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Thread: Drum Sander Choice

  1. #1
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    Drum Sander Choice

    I'm looking to upgrade my 16-32 Jet Drum Sander.

    Space is a little limited, but these are the options I've been considering

    1.) Jet 22-44 Pro 3-HP with DRO

    2.) SuperMax 25-50 Drum Sander 1-3/4HP with DRO

    3.) Woodmaster 38" 5HP Single Drum Sander

    I like the fact that the Jet has a beefier motor, but of course the SuperMax has larger capacity, and looks to be more solidly built. The Woodmaster looks the most solid, but being a closed unit would limit me to 38" (not sure I'd exceed that).

    Anyone own either of those units (the Jet seems much rarer), and have any thoughts that could sway me in either direction. The Woodmaster is quite large, and may not fit.

    Other units to consider in this size range? No room for a true wide belt, sob...
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  2. #2
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    My only experience is with the Performax 22-44. It's perfect for me. I don't use it for wide things but having the wide roller lets me run spread out the wear and increase time between paper changes.

    I personally don't see the value of a big motor - the 1.75 hp on mine seems fine. If I tried to power through sanding something that the 1.75 hp couldn't handle it would burn the wood instead of sand gracefully. I use light passes. Of course, I haven't used one with a large motor. The paper is a pain to change but gets easier after a few times. But perhaps you're used to that on the Jet.

    If you want to spend more money, get a multi-drum sander. I used one in the '70s with three drums - a single pass made a perfect, finely-sanded surface. We used it a lot, especially for chess and checker boards.

    JKJ


    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    I'm looking to upgrade my 16-32 Jet Drum Sander.

    Space is a little limited, but these are the options I've been considering

    1.) Jet 22-44 Pro 3-HP with DRO

    2.) SuperMax 25-50 Drum Sander 1-3/4HP with DRO

    3.) Woodmaster 38" 5HP Single Drum Sander

    I like the fact that the Jet has a beefier motor, but of course the SuperMax has larger capacity, and looks to be more solidly built. The Woodmaster looks the most solid, but being a closed unit would limit me to 38" (not sure I'd exceed that).

    Anyone own either of those units (the Jet seems much rarer), and have any thoughts that could sway me in either direction. The Woodmaster is quite large, and may not fit.

    Other units to consider in this size range? No room for a true wide belt, sob...

  3. #3
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    When I decided to upgrade from my Delta 18x36 single drum sander I went with a 25" dual drum sander with a 3 HP motor. It's been a huge step up, but I often wish it had more HP. (FWIW, 1-3/4" HP on a 25" drum is woefully too little.) Of the sanders you are interested in, I would go with the Woodmaster because 1) HP does matter when you get that wide, 2) it is heavier built, and 3) the odds of having to sand anything wider than 38" is pretty darned small. But I would look for a dual drum sander to be honest. It's just a lot more efficient.

    I've never wished for a DRO on my sander, nor thought of retrofitting it with one. A pair of Vernier calipers has worked just fine for me. I'm not even sure a DRO would work with the same accuracy on a drum sander because of how different woods respond, what grit is on the drums, speed, etc.

    John

  4. #4
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    I have the SM 25x2 double drum sander. It is a great unit and can be moved aside when not in use. It can also be used as a single drum sander if needed.

    Like John, I don't see the need for a DRO. Calipers are what I use too.

  5. #5
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    Well, as my wife would say 'I have owned every type of sander there is'... Not entirely true.

    I have had the Performax 16/32.
    And a Grizzly 24" dual drum
    And a 25" timesaver three phase beast
    And a Reliant 13" widebelt
    And a Woodtek 13" widebelt
    And now a Jet/powermatic 17" widebelt (overhang model).

    Personally... and this is just me... I did not like the drum sanders nearly as well as the wide belts. The Reliant was a gem. $400 on CL and would outsand the grizzly dual drum any day of the week. The Woodtek was the same (a little more hp and a nicer machine, but I paid a little more for it).

    The other aspect (for me) was space. Those huge dual drum sanders take a lot of space. Even the timesaver seemed lower footprint than the dual drum.

    So I would take either of the small 13" wide belt sanders over the dual drum.

    I recently added a DRO to the jet. The key use for this was to 'get close' to the nominal size before running it through, in fewer iterations. $30 for a DRO, no brainer.
    Last edited by Carl Beckett; 02-19-2019 at 11:21 AM.

  6. #6
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    I used to have a 5hp 37" dual drum. I would agree that the heat and small sandpaper surface were more a limiting factor than horsepower. I sold that machine and dont miss the footprint at all. I am very interested in trying one of the open ended narrow widebelts. A few thoughts to keep in mind during your search. One, how often do you intend to sand something wider than 36-37"? Anything of thickness or length becomes very difficult to manage by yourself in that width. Next, i know the difference between 22 and 25 is very little, but that would become very annoying to do multiple passes over 3" of workpiece width.

    Id like to add a sander back to my lineup at some point, but not another really wide one in my current shop. I really just want one for cleaning up 24"/- wide panels, dealing with minor tearout, and surfacing bent laminations. My days of wanting to surface large table tops in one go are over with. You need a proper machine to do that right, and i dont have the floor space or room in my electric service for such a machine.

  7. #7
    I have a the Supermax 25/50 and the 1 3/4 HP motor is plenty. As John said earlier, if you try to take too big a bite you start burning the wood. I've NEVER had even an indication that the motor was stalling. Buring limits the size of the bite you can take, not motor power.

    The reason for the 1 3/4 HP limit is that it's about the max you can get on a standard 120V circuit. I looked at a Woodmaster but decided to go for the Supermax - the Woodmaster was just physically too big for my shop. It requires two power circuits, a 240 volt for the 5HP motor and a 120 volt circuit for the motor that runs the belt. If you often do wide panels, it could be a good choice - if you have the space.

