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Doug
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I was able to grab a Ryobi WDS1600 drum sander for a VERY reasonable price. Everything works well on it, but it has an annoying tracking problem on the feed belt. This is the reason the previous owner wanted it gone.

I have found a couple things wrong, one of the roller brackets was bent, and the adjusting springs were missing. I am experimenting with some aftermarket springs, trying to dial in on a good amount of tension.

I have most of the tracking resolved, but it will still walk from one side to the other after a while.

Has anybody else played with the Ryobi or Steel City drum sanders and had a similar issue that they have resolved?
 

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I was able to grab a Ryobi WDS1600 drum sander for a VERY reasonable price. Everything works well on it, but it has an annoying tracking problem on the feed belt. This is the reason the previous owner wanted it gone.

I have found a couple things wrong, one of the roller brackets was bent, and the adjusting springs were missing. I am experimenting with some aftermarket springs, trying to dial in on a good amount of tension.

I have most of the tracking resolved, but it will still walk from one side to the other after a while.

Has anybody else played with the Ryobi or Steel City drum sanders and had a similar issue that they have resolved?
I have the same problem with my Performax, haven't solved the problem yet. It doesn't have springs, just a tightener on each side of the out feed roller to adjust tension on one side or the other. I haven't found the "sweet spot" that keeps it in the middle yet.

Herb
 

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I even replaced the belt because it was over 5 years old and cracked along the edges with a new one. Jet (Bought out Performax) wanted $95. for replacement, I found a outfit that makes them themselves for $45. It didn't solve the problem. I am at the point I just readjust the belt now and then, maybe I will swap ends with the belt and see if it will run the other way.
 

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Hey Doug...

I got a WDS1600. Not a bad little machine, not a great little machine, but not to shabby!! I have the same issue as you. Belt wants to creep towards the motor side of the unit. I've adjusted the belt 6 ways from Sunday and she still wants to track to the right. It seems to go so far and thats where she kinda stops creeping?? I've seen new belts in Ebay for 80 or so now and then and they have the replacement sandpaper type belt for around 40 I think it is. The tracking does not seem to impact the performance of the machine which is a good thing. Sooooooooooo I just take and give it a good "shove" to the left when needed.

Another issue I had was that the sanding drum was off by around .006 left to right. with the right side being the low end. A couple well placed pieces of a playing card placed behind the upper mounting brackets squared her right up..

watch your feed speeds. With 100-150 grit papers, Cherry, poplar, purple/red/yellow heart to name a few will burn in a blink of an eye.

When changing out papers, I use a pair of small needle nose plies to grab the paper and pull it taunt. I've come to not like those latching mechanisms. *L*..
 

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Sounds like me. Mine also creeps towards the right, I use the sanding belt type feed belt. I keep drum a few thousandths lower on the outboard end to compensate with the small amount of spring in drum. If I don't on a wider board I get a crown in the middle.

I don't have the Smart feature on the feed motor so I had an ammeter installed on the motor and can regulate the current draw by manually adjusting the feed. So I sand between 10.2a. and 15.5a., but you are right about the burn. I tried 220 grit one time and found it doesn't take much to burn. and then the belt is ruined,so now I just use the ROS for anything above 120 grit.

There was a little hook tool that came with the sander to open the drum belt clamp to install the sanding belt. It was a bugger to use, and after about 3-4yr.s I saw a video on how to do it and now it is no problem. I see on the new machines they have increased the distance at the end of the drum for better access.
Herb
 
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