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Forum topic by moke posted 10-11-2012 05:02 PM 1735 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1351 posts in 3110 days

10-11-2012 05:02 PM

I am getting ready to buy a drumsander, the super max 19/38. It looks to me to be an awesome machine, but I thought I might, once again call on the experience here.

I have read all the reviews, but would input from other owners too.

-- Mike

11 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3982 days

#1 posted 10-11-2012 05:34 PM

You will be doing a lot of waiting for stock to
go through the sander. The process is slow
and the idea of flattening large panels with an
open ended drum sander is a joke, imo.

I know from experience. The more width of the
drum you use at a time, the lighter the cut you
must take and the arm will deflect in all but
the lightest cuts, causing a crown in the middle
of wide panels, but more importantly making
small parts inconsistent in thickness according to
where the final pass was made in relation to the

Also, plan to run most stock through at any
given thickness at least twice before going down
in thickness a tiny amount.

Tedious, to say the least.

Some people love these machines. I never even
liked mine but for thicknessing guitar parts it
is handy. I once sanded some oak door panels
with it and about died of boredom.

Maybe the SuperMax is better, but the inherent
limitations of a small diameter drum sander
make it no substitute for a planer or a wide

Some people have been pleased with the closed-end
double-drum sanders. At least twice as fast I would

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3305 days

#2 posted 10-11-2012 06:23 PM

Very good points Loren. Thanks.

Further makes me conclude that I want to design and build my own, double bearing, drum sander.

It does seem I have read more positive comments on the smaller 14/28 & 16/32 sanders than the larger open ended machines.

View Halfday's profile


8 posts in 3247 days

#3 posted 10-11-2012 08:02 PM

Moke, I’ve owned a Supermax 25” single-drum, closed-end sander for near 20 years, and I absolutely love it. Yes, it takes some time to arrive at your finished thickness, but it sure beats power hand sanding. Of course, I usually mill my thickness about 1/16 ” shy of the target with my planer, and then roll out the sander, but then life is good. And who wouldn’t like to have a wide-belt sander for their home shop, but I don’t know of many who can afford to do that. Several years ago I had a drum bearing go out (my fault since I let several set screws get loose) but the support from Supermax was fantastic.

Having said all that, I can’t speak to the pros and cons of the open-end drum units because I’ve never used one. But based on my experiences with my unit, you probably can’t fine a better company to deal with.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3024 days

#4 posted 10-12-2012 02:21 AM

I absolutely love my 18-36 Craftsman open end drum sander and absolutely hate my Jet 10-20 open end drum sander. Sorry, but I’m not familiar with the unit you asked about.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View moke's profile


1351 posts in 3110 days

#5 posted 10-12-2012 02:20 PM

Thanks for the responses. I am still going to get it, I think…..Whatever I do, it still is better and more accurate than using a ROS. I neither have the money or the room for a closed end sander so I think this is my best alternative.
Loren, thank you for the insight, I will try exactly what you have said anbd see if it hold true for this unit. There is some sort of lever that controls the head for wide and narrower sanding. I hope they have addressed this problem. As for the time, like I said it HAS to be faster than a ROS…...
Thanks all…keep them coming.

-- Mike

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3982 days

#6 posted 10-12-2012 04:54 PM

Using a ROS doesn’t lock you into having a “perfect” flat panel. A drum
sander does – it has to remove all the high spots on the whole panel
before it can even start to do finish sanding.

A lot depends on your style of work. Drum sanders excel at finishing
small parts because they just roll off the conveyer into a box. With
bigger parts like board and panels if there is a high spot (as minor as
1/100”) the sander may hang up on it and jam, burn, tear the paper
off or start to turn the board sideways which can lead to the feed
belt shredding so you have to be right there to keep an eye on it.

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3274 days

#7 posted 10-16-2012 03:49 AM

I had a closed end dual drum sander and I was not happy with it because 1) glue burns, 2) a torn belt can ruin a pc and 3) it took a while to change belts and set it up so it wouldn’t put a groove in the wood.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View DAC's profile


148 posts in 2330 days

#8 posted 04-19-2013 08:54 PM

I am waiting for my 16-32 sander to be delivered today. After reading most reviews most people like them and few do not. some people will never be happy and some will always be happy. so when reading reviews it is best to toss out the 1 star and the 5 star ratings then look at the rest.
I do wish mine would accept material up to 8 inches thick so I could sand the table top along with the sides to get both matching flat.

-- Wood is a zen like experiance.

View moke's profile


1351 posts in 3110 days

#9 posted 04-19-2013 09:11 PM

I did buy the Supermax and I am very happy with it…I don’t know as there is a lot of difference in the Supermax and the Jet Preformax…I am sure you will be happy with it. There was a little learning curve…not that I know all there is to know about it….but it seems pretty straight forward. You just need to figure out a good feed rate for the grit, depth, and type of wood. Don’t be afarid to change grits of paper it is quick and easy!!!

I never realized the uses that this thing had until I started using it. I made a copule segmented bowls and this thing was a god send to square those. I have used it for most of the usual sanding too, and it works well. It is definitely something that woodworkers that are starting out can live without, but it does make life a little easier for me!! Good luck DAC and let me know what you think…

-- Mike

View Hammerthumb's profile (online now)


2928 posts in 2309 days

#10 posted 04-19-2013 09:24 PM

I have a 22-44 and although I do not use it often, it has come in handy for a lot of projects at times. It is slow, but does do a better job than a ROS. I am not sure how large mine is as far as material thickness, but don’t think the frame would like 8” materiial run through it. Just not made for that kind of weight. Good luck!

-- Paul, Duvall, WA

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2444 days

#11 posted 04-19-2013 11:36 PM

I also have a 22/44…

I think the important thing is simply to understand it is NOT a planer. You’re not going to zip off 1/8” with this thing.

I’ve used mine as coarse as 36 grit. It will flatten panels, but you have to understand the machine. Normally, I’ll go from the planer to 80 or 120 grit, depending on tearout left by the planer. The closer you can get to the final thickness with the planer, with tearout limited to what can be sanded out, the faster you’ll prepare stock.

For many parts, like cabinet face frames, I’ll plane to within 1/16” of final thickness, pick a “front” face, and sand that face to final thickness, usually ignoring the back. In this case, I might go 120-150-220 on the 22/44, finishing with a 220 grit ROS.

For furniture, I’ll get parts to a point where 120 grit sanding leaves a surface that can be hand planed to a finish ready surface.

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