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Forum topic by moke posted 11-08-2012 06:43 PM 1628 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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moke

558 posts in 1531 days


11-08-2012 06:43 PM

I recently posted seeking advice about a purchase of a Drum Sander. I wieghed the advice and bought a SuperMax 19/38. It seems to be an awesome tool, but I am left with some questions. As usual the directions on operation left something to be desired. If you can help with any of them please respond.

1. It came with very aggressive paper on the drum. It appears to be 60-80. It of course yeilds a “not so smooth” finish. It had some sctraching also. I am assuming most people run a grit not as agressive. What do you run. Do you change it or use the same all the time. Mine was a floor model and already had the paper on the drum so I don’t know how difficult it is to change.

2. The feed rate is a total mystery to me. My goes from 0-100 speed with an “intelligent” feed system, it will slow if you are being too aggresive…I ran it mostly at 50, and it worked ok.

3. I made two passes per height adjustment and lowered the drum only 1/8 of a turn when I did (1/64” I think) Now I was sanding end grain cuting boards, so I assume that is about as hard as anything I will ever sand, but it did burn once when I lowered it 1/4 to 1/2 of a turn.

While I think I am going to really like it, as was stated in the original post asking about the machine, it requires more time to use than you would think….it is definitely nothing like a surface planer.
Any Advice is appreciated.
Mike aka Moke


17 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7832 posts in 2403 days


#1 posted 11-08-2012 07:06 PM

1. because you need to really flatten the surface in order
to move it down, if you start with a finer grit, you’ll
need to do more passes.

These sanders can do a good job of flattening and
finish sanding, but they have to do the flattening first,
and there’s no real way around that. Changing grits
is not enough of a hassle that you’d want to avoid doing
it, but it is enough that you’ll want to gang your
work into batches to finish at rougher grits, change
paper, the run the batch again and so forth.

A rubber belt-cleaning block is essential to have on hand
because if one section of the paper glazes or gets
clogged it throws off the consistent thicknessing
you need to get right in order to move to the next grit.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1913 days


#2 posted 11-08-2012 07:21 PM

Yes, you must change grits. Work from 60 to 80 grit to thickness and flatten the board, and up to 120 to 150 grit for finishing. You have to leave yourself a little room to allow for use of the finishing grits, otherwise you might get things a little too thin. Its easy to figure out and, obviously, more material gets removed the rougher grit that you use.

Definitely turn about 1/8” rotation at a time. It take a lot more passes than a conventional planer…but I find that to be quite okay.

Your speed rate is fine. My belt feed isn’t speed regulated (older Performax 22/44), so my belt typically starts to slip if I’m going to fast. But most things still push though from 50 to 70 speed.

Changing grits gets easier, but as Loren said, you’ll want to gang up your work so you won’t have to change them more than necessary.

I find that the finishing grits work just fine, but I typically go over them with a scraper afterwards.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112943 posts in 2332 days


#3 posted 11-08-2012 07:22 PM

Ditto on Loren’s input
You might want to play with the feed rate to see if that helps. Learning how to change the sand paper is essential .
As I’m sure you know end end grain is much tough to sand. To get your cutting boards flat you may want to start with even more coarse sand paper 36 grit if available . As with any sanding you have to work your way through the grits to get the kind of finish you want.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1805 days


#4 posted 11-08-2012 07:24 PM

I agree with everything Loren says above. In addition, I’d take even lighter passes than what you’re currently taking. Don’t go any more than 1/8-turn at a time, especially on something like end grain, or you’ll likely continue to burn the wood. You could go more aggressively on something like poplar with a really aggressive grit on the drum if you’re trying to remove a bit of wood, rather than simply flatten it. With that said, you are correct in stating it’s nothing like a surface planer. However, you’ll never run the risk of an exploding end grain piece either. It does take a little bit of trial and error to get things dialed in, but they work great, as long as you allow for extra time to use it.

If you don’t already have one of the big rubber erasers, go get one immediately and use it after every few passes. It’s worth the time to do that as it helps the machine and paper perform better, as well as helping to prevent burning from pitch/dust build-up.

My experience with drum sanders is based off of the 2-Performax 16-32 Plus’ that I have.. I have one of the older versions that’s a PITA to adjust the drum alignment, as well as one of the newer models that’s easier to adjustment. I don’t have the 2nd one set-up yet, and bought it because I got it for only $175 at an estate sale. I may end up keeping the newer one and selling off the older one and put that money towards something else.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

1024 posts in 1445 days


#5 posted 11-08-2012 07:56 PM

That is an excellent tool you have, but I wouldn’t use it for flattening, for that I would go to my planer. What you have is a sanding tool that will save you countless hours of flat surface sanding. Unless I was stripping a piece of wood, I would likely have 220 grit on the drum most of the time.
I have the Supermax Brush 36 which is fantastic for raised panel doors and moldings.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1913 days


#6 posted 11-08-2012 08:02 PM

@Sam – Do you flatten wood less than 1/4” thick on your planer? ;)

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View joez71's profile

joez71

11 posts in 1039 days


#7 posted 11-08-2012 11:17 PM

Dont forget dust collection, I went from 2HP to 4HP dust collector and my sandpaper is lasting a lot longer and burning a lot less.

