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micro-mark thickness sander review.

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  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Lewiston ID
micro-mark thickness sander review.
Posted by reklein on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 10:57 AM

My micro-mark thickness sander arrived the other day. Its a nice little unit. weighs 33 lbs. The base and platen is cast iron. The motor is 1/3 horse and is mounted on top. The capacity is 1/2" thick and 5" wide. I'd also have to say that items less than 12" long should not be used. The wood is pushed into the front of the machine under a heavy roller and pulled out the back by hand. The heavy roller prevent the workpeice from kickback, and it will kick back, if you should lose your grip. 1/3 hp. is not a lot of power so don't expect it to take a big cut. With a little practice you can get a pretty good finish but you need to develope a touch  to aviod sanding ripples into the wood. Leaving the workpeice in one place will sand a groove into the peice. I would definetly reccomend that one use a vacuum in conjunction with this peice to keep the dust down.

The machine is packed with a lot of antirust oil on the platen and the roller. I would reccomend carefully cleaning this all off before use. Also the plexiglass window infront of the sanding drum should be removed and cleaned with an anti static cleaner such as Endust. Also be sure to remove the protective film from the cover. I have'nt yet tried to change the sanding drum but there are good instructions for doing so. Also they send a nice little tool kit to help with the project. An additional tool you will need is a pair of snap ring pliers.

All in all if you like to cut your own wood or need special thicknesses I would say this machine is a good value. I compared it with two other sanders,Preac and Vandalay and this one seemed to be the most economical. A power feed woud be nice but probably not worth the additional cost.

  • Member since
    June, 2005
  • From: Biloxi, Mississippi
Posted by Russ39 on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 11:37 AM

I recently purchased a Byrnes thickness sander and I can say that the best way to work with it is to stand off to the side, feed with one hand and pull with the other hand in a steady motion to prevent those ripples that occur when the pieces sits in one place. So long as you keep the movement steady in these machines, the finish will be smooth.

One thing to remember is that these machines work best when you only try and remove about 1/64" at a time. Any more than that and the machine will be less effective. I found that by running the piece through several times, alternating side for side on the timber gave excellent results.




  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Ohio
Posted by mikepowers on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 3:49 PM

Thanks for the review.

I saw it advertised in there newest mag and thought about getting it.

Its nice to know what your getting before you get it.



  • Member since
    June, 2018
  • From: eugene, oregon
Posted by garryg4 on Sunday, June 10, 2018 6:11 PM

I received my Byrnes thickness sander about one year after Russ got his sander. That is, I have been using it for 10 years! During that time I have used it to surface everything from hickory to basswood. Mostly, I use it to surface poplar, my preferred wood for stick building. In the course of my work I have surfaced well over 1,000' of stock with thicknesses from .01" to 1 1/2". It has worked pretty well.


One inherent defect of the machine IMO involves the way the abrasive is secured to the drum. The instructions say:"Fold the edges of the new abrasive about 1/4" (longer than the drum diameter) and slide it around the drum . Replace the wedge(s) and cap screws, keeping pressure on the abrasive so that it remains tight on the drum. The wedge will form the abrasive to the drum." In theory this sounds fine but I have performed this operation hundreds of times and invariably the abrasive extends a slight fraction above the drum trajectory giving the whole operation a slight bumpyness. This is most pronounced with the coarser 80 grit material, less so with 180 grit material. Even so, this shows up on close inspection. Finishing with about a .002"pass with 180 grit abrasive produces a fairly smooth finish. For an excellent finish some hand sanding is manditory. 

In contrast the Microlux sander uses a sleeve sander. I wqnder if using this machine with a similar fine grit could preclude hand sanding? Also, how difficult (easy) is it to change sleeves?







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