears weren't spinning on the shafts, and the worm gear shaft wasn't turning but the drive motor seemed to be running and the variable speed control seemed to be controlling the motor speed. I manually tried to rotate the conveyor belt and after I moved it a couple of inches it started moving on its own. But it suddenly stopped again. I manually moved the conveyor belt again and it did the same thing.  Apparently the internal drive gear had some stripped teeth and would need to be replaced. The shop manager got on the Grizzly web site and started looking for replacement parts and came up with what looked like possibly the right drive motor/gear box assembly but it was nearly $200.00. Apparently, whoever took it in didn't know enough about these things to make sure that it was working properly.  The manager was pretty disgusted at this point, so I asked him how much he would pay me to haul it off for him. I don't think he really found that funny. Finally he said that for $20.00 I could have it. These things are heavy.  He helped me load it and seemed glad to get rid of it, and me.     
  The fix.    More later.   

Those early ones had some probs with a nylon gear in that part.

Call Griz and ask if they had a recall on that? 

Doubt it but hey...

Mad Max:
There over 1000.00 now so good deal

Bow Bender:
Hey Kenny, I have talked to Grizzly, I didn't specifically ask about a recall and they didn't mention one either.
  After I got it home I removed the drive motor/gear box assembly and took it apart to see what the problem really was.  As suspected, the 3" nylon gear had some stripped teeth,  the worm gear on the drive motor shaft looked good. I got on the Grizzly site and found an illustrated parts breakdown for this model and it even had individual part numbers for the gears, but when I looked on the listing  there were several different gears and they were for different versions of the gear box assembly, depending on what year the sander was manufactured.  What I discovered was that the the correct part for my sander was no longer available. By looking at the pictures of the gears that were available and talking to a parts man I selected what looked like a correct, or possibly close enough, replacement gear and ordered it. It was only around $30.00. I had my fingers crossed.   After it finally arrived, at first it looked correct but when I put a micrometer to the shaft it was too large in diameter and wouldn't fit the bronze bushings in the housing.  Dang it!  The next thought was to take it to a machinist to turn the shaft down to the correct size.  Before I took it in for machining I wanted to make sure that would be the right thing to do.  I checked to make sure that the teeth of the gear would mesh properly with the spiral grooves on the worm gear, and wouldn't you know it, they didn't mesh properly. The new gear had 3 fewer teeth than the original gear.  With the gear having fewer teeth , but the same diameter each tooth is a little thicker and less likely to shear off under stress.   I'm glad that i hadn't taken it in to a machinist yet.  I was able to return it.   After talking to a parts man some more it became obvious that there was no longer parts for this particular drive assembly.  In 2006, this model is sprocket and chain drive, the new model now has the motor/gear drive mounted directly on the end of the conveyor roller shaft so replacing the old one with one of these is impossible without a big modification. After making some more calls to the parts desk I finally got a guy on the line that had ran into this problem before, he told me that there is a repair kit that doesn't show up on the parts list but there is a part number for it, which he gave me.  He said that they only had three or four of them left so I shouldn't hesitate very long because he didn't know if they would ever get any more of them.  Then he gave me the bad news. They are $480.00 :o  After thinking it over I ordered one. If anyone needs this part number I still have it. The new one looks a lot more heavy duty, has a lot larger motor and it looks like it has ball bearings, rather than bushings.  It came with a new chain, drive sprocket, mounting bracket  and electric terminal plug. I changed the abrasive, the dust collection port and installed the new conveyor drive. It bolted right on.  Also cleaned and lubed the elevation screws.  Powered it up and everything works perfectly.  So, I didn't get the great deal that I first thought I would end up with but I have less than half of what a new one would cost. I now have a very serviceable drum sander that with no more use than I will give it, it should be running for many years to come.  Now I need to order some taper sleds and put it to use.  So, do y'all think that I got the raw end of the deal or came out ok?

I'd say you did OK , less than half price, and those conveyors didn't last very long on the older ones, I had one and replaced the gear twice.

Sold it and then they came out with an upgraded system...

Hopefully the new parts work well for a long time! :thumbsup:


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