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My New Big Honkin’ Machine

Posted by on August 11, 2008

I love craigslist.

Around the same time I begain the planning for my new shop, I started using “igoogle” for my browser homepage. I also discovered a couple cool “craigslist” widgets for igoogle that display search results for preconfigured searches on your homepage. So, for example, if I’m considering the purchase of, say, a new dust collector, I’ll add a craigslist “dust collector” search widget to my igoogle homepage. Since I basically live online weekdays it’s unlikely I wouldn’t catch a new relevant post within, say, the first hour of it being posted. This is how I got my rather old but very competent 3HP 2100CFM dust collector for $225.

This is also how I found my latest workshop addition: A Grizzly G1066 24″ Dual Drum Sander for $400. Brand new these machines run about $1,500 delivered. Now the machine I got is not even remotely new — the copyright on the original manual (yeah, the seller had the original manual) is dated 1992 and the “Grizzly” logo is an older variety — but the insides were all there and it runs beautifully. Included with the machine were 2 new 150 grit rolls and 1 new/1 half used 100 grit roll of sandpaper. Considering these cost >$40 each, I figure I actually paid less than $300 for the actual machine. I consider this a very good deal, indeed.

Old Grizzly Logo on G1066


Finding the machine was the easy part. Since this machine weighs in at over 400lbs., getting it home and in place was a bigger challenge. I was lucky that the seller had a couple pretty big guys pickup up some other equipment a the same time as I.  The 4 of us (seller, two “big guys” and me) basically muscled the thing into the back of my minivan. I nearly passed out on the last push and am fairly certain that, were anyone looking, they’d have seen my eyes bulging out of their sockets. I’m not kidding. Fortunately, lowering it out of the van, with the help of my brother-in-law and a couple of his football-player sons turned out to be a bit easier than I’d feared…and my load-in ramp for the shop easily supported the weight. It was in!


When designing the shop, I saw fit to have a total of (4) 240V circuits installed. Two 15A and two 20A. One is for the dust collector, a second for my Grizzly 17″ bandsaw. This leaves one 15 and one 20A circuit available. The 5HP motor on this monster demands 240V @tenonandspline.com25A minimum. This meant installing a new dedicated 240V/30A circuit in the shop. Since I already had the 10ga. wire on hand, the expense was minimal (some 1/2 conduit and a breaker) and in about 2 hours yesterday afternoon I installed the new line.

Test Run

Much of the comments I’ve read on drum sanders dealt with frustrations over either burning wood like cherry, or tracking issues. These left me a bit apprehensive about what I would encounter when using this tool.  I decided to track down a current owner if I could and solicit some advice. Based on some of his prior posts, it appeared that a fellow “Lumberjock” (Todd A. Clippinger)  who’s work I’ve admired (and partially ripped off) had at one time owned this exact model. Todd took the time to provide me with a weath of information that I was able to put to immediate use. (Thanks!) So, after loading up the drums, per Todd, with some new 100 (front roller) and 150 (rear roller) grit, I picked up the first >9″ (minimum length per docs) piece of scrap I had at hand — a ~6″W  x ~10″ long piece of cherry. I fired up the dust collector (a must) and then the machine and ran this piece through, cranking up the table until the piece just made contact with the drums. It was a beautiful sound and after multiple passes without any burn or apparent strain on the machine, I eyed the cherry and walnut side panels I’d recently completed for my current project.

Beautiful! A few passes and the joints were dead flush and looking gorgeous. I’m hooked!

Did I mention how I love craigslist?

UPDATE: Todd responds here with some additional helpful information and photos.

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