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Published on March 23, 2020


Did you take Shop Class or Industrial Arts in school? You may have had a Shop teacher like Ed Hess. Ed recently retired from a 36- year teaching career. He’s been a hands-on guy his whole life.

Now he’s set up his own workshop, making miles of molding, paneling, cabinets, picture frames, and more with his Woodmaster equipment – his Woodmaster Drum Sander and Woodmaster Molder/Planer.

“I’m retired now but I can’t give up woodworking”

“I’ve used power equipment my whole life. I got really interested in woodworking – I’ve got it in my blood. I taught what they now call ‘Tech Ed’ for 36 years. When I retired, I just couldn’t give it up and built a 30 x 46 shop for myself. A lot of it is set up for woodworking equipment including my Woodmaster Drum Sander and Molder/Planer.

Here’s Ed’s 38″ Woodmaster Drum Sander. He’s set wood panels on the outfeed, between the rollers. “The wood is slightly lower than the rollers,” says Ed. “The boards keep small workpieces from dropping between the rollers.” Thanks for the tip, Ed!

Years ago, I built my own house. And I built the shop I have now – poured the concrete, studded out the walls, installed trusses, wiring, plumbing, and finished everything.

I’ve owned a Woodmaster Molder/Planer since 2005 and recently added a Woodmaster Drum Sander, the 38” 3875 model. I used it a lot to red our kitchen and to build all the cabinets that line the walls of my shop.

Ed’s son is building a multi-million dollar home and Ed’s helping with the trim. “We put 10,000 feet of cherry through the Woodmaster!”

Wide belt sanders? Too big, too pricey, too much current

If you sand by hand with an orbital sander, you end up with swirl marks and I wanted a better sanding solution. I started looking for a small wide belt sander but there aren’t any. All the wide belt sanders are big and have 10 – 20 horsepower motors that draw 50 amps and more. And they take up a lot of floor space. I’m not set up for that. Plus, the big ones start around $20,000 — very expensive.

I’d owned a Woodmaster Planer for years. I bought my Woodmaster Drum/Sander and it’s perfect for me. It fits my shop and it’s in my price range. It does a good job and really fills the bill for the work I do. I haven’t had any problems.

“Infinitely Variable Feed Rate is one of Woodmaster’s main advantages”

Variable feed rate is one of Woodmaster’s main advantages. Both my sander and planer have it. Sometimes you want to run the workpiece through very slowly. Other times you want to put it through fast. Slower on harder woods, faster on softer woods. The Variable Feed Rate is trouble-free, dial 0 to 16 feet per minute. It’s awesome. It runs from a digital DC motor. So it’s DC drive – direct current.

The advantage of variable feed rate is you can just dial it up or down as you go. You need it on knots and knotty wood. As the workpiece feeds through and you get to a knot, you can just dial it down at that point then speed it back up.

Ed runs 2 grits at the same time

The smaller 26” Woodmaster Drum Sander would have been big enough for most of what I do but I wanted the bigger 38” model because it gives me sanding flexibility. I can set up two sandpaper grits at the same time on the same drum. 19” of 100 grit on one end of the drum, and 19” of 50 grit on the other end. That gives me two grits without any paper changes.

Or, if I have a bigger project, I can just peel off the hook-and-loop sandpaper and put one grit on the whole width. It’s perfect.

No problems

I’ve had very good luck with Woodmaster equipment. No problems. Everything works as it should and functions well though I did move the control box and install my own depth gauge.”

Ed Hess, Woodmaster Sander & Planer Owner, East Bethel MN

SAVE BIG NOW on Woodmaster Drum Sanders! – sale prices, online specials

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In the old days, boys took Shop and girls took Home Economics. Boys learned how build things, use power equipment, do woodworking, metal working, and more.

Many Woodmaster woodworkers tell us Shop was their favorite class in school. For some, it sparked a lifelong dedication to woodworking…as a hobby, part time money-maker, or even as a career.

 Some of us learned woodworking skills from our dads or granddads. But for many, Shop class was where we discovered how to turn simple materials into useful, valuable, and beautiful projects. And we learned how SATISFYING it is to have D-I-Y attitude and the skills to back it up.

A Shop teacher’s view…

“Shop, or Tech Ed, teaches students to get their hands and their brains to work together. It gets students to think in a new way. It’s good, hands-on work that’s easy for students to do.

I’ve had students who’ve gone on to very successful careers in the trades as cabinetmakers, builders, construction workers. My own son is a cabinetmaker. Now I’m making things with my grandson. I feel good about what I’ve done over the years” – Ed Hess, retired Shop teacher

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