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16-32 Drum Sander

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Review by Desert_Woodworker posted 02-19-2015 03:18 AM 8622 views 1 time favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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-- Desert_Woodworker




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Desert_Woodworker

1308 posts in 1120 days



30 comments so far

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RoadHogg

127 posts in 1833 days


#1 posted 02-19-2015 04:18 AM

Thanks for this review. I was waffling between this sander and the General 24” dual drum sander. I went with the General. Your review confirms I made the right choice.

-- "The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first, and then the lessons" -- Robert Lang, ReadWatchDo.com

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longgone

5688 posts in 3214 days


#2 posted 02-19-2015 04:42 AM

I own a drum sander that I have used for years and it has worked flawlessly. I adjusted it when I first bought it and have only needed to do an occasional fine tuning for the tracking. Any machine regardless of manufacturer can sometimes have a bad unit and it seems you obviously got one. My drum sander is not a Performax…it is a Jet 22-44 and I would recommend it anyone.

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Desert_Woodworker

1308 posts in 1120 days


#3 posted 02-19-2015 05:18 AM

Oh NO! all one has to do is Google 16-32 drum sander tracking problems. My machine is NOT one of the bad ones, for if you reread review- A well built machine and AFTER buying Hamiliton’s correct belt I got it to work. Then, for the $$ money the Festool or Mirka. OR a General as posted above. Not a cantilivered unit- Even Norm Abraham’s intoduced a drum sander to the New Yankee Workshop circa 1990’s – It was not a cantilivered!

-- Desert_Woodworker

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BoardSMITH

121 posts in 2169 days


#4 posted 02-19-2015 11:37 AM

I started out with a Performax 22-44 and the cantilevered design flaws became apparent quickly. Trying to keep it level to the bed and then having to work around the raised areas when it contacted a glue joint were maddening. That sander also had major problems with tracking which were a real source of joy as the sander was used for hours. I upgraded (?) to a non-cantilevered 25” double drum model from Performax which worked better but the tracking issues were still there. Those $90.00 sanding belts used for the conveyors was brittle and tore easily. Rather than pay $300.00 for a rubber belt I struggled with the brittle sanding belts.

Both sanders are now long gone and in their place is a real wide belt sander wide a real rubber conveyor belt that almost never needs to have the tracking altered.

For the occasional user the 16-22 type sanders should be okay but if you plan to use them for larger pieces, like doors, or want precision work, like flat parallel surfaces, look elsewhere.

-- David www.TheBoardSMITH.com

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ellen35

2734 posts in 3338 days


#5 posted 02-19-2015 12:52 PM

I’m with Greg on this one. Mine has worked flawlessly for about 5 years with only a very occasional adjustment to keep it level. It is the Jet 16-32 cantilevered model.

I didn’t know General made one… maybe if this one ever dies, I’ll consider that.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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Albert

503 posts in 3495 days


#6 posted 02-19-2015 01:16 PM

I have the Delta model that I bought used and it works ok if I am careful with it. It is NOT a thickness sander, very light passes only. I use it for most every project I do and it has its frustrations but I don’t know what I would do without it.

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2596 days


#7 posted 02-19-2015 02:16 PM

My Jet 10/21 has the same tracking problem but my Craftsman 18/36 with the rubber belt does not.

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

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sawdustjunkie

379 posts in 1623 days


#8 posted 02-19-2015 03:49 PM

Am I missing something here?

The photo’s you are showing don’t look like the Jet/Performax.
They are painted white and have been for awhile!
The only other sander I have looked at is the Supermax and it is painted grey.
I am sure they are all made in the same factory,, like many other tools are, but some are made with different specs.
I have been eyeballing the Jet and am getting ready to make a purchase. It seems that all the open sided sanders have the same belt problem but reading all the reviews about them it sounds like it just needs to be adjusted.
It seems like almost every review ends up with a working machine and after the adjustments are made they last for a very long time and they are quite happy with their purchase.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

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ScottKaye

579 posts in 1859 days


#9 posted 02-19-2015 04:24 PM

I have to disagree whole heartedly with the author of this review as he is reviewing a product that hasn’t been manufactured in many many years. In fact PERFORMAX doesn’t even exist anymore as JET bought the company years ago. SO to say (do not buy) a 16-32 performax sander is dead wrong as you cant buy one except a used model. You can buy a 16-32 JET badged sander though so perhaps that’s what the author meant to write. I think he may be referring to a USED PERFORMAX SANDER and a rather old one at that judging from his pictures. Having said all that..

Fast forward several years.

