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Thread: Drum Sanders

  1. #16
    I really like my newish Jet 16-32. It is a very nice machine.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    sykesville, maryland
    Posts
    260
    I have the Supermax 16-32. I like it. Great for a hobbyist. I especially like the rapid thickness adjust feature and the speed regulator. I purchased the extension tables too and like them, but a pain to initially adjust. I also like that with the folding tables, it does not take up much room in the shop.

    I think most of these drum sanders have a bit of a learning curve to get speed vs. grit just right.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Central Missouri, U.S.
    Posts
    1,263
    Quote Originally Posted by tom lucas View Post
    I have the Supermax 16-32. I like it. Great for a hobbyist. I especially like the rapid thickness adjust feature and the speed regulator. I purchased the extension tables too and like them, but a pain to initially adjust. I also like that with the folding tables, it does not take up much room in the shop.

    I think most of these drum sanders have a bit of a learning curve to get speed vs. grit just right.
    Yes, on all of the above. ^^

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Grassy Lake Alberta
    Posts
    827
    I have a Canwood drum sander. It is the same machine as a General International drum sander. It works really well after I went through it and adjusted everything and cleaned it. One thing I have not bought in to the two different grits on the drums,seems to me that if you do more than one pass that you just scratch the finer grit up with the rougher one on the front drum. I have used my machine with the same grit on both drums.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,558
    I had a performax 16x32 for some years and ran it a lot. Then upgraded to a Grizzly dual drum 25" Then I had a little Reliant 13" 'wide belt'. Then a timemaster 25" old school monster. And a Woodtek 13" widebelt. And now a Jet 16" widebelt (same unit at the powermatic 1632).

    Varying degrees of cost.

    Out of all of these, the best bang for the buck by far was that Reliant. I ran the crap out of it and it performed great. I liked it better than the drum sanders - less burning, faster sanding (found it on CL). So snatched up the Woodtek when it popped up on CL (a little more hp, nicer machine). But I never used the Woodtek as much before upgrading to the full widebelt. Both of those smalle widebelts cost me $450 (CL). The timemaster type machines can be had for around $2000 in my region (I gave $1000). But it was old and required maintenance. Footprint was no bigger than the grizzly drum sander (25" dual drum is not small). For the timemaster I used a static phase converter ($200) that worked fine for no more than I loaded it. Used widebelts like the Jet are under $3000. The rotary phase converter goes for about $500. It is pretty nice but not as aggressive as the timemaster.

    For me, the drum sanders never quite did it. Too finicky, less aggressive, and relatively large footprint (my shop is small). Many here love them and I certainly used them a lot when I owned them (I pretty much put everything through the sander after planning). That Reliant was a gem but no longer made so not necessarily an option unless you find one used. The Jet I thought I would like more than I do (given it was the most I ever spent on a sander). Passes are relatively light still (this has a platen) and the overhung design is not much better than the overhung drum designs in terms of creating a ridge when flipping. More tuning for me to do on that still (have only done a couple projects that required flipping)

    So my experience has been a series of upgrades/changeovers, still looking for nirvana. Those little overhung drums have a lot of users and I can say a great starting point (where I started).

    I guess someday if I have space and piles of money it will be a large dual head widebelt.... lol (a waste for a hobbiest)

    My wife thinks I have this thing about sanders.
    Last edited by Carl Beckett; 04-21-2019 at 7:11 AM.

  6. #21
    I feel a drum sander is a good starting point. I've been searching for a wide belt but it's really hard to justify the cost.

    I have a number of grizzly machines and have been very happy with all of them. I'm sure any decision you make will be the correct one.

    Bill

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    DuBois, PA
    Posts
    1,632
    I have two: 16/32 Performax (built at time Performax was being purchased by Jet) and a General International 25" dual drum. For my money the Performax is superb, has been easy to install paper, belt tracks well. The General is a beast and though the concept of different grits sounds nice, in execution, does not quite cut it. A major failing of the General, is confusing drum adjustment instructions: I'm returning to a single grit and will adust the second drum about .005" lower (I have machinist 1-2-3 blocks for adjustind drum height).

    Now for paper: who here has bulk paper suggestions?
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Camas, Wa
    Posts
    3,590
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Zaffuto View Post

    Now for paper: who here has bulk paper suggestions?
    industrial Abrasive

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    454
    The GO458, with or without the Z, is has the same basic design found in the Delta 31-255X. It's a very poor design. I've had one for years, and it's eaten more maintenance time than every other tool in my shop combined. Two issues that occur repeatedly:

    1. Timing on the four posts that raise and lower the bed gets out of sync. If the toothed belt jumps a cog on one post - and all it takes is running the height adjustment a bit too fast, or some grit in a gear to guarantee it will, then that post drags and becomes more prone to additional slips. Your table goes out of planarity, the height mechanism becomes tight and difficult, and if you don't readjust, it will quickly become unusable. The adjustment is an art. Expect to spend time at it. Correction - I went and looked at the Grizzly manual, and they use a roller chain and sprocket rather than a cog belt, so it probably does not have this flaw.

    2. The fed belt won't track. Period. You might, with a great deal of effort get it to track for a given speed and material, but it won't last for more than a few runs. I typically have to adjust mine every ten minutes or so.

    Other limitations are just the result of the machine being at the low end of the drum sander capability range. You can't remove more than 1/64" per pass, and it's easy to overfeed and burn. But that's true of any single drum, low-end drum sander.
    Last edited by Steve Demuth; 04-21-2019 at 9:29 AM.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    DuBois, PA
    Posts
    1,632
    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Falk View Post
    industrial Abrasive
    Thanks for the info.
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    19,493
    Quote Originally Posted by James Tibbetts View Post
    Thanks for the input all.
    I think those bigger Lagunas are going to be out of budget range; about double the cost of the Griz. May well be worth it but not feasible right now.
    This is one of those tools where one seems to need to get to a certain tier before the reviews become positive instead of scathing. It sometimes seems that the simpler the tool, the more critical it becomes that it do what it is supposed to. If a jointer cannot be brought into co-planer, it is a nightmare. If a drum sander fails to track correctly or requires an engineering degree and an extra elbow to change paper, same thing.

    When I was shopping I wanted a drum sander that had these features, in order of priority:
    • The feed belt had to track correctly and stay that way.
      • Tracking seemed to be the biggest complaint about every sander I researched.

    • Easy sandpaper changes.
      • The long involved stories of people trying to change paper were enough to scare you off wanting a drum sander.

    • Stable drum alignment.
      • Drum to table relationship must remain parallel.

    • .Good dust collection.
      • When using a tool that does little other than create sawdust, collection is important.


    I ended up with the Supermax 19-38 and it has been everything I wanted. I have never realigned the belt or drum in 5 years of use, paper changes are a breeze and I don't know how the dust collection is that good with only one 4" port.

    There seems to have been a few stumbles with the Laguna acquisition. These seem to focus on the 16/32 though which was a new model for Supermax around that time. I state this just to clarify that it may have nothing to do with Laguna's presence. The Supermax was head and shoulders above anything in its price range. I did have a strange noise coming from the drive motor right off the bat. Supermax sent a replacement immediately and I swapped it out in just a few minutes.

    Turns out it may have not been a bad noise, just one unfamiliar to me. The important thing is Supermax did what made me happy and did it without any reservations. Since this initial fix it has performed without a hitch. An Acme Tools sale and free shipping sweetened the deal.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 04-21-2019 at 10:23 AM.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  12. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NE Connecticut
    Posts
    521
    +1 on the SuperMax 19-38.

    The wide belts are always tempting, but I believe they have much higher power requirements and also require compressed air. The low prices on used ones might end up being very expensive if you don't have these two requirements met already.


  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Central Missouri, U.S.
    Posts
    1,263
    With both the Jet 1020 and the Supermax 1632, there was a bit of adjustment of tracking at first. Whether this was the new conveyor belt stretching or seating itself, or other parts settling into their rightful places I don't know. In both cases, the tracking has been perfect since the initial adjustments, no further tinkering necessary.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Cumberland, Maryland
    Posts
    301
    Much obliged for all the input !!
    If I'm following this correctly Performax is now owned by Jet. Have the machine designs and construction remained independent or in some way combined, or gone completely to Jet creation?
    The Supermax 19 will handle the vast majority of my work load in one pass which I see as a big plus. Price wise it is not all that much more that the Grizzly and no one has had a complaint about the Supermax.
    Again, thanks to all the folks here for the information.
    You only need 2 tools in life. If it's supposed to move and doesn't... use WD40. If it moves and shouldn't... use duct tape.

  15. #30
    Skip the Grizzly. Look for a clean Supermax or Performax.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

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