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Forum topic by Woodcut1 posted 03-04-2016 05:05 PM 818 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Woodcut1

34 posts in 289 days


03-04-2016 05:05 PM

Any advice on what is the best drum sander to buy. I will be sanding laminated bench tops, table top and smaller things.


17 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#1 posted 03-04-2016 05:26 PM

I would personally choose an open frame (C frame) design, and it would be a Supermax 19/38, or one of it’s cousins.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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moke

861 posts in 2242 days


#2 posted 03-04-2016 05:46 PM

+1 with Fred

View weldoman's profile

weldoman

114 posts in 1523 days


#3 posted 03-04-2016 11:18 PM

I’m in the market also, just wondering why you guys would choose the open frame instead of the closed like the woodmaster?

-- missouri, dave

View RogR's profile

RogR

53 posts in 331 days


#4 posted 03-05-2016 02:10 AM



I m in the market also, just wondering why you guys would choose the open frame instead of the closed like the woodmaster?

The obvious advantage of the open end is the capacity to sand an item wider than the drum.

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

818 posts in 385 days


#5 posted 03-05-2016 02:33 AM

Woodcut1,

Since I have never used an open frame drum sander, I cannot comment concerning the performance of this type of machine. However, one question has occurred to me regarding the open frame design. That is when sanding a panel wider than the width of the drum, does the panel come out of the sander flush across its width. From what I gather from those who post regarding open frame sanders, this is not a problem. However, sanding a panel wider than the drum capacity requires twice the time to flush up the panel as would be required by a closed frame sander of sufficient capacity.

I purchased a closed frame Woodmaster 38” closed frame drum sander. I rarely need the 38” capacity and could probably have gotten away with purchasing the Woodmaster 26” drum sander. At any rate, I am very satisfied with the quality and performance of the machine. I use it exclusively to flush up panel glue ups. These machines are difficult to find used and are somewhat expensive new. But, in my experience, it is a solid performer.

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Heywood

35 posts in 914 days


#6 posted 03-05-2016 03:35 AM

I own a Supermax and it really is a fine machine. Another great feature is the mobile base, I like to be able to move things around if need be. Good price and a US based company, another plus.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#7 posted 03-05-2016 12:31 PM



Woodcut1,

Since I have never used an open frame drum sander, I cannot comment concerning the performance of this type of machine. However, one question has occurred to me regarding the open frame design. That is when sanding a panel wider than the width of the drum, does the panel come out of the sander flush across its width. From what I gather from those who post regarding open frame sanders, this is not a problem.

- JBrow

It always worked well for me on the Delta 18/36 I owned, but on that sander it was a matter of tuning it to be a few thousandths more open on the outside edge. I think with a Supermax (much better sander) I would try out of the box and see what happened. For a hobbyist (me) the open end gives the wider capacity without needing to occupy so much floor space and the power requirements of the larger machines. I’m not sure I’d recommend an open end for a production shop.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

628 posts in 1418 days


#8 posted 03-05-2016 01:41 PM

I have a Jet 16-32 Plus and it works very well. Jet has a 15% off sale going right now. You can get the sander online for $952 with free shipping. I did not purchase the overpriced Jet casters. I got a set at the local box store and they work just fine.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

829 posts in 688 days


#9 posted 03-05-2016 02:42 PM

One thing that seems to get left out in comments on sanders is the price of the belt. I pay about $4-$5 per ‘refill’ on my 16/32. Since I buy belts in a big roll, an equivalent closed frame sander (32”) would cost $8-$10 per belt.

I’ve gotten better, but on occasion I will burn a belt. This basically makes the belt useless in the burned section. Narrow boards can be fed in the non-burned sections, but for a wide panel, the belt is basically useless.
Now, with my 16/32 I’m only out 50% of what I’d be out of with an equivalent closed frame.
Over the 10 years I’ve had my drum sander, I’ve probably spent as much on belts as the original machine.

Relatively minor I know, but still part of the cost/benefit analysis.

That being said, I think drum sanders are the #2 power tool to have (table saw being #1)*

  • subject to what type of WW you do of course!
View RogerM's profile

RogerM

764 posts in 1865 days


#10 posted 03-05-2016 02:43 PM

I am very satisfied with the 26” Shop Fox dual drum sander.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

818 posts in 385 days


#11 posted 03-05-2016 03:02 PM

Woodcut1 and RogerM,

I have wondered whether I should have gotten a dual drum on the closed frame drum sander rather than the single drum I have. However, since I use a reversing switch which sends the panel through the sander and then returns the panel to its starting position, I am not sure whether buyer’s regret is justified.

After I sand a panel flush with 80 grit paper, I start finish sanding on the panel at 80 grit (on a journey to 180 or 220 grit). I find starting at 100 grit takes too long to remove sanding scratches from the drum sander. A second drum outfitted with 100 grit paper would perhaps allow me to start finish sanding at 100 grit, saving a little time. But I am not sure whether one pass under 100 grit paper on the drum sander would be enough to remove 80 grit scratches. Plus, as splintergroup points out, operating costs double with a dual drum sander. Nonetheless I still wonder.

View Woodcut1's profile

Woodcut1

34 posts in 289 days


#12 posted 03-05-2016 03:03 PM

I noticed anything in the Supermax category the out feed extensions are optional. Does anyone find that this is a necessary purchase?

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

818 posts in 385 days


#13 posted 03-05-2016 03:16 PM

Woodcut1

Out feed extensions are not necessary, but are sure handy. If you become distracted for whatever reason while sanding, it can keep the stock from dropping to the floor. The added support is nice when sanding an especially long and heavy panel. Since it is an accessory, the SuperMax can be used for a while without buying the extension. The usefulness of the outfeed support will probably be revealed; one way or the other.

View ScottKaye's profile

ScottKaye

472 posts in 1418 days


#14 posted 03-05-2016 03:59 PM

+1 on the Supermax.. I bring everything to final dimension on my 19-38. Its much more exactly and saves a few steps in the hand sanding process later. As and added bonus, both my jointer and to a certain extent my planer have small nicks in their blades. I’m not worried the least because I know the Supermax will take out the surface imperfections on the first pass. One other bonus that should be mentioned is that by sanding down to final dimension (we are talking .050 thickness or less ..) I can sand out all the snipe left from my planing operation. Paper changes take less then 5 mins.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View RogR's profile

RogR

53 posts in 331 days


#15 posted 03-06-2016 03:42 PM



I noticed anything in the Supermax category the out feed extensions are optional. Does anyone find that this is a necessary purchase?

It depends on what you are sanding. For most of my purposes not only are the “optional” table extensions mandatory but I need extended roller bed outfeed support as well. When sanding long boards say, for a table top, the weight of the material hanging outboard of the table is sufficient to cantilever the stock up into the sanding drum – with various negative consequences. If you are mostly just truing up shorter parts, like cabinet doors and face frames, it might not be an issue.

Don’t forget, good dust collection is critical.

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