Case Study: The IGEL Milling Drum Vs Charter Academy Boxing Gym

What happens when you give the world’s greatest sanding machine a shiny set of teeth?

After a long, tough day’s sanding we had a call from Steve Davis (Elite Wooden Flooring) and Shaun Hale (Premier Wooden Flooring) who had teamed up for a big sanding job at Charter Academy Boxing Gym. They sounded unhappy.

After hearing about the troubles they were having, we decided this was an excellent opportunity to test out the IGEL Milling drum.


The gym floor was a 1960s 80mm maple strip, secret nailed by hand on to battens. The floorboards had severely cupped over time and was taking hours to sand flat. Even with P24 belts the crew were averaging just 10m² every hour. The remnant finish, game lines and adhesive tape that had been added to the floor over time didn’t help either.

The objective was to set the IGEL up lightly, to enable us to target only the high spots, without leaving deep marks or reducing the life of the floor. To gauge how deep the IGEL was cutting we used the old, remaining finish as a visual guide to ensure we didn’t hit too deep in the centre of the maple planks. The depth was easily calibrated with the limiter included with the kit.

The IGEL is a ferocious piece of equipment with an exceptionally high removal rate. We all took great care and caution using the machine by ensuring the surface was clean & debris free, power cables were well out of the way and nails and pins were punched suitably deep into the surface.

In all, it took approximately 40 min to plane back 40m² ready for sanding – a saving of 50 minutes on every 10m²! The dust bag had to be emptied every 10-15 minutes to prevent blockages.

We then switched back to the regular drum with P36 belts to take out the final deep spots for a totally flat surface.

After seeing the speedy results, both Shaun and Steve were blown away at the time that they saved. The IGEL proved itself to be incredibly economical and have no problem evening out one of the toughest floors we’ve faced!

Just like the HUMMEL itself, the IGEL is a fantastic investment for floor sanding companies looking to land larger commercial jobs. It may not pay for itself immediately but the time and abrasives saved on big projects will quickly offset the initial costs. Having the IGEL in your tool kit also gives you the confidence to take on jobs with confidence that others would turn down.


IGEL Facts:

  • IGEL is the German word for Hedgehogand should definitely be handled with the same care – and protective gloves!
  • The IGEL only takes 10 minutes to install, with the Hummel tilted back on its rest hooks.
  • The IGEL is Milled from a single piece of billet aluminium and has 40 interchangeable tungsten carbide blades. One blade edge can last up to 250m² and each blade has 4 usable sides giving a full set up to 1000m² of floor-milling life.
  • A simple & reliable depth limiter included in the kit ensures that not too much surface material is removed.
  • With a single pass it is possible to remove 1mm of material including Adhesives PVC ruminants filler or simply generations of paint, floor seal & maintenance products. The IGEL clears the Lot!


IGEL Operation:

  • Planing is performed by working with the grain of the wood, pulling the machine backwards.
  • Each pass is made working right to left across the floor – opposite to the usual sanding direction of left to right. Lining up each pass accurately to the previous pass will help get fast, efficient results.
  • The surface will be left clean & textured from planning which can be sanded smooth with a P36/40 grit paper. You can then complete your sanding process as usual.
  • Take time & care, don’t rush.
  • Don’t try to take off too much in one pass.
  • Once you have set your depth control, ensure that you tighten & lock all nuts.
  • Periodically (during bag changes) inspect the drum surface to ensure everything is clean and in perfect working order.

Find out more about the IGEL Milling Drum on our website here.


2 thoughts on “Case Study: The IGEL Milling Drum Vs Charter Academy Boxing Gym

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s