Researching New Tools

I’m looking at adding a couple of new tools to the workshop; one being the replacement for the soon-to-be-absent thicknessers, which will be a cast iron platen version, somewhere between a 15″ and 20″.

The other I’m looking at is a finishing drum sander. I was expecting to find myself looking at one of the open-sided ones – customarily called a 10-20, or a 11-22 or sim, representing the size in inches of board that the unit can take in one pass or two. (two passes, because having an open side means the board can be rotated through 180 degrees and passed back through to finish the width).

However, it has been suggested that I may not actually be happy with that sort of machine because of the accuracy (or lack thereof) of the completed material, with a potential difference in edge thickness of 1mm or more being possible. That threw a bit of a spanner into the works, so I was wondering if anyone has any first hand experience, and if so, what brand and models seem to make the grade?

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