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Thread: Supermax drum sanders: looking for input by owners

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    134

    Supermax drum sanders: looking for input by owners

    I am in the market for a drum sander and think I like the Supermax. Any insight, advice pros or cons would be helpful.
    I was looking at the 19-38 model but the 19" combo machine is interesting.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Haubstadt (Evansville), Indiana
    Posts
    226
    I am new to this forum. I just bought this sander (not the combo). I still have not set it up yet, as I am waiting on the closed base, so I can't comment on performance. I was about to purchase the Jet 22-44 when I ran across this. I could only find one review on it, but sometimes that is not bad. The sander looks to be well made. It is on a cast iron base and the frame and base are of significant thickness. I believe it is very similar to the 22-44, but I have never seen the 22-44. The things that made me buy this one is it from the previous Performax group before Jet bought them out. The second thing was it came with a free DRO and the cover/dust port are metal. Once I get the table and set up I will comment on things such as drum roundness, performance, ect. This is my first drum sander, so I am sure I will go through the normal trial and errors.
    Last edited by William C Rogers; 02-21-2012 at 4:36 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bristol and Pound Virginia
    Posts
    233
    I looked long and hard at that sander before I bought my Woodmaster. I almost pulled the trigger several times. From what I read online it's a good tool. The only drawback I seen anyone mention was the clips that hold the paper being tough to use. A few fussed about set up but almost any tool will need a few tweeks out of the box. I love my 38 inch Woodmaster so far but I think I would have been equaly pleased with the Supermax. I found a screaming deal on the WM and like to buy U.S. made so that swayed my decision as well.

    I will be following this thread to see how folks like the Supermax as I wouldn't mind having one set up coarse and one fine. Ahhh....to dream!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    134
    Thanks guys. William let us know about the setup and holding clips as Shane mentioned. If paper loading is a major hassle, or tuning and adjustment isn't easy that is definitely worth noting.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
    Posts
    2,854
    I've had both the 25x2 and the 37x2 and paper loading isn't an issue. Like any machine, there is a learning curve but not much of one. You want to be sure the paper doesn't overlap on the edges and that the spring clip is indeed engaged and not hung up inside the drum thus allowing the paper to loosen up but no big deal. The drum sanders can't take much off at a time and different types of wood need care to avoid burning or gumming. I use poly glue for panels that are run through because yellow seems to be harder on the paper. The supermax, like the woodmaster is a good US company that makes a quality product for what it is meant for. I think they both use the same motor. Sand smart is OK but not a deal breaker either way. You quickly learn to tell the proper speed by watching and feeling. Dave

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Haubstadt (Evansville), Indiana
    Posts
    226
    Well I finally got the Supermax 19-38 set up and have used it for a 6 or 7 soft maple boards. I have never had, seen or used any open drum sander before, so I can’t compare. The sander is well packaged for shipment. It comes with an open stand that is fine (you will need casters), but I ordered the closed stand. My Dewalt planer found a home for the one shipped with the sander. I also opted for the feed tables. Paint is good, no chips or anything. The things I like about it are it was very easy to set up. It is all cast iron and sits on a cast iron frame. I checked the drum concentricity was less than 0.001. Initially the table was -0.029 low on the open end. Adjustment is made by loosing 4 allen screws and adjusting by turning one nut to raise and lower that end. Within two iterations (10 minutes) I was within 0.001 and quit there. That was about all the set up there was to it. The belt tracking seemed fine, no problems with any of the hardware or threads during minimal assembly. Everything fit nicely. Features I like are the solid metal cover. It is thick metal and when attaching a dust collector hose it is solid and has a positive latch. I like the DRO that was a free upgrade at the time I ordered the sander. I think without it I would be burning a lot of wood until I got the hang of it. I was amazed how easy it was for me to change the sand paper. They provide a little tool to hook the closed end clip, but there is plenty of room for your fingers. The Supermax has what they call a "fast lever" which I have not used yet. This is for sanding wider than the 19-inch width. To use it you loosen two bolts and move the lever, then retighten the bolts. This adjusts the table for sanding wider than 19 inches. The belt is a variable speed with what Supermax calls intelisand that will slow the speed automatically if too much is being taken off. It has a 1 hp motor. I somehow tested this by trying to take too much off and putting a nice 2 inch burn mark in the wood and the motor did not stall (and the intellisand did kick in). The motor and DRO are made specifically for Supermax to their specifications, so no mfg name on them. The boards I sanded came out very flat within a few thousands the entire length and I have not noticed any snipe at all indicating the pressure rollers were adjusted properly at the factory. Lastly the Supermax Customer Support is excellent. Very quick to answer my questions and the fact that they only make sanders I think is a plus. Overall the performance, quality, support and use I give it 5 stars in every category. I think it is a very good tool competitively priced.
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    Last edited by William C Rogers; 03-23-2012 at 6:30 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Silver City, New Mexico
    Posts
    65
    I had a 25" dual drum for several years and got rid of it because it took up too much room in the shop and I didn't think I would use it any more when I moved my shop; wish I hadn't. Now I have a different brand and wish I didn't and dosen't come close in comparison. As mention in another response, the spring clips can be PITA but other than that it is like anyother machine and periodically requires adjustment. I also found their technical support people very good to work with when I had a proble. I suspect that you seen this review but I pass it along just in case:http://www.wwgoa.com/articles/produc...h-drum-sander/

    One of the advantages of close vs open-end drum sanders is that you can better offset your piece when running it through. That reduces burns on the paper and producces a better result and less finish sanding.

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