Supermax 1938 Review - 4.5 out of 5 stars in my book.

  • Advertise with us
Review by BobLove posted 03-29-2018 05:01 PM 1589 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Supermax 1938 Review - 4.5 out of 5 stars in my book. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I recently bought the Supermax 19/38 drum sander. This is my first drum sander and I have to say that I’m really surprised by how much I like it.

The main purpose was for sanding thinner panels for scroll saw work. My wife likes to scroll saw and when she saw a demo on one she wanted one so it was a win win decision.

My original concern was it only being 120volt sander. I don’t really have a shop and the one circuit in the garage is already taxed especially if I use my dust collector. Suprisingly, this thing is really quiet, or at least I think it is. I haven’t put a clamp on meter on it to see what its drawing but I haven’t tripped the breaker either.

The adjustment up and down is very smooth with no back lash. It’s pretty quick to change the sanding wrap. My wife can do it in about 2 minutes. I think the clamp system is better here than the Jet version. She plans all her sanding by grit working up to the finer grit.

We’re pretty conservative when feeding it. We don’t take heavy cuts and haven’t ever seen the intelligent conveyor speed reducer kick on.

Assembly is a little difficult, this thing is really heavy. We bought the mobile base, the bigger one with taller wheels. The Rockler all terrain mobile base. Just note, you’ll need the base extension to accommodate this thing because it wider than the standard model. The mobile base is incredible as well… expensive but well worth it in our case.

We bought the in feed and out feed tables (an extra cost) They work well and are adjustable. It’s not hard to do once you read (an understand) the assembly instructions.

My only negative feed back is that the shelf on the base is really flimsy…. I’ll probably cover it with some plywood to firm it up.

Dust collection, the 4” attachment is well made but some what cumbersome to use if you don’t have dedicated dust collection. This thing can coat a small SUV in sanding dust in a very short time. Just ask me how I know.

Making it out of parallel for widths greater than 19” is really easy to adjust and reset. We haven’t used it yet but it’s nice to know its there when we do need it.

4.5 out of 5 , only because of the flimsy shelf. I would definitely recommend this to someone looking to buy a drum sander.

View BobLove's profile


4 posts in 23 days

6 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile (online now)


3193 posts in 1952 days

#1 posted 03-29-2018 05:32 PM

I just bought the Supermax 16-32 and got it put together. It is heavy and really well built. The instructions are good. I have only put a couple of boards thru it but it works well. I will provide a complete review after I have used it a bit.

View sawdustjunkie's profile


382 posts in 1681 days

#2 posted 03-29-2018 10:46 PM

I have had mine for 2 years. Cost almost as much as my table saw, but I use it on almost every project ad wouldn’t know if I could live without it anymore.
A smart investment for a shop!
I buy my sandpaper in large rolls and cut it to size myself. Sure saves some big money by not buying precut rolls.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View BobLove's profile


4 posts in 23 days

#3 posted 03-30-2018 01:00 PM


Where do you get your rolls? I’m looking a Klingspor but I’m not sure what type of roll I should be looking at. I can do the layout and cut the taper. Supermax has some good instructions on that.

Does anyone else have a bulk roll supplier that they would recommend?

View splintergroup's profile


1976 posts in 1186 days

#4 posted 03-30-2018 02:51 PM

I’be been using the Klingspor aluminum oxide bulk rolls, on about my 10th roll now. I haven’t tried other vendors or abrasive chemistry since the red stuff has worked fine. You won’t find much quality difference between vendors on just the abrasive, but the price differences can add up over time. Just be sure you are comparing the same backings (i.e “weight”). The Klingspor backings allow me to soak belts in Simple Green or ammonia to clean out burn marks, glue, or sap smears without compromising the belt.

View wrenchhead's profile


143 posts in 3128 days

#5 posted 03-31-2018 05:29 AM

Great review! I just purchased the 1938 and got it put together a couple days ago. I bought it based on the reviews i read from Lumberjocks. I am putting it through the paces now and hopefully will review it in a couple weeks. Has anyone noticed that the Conveyor belt motor wobbles? I followed the troubleshoot guide and loosened the motor box bolts, ran it and re-tightened it but still oscillating. Contacted Supermax and they told me that they do wobble some but they are sending me a new bushing to try. Super friendly tech support. Just curoius if anyone else ran in to this.

-- I could quit if I wanted

View robscastle's profile


4873 posts in 2168 days

#6 posted 03-31-2018 07:11 AM

Hello Bob

You on the right track with the shelf, make another strong Ply or other wood ones.
You never know what you can stack on them!!

Buy your consumables in bulk and dont be surprised if they eventually cost more then the initial machine purchase.

You can clean the consumables with a abrasive cleaner, (an esential purchase) then later if it gets cloged with resin your pressure cleaner will recover them for another run,

Do a search on drum sanders and all the LJs that have them will have posted their views on how to maximise their productivity.

I use Sisa but any other brand is just as good I would think.
There are other posts showing a velcro conversion, however personally havent bothered as if a belt breaks its operator error or is life expired on the machine, not forgetting a second life is awaiting on sanding blocks.
The only negative aspect from my view is the fact you almost need to be a prostrate examiner to operate the spring retainers!

Yor application is correct as the name implies “Drum Sander” not “Drum Thicknesser”


-- Regards Robert

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics