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Thread: Drum Sander Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    417

    Drum Sander Questions

    I have been asked to teach an extra course this summer. I was thinking about perhaps buying a drum sander with the extra pay.
    My issue is my limited space in the shop. I know the mantra is bigger is better, but I do need to still be able to maneuver in my shop.

    I have been looking at the Supermax sanders

    I like that the 16-32 has the quick height change and comes with the digital readout. Will I regret going with the smaller unit over the bigger ones like the 19-38?
    I know I won't be able to do large table tops (or just make the rough center a design feature ) Are there enough other applications to justify the sander?

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Tampa Bay area
    Posts
    521
    I find my Supermax 16-32 invaluable for my hobby and craft type stuff I do. I also struggled with the 19-38 vs 16-32 prior to buying the 16-32. I also am in a small shop and did not use the legs that came with the sander. Instead built a three drawer base cabinet with four total locking swivel casters. The machine can be easily maneuvered around the shop and out of the way with the four swivels.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cashiers NC
    Posts
    546
    My Supermax 16-32 is used on nearly every project I do. The one thing that I think is useless is the digital readout. I just run the drum down until it touches the stock and a little more each pass. You get the feel of it pretty quick.
    Charlie Jones

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Elmodel, Ga.
    Posts
    661
    I wanted the 16-32 also because of shop constraints. The vendor I visited did not have any and said there was at least a four month back log before there would be any available. They did have a 19-38. I weighed the options and price and went ahead and bit the bullet and bought the bigger machine. My wife said a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush sort of thing. I don't regret my decision one bit. It is a might cramped in my shop though, although it would have been the same with the 16-32.
    As for the digital readout, I purchased one online and have never used it. I find it's a waste of money for me. I use a digital caliper and have never had any problem going back to the thickness I need. I do use this machine quite a bit, so it was worth the money for me.
    I don't think you would regret getting the smaller sander. They are both fantastic machines.
    SWE

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    57,420
    I was fortunate to be able to acquire a barely used 19-38 a year and a half ago and really like it. I did add the digital display to it. I did that because I work in both metric and when I need to, decimal inches. While the ultimate judge is my digital calipers, I find having the readout to be useful. The manual scale can only support one measuring system. (and defaults to Imperial)
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Hey John, my vote is always to get a tad larger if you can. You probably wonít regret getting the 19/38 with extra width for projects.

    I had a 16/32 for almost 20 years. It would constantly bog down and shut off under heavy loads. Just not enough power and that was pre Inteli Sand where the feed would slow down to help.

    I was going to buy the 19/38 but wanted a larger 3hp machine plus for larger thicker slabs. The 19/38 was out of stock and ended up buying the Supermax 5 hp 25 dual drum. A big footprint but man itís so nice to handle those larger projects.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    417
    I'm trying to visualize the size differences in the different sanders.
    16-32 is 23.3 x 37.2 or about 6 sq ft of floor space
    19-38 is 26.4 x 41.5 or about 7.6 sq ft
    25-50 is 26.4 x 45.8 or about 8.4 sq ft

    Maybe I need to make cardboard cut outs and lay them on the shop floor.

    John

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John Stankus View Post
    I'm trying to visualize the size differences in the different sanders.
    16-32 is 23.3 x 37.2 or about 6 sq ft of floor space
    19-38 is 26.4 x 41.5 or about 7.6 sq ft
    25-50 is 26.4 x 45.8 or about 8.4 sq ft

    Maybe I need to make cardboard cut outs and lay them on the shop floor.

    John
    The difference in footprint between the 19-38 and the (closed stand) 25-50 was so minor, and the 25-50 solution so elegant, that it was to me a no-brainer to go with the larger unit. Iíve never regretted it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    52
    I was looking at a new 16-32 as well and stumbled upon a used 25-50 which I bought for the same price. Itís awesome. I wasnít sure Iíd like a drum sander enough to justify the floor space it took up bits itís been endlessly useful.

    Just flattened a 40Ē wide shop sawn veneer (.25Ē) top the other day. The level of precision for final thickness is a huge step up from my DW735.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    10,887
    Quote Originally Posted by John Stankus View Post
    I'm trying to visualize the size differences in the different sanders.
    16-32 is 23.3 x 37.2 or about 6 sq ft of floor space
    19-38 is 26.4 x 41.5 or about 7.6 sq ft
    25-50 is 26.4 x 45.8 or about 8.4 sq ft

    Maybe I need to make cardboard cut outs and lay them on the shop floor.

    John
    John, in addition to size, consider placement. I have a Performax 22-44 which resides up against a wall at a corner. Of course, I can't use it in that position, but the cabinet is on wheels and rolls very easily a couple of feet till it's out in a walkway.

    shop_floorplan_sander.jpg

    I just move it enough so the bed clears the corner. A flex hose connects to a DC blast gate on the wall. Do you have a corner like this or can it be placed beside some other tool or workbench and roll out when needed?

    JKJ

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    374
    The 16/32 is a newer model. Laguna bought SM out, so maybe they will rev the larger machine? I went with the 16/32 for the quick raise feature, and also to a smaller footprint. But then I built a cabinet for the thing, and it ended up being large enough for the 19/36..... So far, I think this is a great machine. I don't think a person could go wrong with either.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    1,610
    I don't think I would wait too long. Grizzly is raising their prices so I expect that the others will also. Unlike Grizzly I don't think they will announce it before hand. Personally I would go with the largest version you want. The difference in size between the 16-32 and the 25-50 isn't much. I was going to get the 19-38 but then came across a used Woodmaster 26". It was a tight fit but now that I have it I wouldn't be without it. I use it hand in hand with my planer. I've never tried to sand half a board, spin it around, and do the other half but for me 20" is about the largest I've ever done. That's why I was looking at the 19-38.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    594
    I like my 19-38 and wouldn't want to be without one. For what I do building instruments precision of flattening is the main draw of a drum sander, and not chipping when I make thin veneers. Speed of removal is not a big issue since I'm mostly doing small parts. I've had mine for 3 years. I was interested in the 16-32 but decided against it because the depth capacity was 3" versus 4" on mine, and I quite often am sanding banjo rims that are 3 to 3-1/4" tall. I don't need the quick release, and the DRO is pretty useless, I can run the same piece through on the same setting 3 or 4 times and each time it will get a few thousandths thinner. I use a digital caliper to check thickness after each pass when I'm getting close to the target thickness.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,975
    I have the 19-38 and couldn't be happier. I bought it right after Supermax introduced the 16-32. The extra size was a factor but so was the extra weight as I do sometimes want to push through large heavy planks. The 19-38 is roughly 100 pounds heavier than the 16-32 which can help with larger objects although that can be overcome by providing perfectly inline infeed and outfeed support. IMO, the extra weight is a big advantage unless the sander is to be used mostly for smaller pieces.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    Posts
    149
    I have the Jet 16-32 and like it, but absolutely hate the small clip on the motor side for holding the paper...and I know others have struggled with this as well. If anyone has a "trick" to make this easier I would love to know about it! I did wonder if anyone has tried to load the paper from the motor side, so that you would have better access to the clip on the outboard side to make the final "clip in".... keeping the direction of rotation of the roller in mind... does anyone know if this works? Thanks!
    Izzy

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