    I agree about the DRO - you really won't use it. I don't have one on my Supermax and don't miss it.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #8
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    I commonly hear that wide belts are a huge step up from drum sanders, but the footprint of them looks huge. Not sure how I can work around that.

    Are there relatively small sized wide-belt sanders?

    Funny, I installed a Wixey DRO on my present Jet 16/32, and use it all the time and love it. I also installed one on my Laguna planer. Pain to install, but useful. My new Felder stuff has one built in. And yes, I use calipers too.
    Last edited by Alan Lightstone; 02-19-2019 at 12:05 PM.
    If you drive at the speed of light, do your headlights work? - Steven Wright

    If a man points at the moon, an idiot will look at the finger.

    What's with these retirement communities? Armed guards and gates? Are old people trying to escape? Are people stealing old people?

  9. #9
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    Alan, both the reliant and the woodtek belt sanders mentioned in my post are similar in size to the performax 16/32 drm sander

    The larger jet I now have is slightly smaller footprint than the 25 dual drum (but is taller)

  10. #10
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    I have the Powermatic Dual Drum 25" wide sander. It works very well but I do not use it to dimension panels like a commercial shop might use a wide belt. I added a digital readout and I normally take .010" or less per pass. I also fitted an amp meter and I generally run at 60% or less of the full load rating of the motor. I use my planer to get pieces to about .020" over thickness and I use the drum sander to get them sanded to the right thickness. I am pretty active in the shop and in using the machine like this the paper lasts forever.

  11. #11
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    I put a Wixey on my old 25x2 Performax and liked it. I used it mainly for sanding bandsawn veneer because the metal drum and hard paper conveyor allowed me to sand to less than 1/16 thickness. The DRO allowed me to eliminate some of the guess work when sizing so I liked it a lot. My 25" WB takes up less room ( except for height ) than my 25x2 did so I consider that a push. There is no comparison in speed but you need the amps to run a 10-12 hp motor for most 25" WB sanders so that might be a limitation. If you consider a small WB, you need to decide on a drm only, combination drum and platen, or platen only head. The combo head will be the most useful but also the most expensive. Tracking will be either pneumatic or by electric eye. Electric eye is a step up and allows the machine to use less air. A used 25" WB in good condition will be in the 3-5K range. Dave

  12. I have a3875 woodmaster single drum. Very well built ,works great. True a drum sander is slower than a wide belt, but it depends on how much wood you run through it. If it was used a lot every day a wide belt would be better but for what I do my woodmaster is perfect

  13. #13
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    OK. Trying like crazy to make space in the shop for a wide belt, or at least a dual drum sander. How about comments of these new options.

    1.) Powermatic DDS-225 25” Dual Drum Sander. Not a wide belt, but dual drum.
    2.) Powermatic 1632 Open end Wide Belt Sander. I’m concerned about the open end, but it is a wide belt. Anyone have any experience with this sander? I have 3-Phase power, so not an issue.
    3.) Grizzly G9962ZX 24” 10HP Wide Belt Sander. This may be pushing my 10HP Phase Perfect, so I’m not sure it’s an option. But is it a good, small wide-belt sander?
    4.) SandX 25” Wide Belt Sander - Seems to have lots of bells and whistles. 60 amp single phase. Not sure if they have a 3 phase motor option. Their web site doesn’t have that option.
    5.) Laguna 25” 1K Wide Belt Sander. Not a great fan of Laguna from my previous machines, but is this a good machine?
    6.) Shopfox W1710 24” 10HP Single Phase Wide Belt Sander. Looks to have a small footprint, which would be nice.

    Or, any other options that I am missing?
    Last edited by Alan Lightstone; 02-25-2019 at 10:15 AM.
    If you drive at the speed of light, do your headlights work? - Steven Wright

    If a man points at the moon, an idiot will look at the finger.

    What's with these retirement communities? Armed guards and gates? Are old people trying to escape? Are people stealing old people?

  14. #14
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    The PP will run the 10 hp WB but you likely need to put the DC on a separate circuit. I run 100 amps into the garage shop, use a 10 hp PP and run the 7.5 DC off a vfd so it isn't using the amps from the PP. You want 10 hp on a 25" WB.

    There are a number of WB repair shops. I would call one of them for acvice on which model gives them the least problems. Most Taiwan or Chinese sanders will be similar but some are easier to repair than others. A combo head with the largest drum and widest platen and electric tracking would be ideal. A used SCMI or Minimax 25 is pretty hard to beat in the 4-5K range. Dave

  15. #15
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    I have the Jet version of the Powermatic 1632. If you are sanding wide panels by flipping, there will be an 'edge'. I found this to be true of the overhung drum sanders as well. The degree of this depends on alignment, how much you are taking off, etc. I certainly can live with it.

    Note that the 1632 is pneumatic tracking (works fine, but not electric which would likely be convenient). It has a fixed speed rubber nubby type conveyor roller. (some like the harder conveyor) And a graphite covered platen. One turn of the thickness wheel = .008" Meaning, dont be thinking this is a planer - it still takes light passes. I have this hooked up to a short section of 4" DC hose that goes into 6" then to the clearvue. Very impressed by how well it catches the dust.

    I like it. Prior to this I had an ancient 25" timesaver. It had some problems, but functioned. IF it were a newer model such as what you are looking at, I would prefer one of the wider non-overhung models. I dont think it takes up much more space (floor space) between all of these and being able to run the wider panel without worrying about creating an edge is a good thing.

    The professionals here will give better advice - I am just a hobbiest and have been on this quest of constant sander upgrades for years. Dave's suggestion of a used SCMI or MM seems like a good one.

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