-- www.joesworkbench.com

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1487 posts in 1012 days


#8 posted 11-09-2012 12:17 AM

“I went from 2HP to 4HP dust collector and my sandpaper is lasting a lot longer and burning a lot less”

Verrrrry interrrresting!! I didn’t know that. Thank you!

-- Art

View Gshepherd's profile

Gshepherd

1689 posts in 956 days


#9 posted 11-09-2012 12:44 AM

I have a SuperMax 36” Dual Drum sander and it does take some getting used to. At first I hated it. I burned paper,wood, increased my vocabulary….. The advise your being given is excellent. Do not think this will eliminate all of your sanding cause a drum sander will still leave scratches… The finer the paper the tendency to burn increases. Feed rate——-Grit Size———debth of pass all play hand in hand…. All woods as you know react differently…... Thus make notes on your wood,grit speed and over time you will remember it…..

I can’t see any reason to go past 120-150 grit myself if your going to stain and put a finish on it. If you like to stain at 150grit then stop on the drum sander at 120 and finish up by hand with 150. IMOP of course.

As it goes for dust collection, I have a 7200 cfm collector and several of the Jet canister dust collectors, on a 36” there are 2 dust ports. I have found no big difference between the 2, so of course I use the Jet vs watching the meter spin faster. My guess is yours needs at least 600 cfm as long as your there and a tad over that should be all you need. The SuperMax’s are a great mahine and I have had some customer service related issues and they handled them perfectly. If I had the money I would buy one of their Sanding Belt Machines but that is a whole different creature there… One can only dream…. Good Luck and let us know how your makin out…...

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

1024 posts in 1445 days


#10 posted 11-09-2012 01:48 PM

Cosmic, no I don’t. If it’s not flat and it’s already 1/4” then something is wrong. As a cabinetmaker 1/4” material, except for cabinet backs, rarely comes into play.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View moke's profile

moke

558 posts in 1531 days


#11 posted 11-09-2012 05:06 PM

Thank you all for some great advice, if anyone else has anything else to add, I would appreciate it.

I am on my way to buy some more sanding rolls…. 80, 150 and 220 for sure, and another “cleaning eraser”. They are cheap and you can never have too many tools!!! I will experiment with the feed rate, and keep a log. My DC is just a 1200cfm Delta, other than tripping over the hose, it seems to work ok.

Thanks again….
Mike

View Gshepherd's profile

Gshepherd

1689 posts in 956 days


#12 posted 11-09-2012 07:45 PM

Mike, that 1200 cfm will be just fine, on the 37” as mentioned before the requirements for that beast is 1200cfm.

I be getting some 36,60,80,100,120,150….. I know 36 sounds crazy but with some 36 you can get down and dirty with some nasty boards and be cleaning them up in a hurry, reclaimed for example…... Does your sander have the rubber belt upgrade avail? vs using a sanding belt type?

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View moke's profile

moke

558 posts in 1531 days


#13 posted 11-09-2012 07:50 PM

We have a local tool store that is a chain from ND, MN and Iowa. (Acme) They had their annual “feed the customer-bring in the rep” day today. There was a rep there from SuperMax, that actually turned out to be the company President, Bill Schroeder. I picked his brain for 3/4 of an hour. He gave me some great advice, walked me through the machine. I have to say his advice was commensorate to what I got here, with a few finer points towards the operation of the machine only. Thanks guys!!

He did mention that the December issue of “Wood” magazine is featuring an article on drum sanders, and they called him and asked to keep his machine, stating it was awesome….so he thinks he is on top, but he doesn’t really know.

GShepard, I bought some 150, and a variety pack that had a 38, 80, and 120…..I did not realize this is the preferred method to flatten cupped boards, so I bought this pack to be ready! I don’t believe there is a rubber belt available.

View Gshepherd's profile

Gshepherd

1689 posts in 956 days


#14 posted 11-09-2012 11:07 PM

Well I emailed SuperMax and they said the 19/39 combo has a poly conveyor belt on it,.... The 37 I got had the sandpaper type but I upgraded it to the poly belt to be more correct and love it. Now as for their customer service issues at hand here. It did take them 43 minutes to respond to my question so I am sure they will work on that ;-)....... Cause I remember last time I had a question it took less than 30 min…. Seriously though, I value a company on support and product and they are a top notch company in my book…... Maybe one day I will be able to afford one of their smaller brush sanders….... I love U.S.A. made equipment….

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View moke's profile

moke

558 posts in 1531 days


#15 posted 11-12-2012 04:01 PM

Update…
I have been working with this thing a lot this weekend. Hands down, this thing is awesome!!! I had some wood that was cupped and it flattened it, I now have some cutting boards and other glue ups that are now dead flat, and I even took some planer snipe out of a couple boards that I had previously planed for a project I’m getting ready to start.

There is a learning curve, but too not extreme. All in all I am very happy with the machine. Together with my planer, and jointer I think I can get some gereat results…Thanks all for the advice.
Mike

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