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Forum topic by bigarm posted 04-01-2016 06:21 PM 515 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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62 posts in 518 days

04-01-2016 06:21 PM

I asked whether small drum sanders were useful and most say yes. Now, how about this – small drum sander vs open end drum sander. If I decide to do this, I would only get one or the other. Which do you use more often or find more useful? It seems the open end would allow for larger pieces but would take more space and maybe produce more uncollectable dust, but I don’t know. Also, which brand would you be looking at. It seems that for open end sanders, most people recommend supermax. They are a little more expensive and the 19-38 would be at the very top of what I could spend. Can I make it portable enough for use in a small shop. I have a man cave next door where it could be stored if it could be moved easy enough. Let me know what your thoughts are and what works for you.

8 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile (online now)

Fred Hargis

3837 posts in 1910 days

#1 posted 04-01-2016 08:05 PM

I know a lot of folks don’t like the open end models, but I had one for quite a few years and really came to appreciate the versatility. My next one will be the 19/38, and you can make it mobile easily enough. But I think it weighs around 220#, so “portable” may be pushing it. Some time back my eyes were on a Jet 22/44, but I think the Supermax really is a better sander.

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

View newwoodbutcher's profile


539 posts in 2267 days

#2 posted 04-01-2016 08:08 PM

Never had a small Drum Sander. But, I have been using the Performax 16 32 for twenty years. I finally upgraded to the 19 38 last month. I love my new sander it seems to me it’s all the drum sander I’ll ever need. Mine is hooked into my DC system with 4” black pipe, which is driven by a Delta 50-760. All is good, I wouldn’t change anything.

-- Ken

View Rob's profile


225 posts in 2404 days

#3 posted 04-01-2016 08:31 PM

I have the Supermax 19-38 and spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not I really needed one. I make a lot of craft show type items (cutting boards, boxes etc.). There is a little learning curve so you don’t burn the sandpaper but now after 4 years of owning it, I can’t imagine not having a drum sander. I bought the cart that is also offered so I can wheel it around my already packed shop. I use it on just about every project I do. Putting new sandpaper on it is a pain in the neck but that’s true of all drum sanders that have the clips on the ends of the drum. Recently I upgraded to a hook and loop system that I bought from Grizzly and bought a couple of large rolls of sandpaper to cut down on cost. Best upgrade I’ve done! I haven’t burned one piece of sandpaper and changing it to a different grit is a breeze. You won’t regret buying the Supermax and you will use it quite often! Dust is also not a problem as long as you have a good dust collector hooked up to it.

View Putttn's profile


53 posts in 1695 days

#4 posted 04-02-2016 12:46 PM

I also have the Supermax 19-38 and love it I don’t have the Grizzly hook and loop system. How does that work?

-- Bill eastern Washington

View RogR's profile


48 posts in 282 days

#5 posted 04-02-2016 08:22 PM

I also have the Supermax 19-38 and love it I don t have the Grizzly hook and loop system. How does that work?

- Putttn

Inquiring minds want to know! I have a Jet and cuss and moan every time I have to change grits. And it only takes a little bit of slack to cause a problem and tear up some good work. I don’t use mine as much as I might just because of this.

View Kazooman's profile


614 posts in 1369 days

#6 posted 04-02-2016 10:06 PM

I have owned a Jet 16-32 for about a year and I love it. I have not had any problems changing the belts. One simple clamp on the left end, wind the belt around the drum, and then clamp in the right side. The spring loaded clamp keeps the tension as the belt expands with use. I do this with just my fingers, having never found it necessary to use the tool they provide. I regularly lift the dust port to clean the abrasive and I haven’t ever seen any slack in the belt. The Supermax website description of their sander lists numerous advantages over the competition. Strangely enough, most of what they claim as an advantage of their sander is a standard feature of the Jet and probably most other models. The major differences are in the slightly extra width, a larger thickness capacity, and the higher price. You can purchase a lot of sandpaper with the difference In price and even more if you wait and catch one of the frequent Jet sales.

I have previously I posted about my one issue with the Jet and that is the small amount of gear lash in the height adjustment mechanism. Supermax claims to have solved this problem, but I have no experience with their sander.

My sander is on the Jet stand and has the infeed and out feed tables. I did not purchase Jet casters since (1) they were out of stock at my local Woodcraft when I bought the sander and (2) they are way overpriced. I got some really nice heavy duty locking casters at the local big box and they work great. The sander is very portable, you shouldn’t.t have any problems moving it around your shop.

View Rob's profile


225 posts in 2404 days

#7 posted 04-02-2016 11:41 PM

Putttn, RogR, the Grizzly Hook and Loop conversion kit works great. I had to buy two kits to have enough of the backing to go on my drum. It’s not actually made for the Supermax so the 60 grit sandpaper that’s included doesn’t fit either. It’s made for their drum sander. Fortunately the kits aren’t very expensive. To install the backing, I couldn’t put it on at an angle like they show in their video so I rolled a piece around the drum and then cut it to the right length and put it on. I staggered each piece so I wouldn’t have the meeting lines be at the same location. Because you have a slight cushion between the hook and loop, the paper doesn’t get as hot nor does the piece you’re sanding so burning has been a thing of the past for me. I use a piece of 1/2” strapping tape on each end for added security. I have seen no difference in accuracy either. I also bought 2 large rolls of sandpaper from onlineindustrialsupply and cut my own pieces now. Changing of the paper is literally done in a minute. To do all of this and buying the rolls of sandpaper you will spend $250 but in time the cost savings is tremendous. I must have had a dozen rolls of burned paper laying around and several hours of wasted time trying to get the sandpaper clipped right so there wasn’t any slop. I did this change to my sander 6 months ago and I’m still using the original pieces of sandpaper.

View bearkatwood's profile


1171 posts in 429 days

#8 posted 04-03-2016 12:25 AM

I have the supermax 19-38 and it has been a great addition to the shop. I bought 36 grit paper and haven’t pulled my planer out in five months. If I had it to do again, I think I might save some more pennies and get the powermatic version, but I have been very happy with the supermax.

-- Brian Noel

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