Along came some old performax engineers/managers who worked at the old PERFORMAX line. They were able to obtai a license from JET to build and improve on the old Performax designs. This new company is known as SUPERMAXTOOLS. I have a SUPERMAX 19-38 for the last year and half and I have had absolutely ZERO issues with the sander. The belt came 100% pre-tracked and have never ever had to adjust it. As far as the overhead arm being parallel to the bed its a very easy adjustment that takes all of 5-10 mins. Mine came from the factory close, but I dialed it in (With a feeler gauge) to with in .001 and it hasn’t moved a hair since I locked it down. You pay a little extra premium for a supermax product and it shows in the fact at how flawless the machine is. SO PLEASE DONT CONFUSE AN OLD PERFORMAX PRODUCT WITH A NEW SUPERMAX PRODUCT.. THEY ARE TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT COMPANIES.

side note. SUPERMAX customer service is second to none. Id suggest giving them a call on your tracking issues. even though they didn’t make your performax, they know a lot about it and even offer replacement parts. Give them a shout. You wont be disappointed.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

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Desert_Woodworker

1308 posts in 1120 days


#10 posted 02-19-2015 05:43 PM

If a person likes their product GREAT. This post was to inform people who are thinking of buying a cantilevered machine, to rethink their purchase. Yes this an old product BUT the copies that followed this machine are VERY similar, including the tracking problem. Let me reiterate –just Google 16-32 drum sander tracking problems- the posts include my machine to the Jet. At first, I wanted to throw it into the desert, but that would not be me. I read and read internet stuff on fixing the problem. This is what I did, I took the whole machine apart to check for damage- NONE. I spoke to Jet customer service and according to him the problem is the aftermarket belts that are being sold. (ie the post picture of the black belt) He told me to call him if I had any problems. The next day I called and left a voice mail, I have not heard from him. As my post says- Fred Hamilton’s rubber belt seems to work for me $99 vs the Jet belt around $80.
So if you have a cantilevered machine and like it GREAT! For people thinking about buying one please read BoardSMITH’s post above, read Amazon’s reviews, but MOST IMPORTANTLY use the correct tracking belt not the after market. For my money I would not recommend a cantilevered machine.

-- Desert_Woodworker

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ScottKaye

579 posts in 1859 days


#11 posted 02-19-2015 07:54 PM

I still have a problem with your statement that “anyone thinking of buying a CANTILEVERED machine needs to rethink your purchase.” Let me reiterate.. Google the 19-38 Supermax. You will be hard pressed to find a negative review out there. You cant say for a fact that cantilevered machines have an inherent design flaw when you are basing your observation on an older style Performax that hasn’t been manufactured in years. There is nothing wrong with a Supermax 19-38 cantilevered machine from my own experiences and from what I can find on the internet. My advise to anyone searching for a drum sander is to defiantly consider the SUPERMAX line up (they have both cantilevered and non cantilevered designs) Do your own research and see for yourself. And recognize a poorly worded review when you see one.

Reviews of the Supermax 19-38:
Amazon.com
Acmetools.com
Chuck Bender formerly of Popular Woodworking, now on 360 woodworking.com

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

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Desert_Woodworker

1308 posts in 1120 days


#12 posted 02-19-2015 08:57 PM

Scott- Do I detect anger to my post and more importantly me? This is my review and my thoughts. I think that your knowledge is well stated. It may even help some people. I will stand by my statements with the temporary exception of the SuperMax line up. I will look at the attachments- Regardless, I hope any knowledge shared by all will HELP the next person.
Again
I would not recommend a cantillevered drum sander. I will conceed this there are a lot and I mean a lot of happy satisified people GREAT! and I mean it. But when you manufacture products there are bound to be defects. When the number of problems increase your product has a flaw or problem i.e. 16-32 tracking problem. I do not stand alone.
Let the buyer beware

-- Desert_Woodworker

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sawdustjunkie

379 posts in 1623 days


#13 posted 02-19-2015 09:52 PM

I was recently at my local Rockler store and they had both the Jet and the Supermax on the floor.
I will say that the Supermax is built like a tank compared the the Jet. That being said however the Supermax is $1400 and the Jet is $1119. That is a big difference.
I only paid $1650 for my table saw and the sander is $1400. These machines are expensive, but after reading many reviews it is a tool that everyone seems to wand and need.
There are probably tens of thousands of these type of sanders out there in the real world and when there are that many being sold, there will always be some complaints.
My Rockler dealer owns a Jet and he said it took him about 30 min to adjust the belt. That was 2 years ago and he said he hasn’t touched it since. He also said he would love to have the Supermax because it,s built better than the Jet. It’s also almost 50 lbs heavier than the Jet and is all metal. It looks and feels more solid.
If Desert-Woodworker bought his used, who knows how it was used and if the original user ever did anything to it.
What I don’t understand is if you put a rubber belt on it and it’s working fine now, why are you saying to this forum to stay away from these type of sanders.
Not every tool that comes out of a box is perfect.
Everything is mass produced and there are very few things that were hand built and are perfect.

The only exception is for all the woodworking projects posted on this site, which all look perfect and were probably all hand built, with the help of tools we all have to buy. They are all beautiful!!!
I am glad your older sander is now working fine for you.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

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Desert_Woodworker

1308 posts in 1120 days


#14 posted 02-19-2015 09:54 PM

I will declare that Scotts link to the Super Max is informative.

-- Desert_Woodworker

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Desert_Woodworker

1308 posts in 1120 days


#15 posted 02-19-2015 10:34 PM

Steve good info. The reason for my post is to inform users of the “tracking ” problem of the Performax and Jet 16-32 sanders. I purchased the machine new cared for it. (like all my tools) As I say my machine is built solid but the tracking is difficult to maintain. I do believe in drum sanders not the cantilivered Performax or Jet 16-32. The super Max looks interesting sounds BUT for the money I could have a Festool Rotex or Mirka with vacumn.

-- Desert_Woodworker

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