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  1. #1
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    Mar 2015
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    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
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    Default Drum Sander Supermax 25-50 - Yay? Nay?

    I'm about to put a deposit on a Supermax 25-50 drum sander. Never had or used a drum sander before.

    I'm thinking that I want it to create veneers/veneered panels from highly figured timbers and that it would be very useful for this. I also, perhaps naively, think it may be a time-saver for larger panels, eg. table tops, removing planer marks from batches of furniture parts, cabinet doors etc.

    Anyone have one of these machines, or similar class of drum sander and regret the purchase?

    I know that a large wide-belt sander would be superior in every way, but I don't have the space or the 3 phase power etc. Is a drum sander like the Supermax just a toy or could it be usefully and productively employed in a one-man small custom furniture making enterprise making a variety of furniture pieces (maybe one day)?

    Any strong opinions for or against?

    I assume these are a better option than the 24" dual drum sanders sold in different colours by Carbatec, Timbecon, Hare & Forbes etc? From what I have read the Supermax is fairly positively regarded and seems not to suffer from the complaints a lot of other cantilever open-style drum sanders from other manufacturers seem to generate. The machine is more than twice the weight of a comparable 22-44 Jet.

    Cheers,

    Dom

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Newcastle
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    Default

    I have a Jet 22-44 OSC which I’m glad I have every time I make something. It is similar, but the two things I’m concerned are missing on the supermax are the smart sand control (really nice, I just set the speed high then it adjusts to be the right speed based on motor current draw and never burns etc) and oscillation which produces a bit better finish.

    If I was making money woodworking I would sure want something to do bulk sanding! Its going to take more passes than a widebelt and the paper is more annoying, but its much better than using a random orbit sander for hours...

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
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    29
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    4,871

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Austin_Turner View Post
    It is similar, but the two things Iím concerned are missing on the supermax are the smart sand control (really nice, I just set the speed high then it adjusts to be the right speed based on motor current draw and never burns etc)
    It's got that

    None of these smaller machines are going to set records for speed or material removal, but you do get a very small minimum thickness which is great if you want to make veneers. Have one for the smaller stuff and take the big stuff (dining table, etc) to a joinery; what they charge to run it through a wide-belt is still going to be way less than the time it'd take you to do it.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Vic
    Posts
    2,397

    Default

    I have the Carbatec twin drum . Its a great tool . I wouldn't be without one again after having bought it and found out for myself how they are good for me . And Id buy the same machine again . Two drums and not cantilevered seems better to me . I don't trust cantilevered to stay true . I haven't read anywhere where that is a problem with them though . I don't see how one drum and cantilevered can be better than two drums and well supported . Except for the extra width possibility. The auto feed electric thing could be good but with not much practice and working ears the machines without it do fine .

    I don't attempt wide sanding. No need. I don't want flat perfect table tops . My tops sell my stuff for me with their character.
    look at the undulation in these tops. That's hand planing and cabinet scraper finished with a ROS and fine paper

    Here

    Here

    These machines work good on 200 width stuff and under. The whole width in one go would be fine slow skimming .

    The best time saving use I get from my machine is in the preparation of laminated sections , things like trestle table bases and big table legs made from 3 or 4 pieces . I used to buzz thickness and hand finish to get the machine marks flat doing this . These conveyor belt machines with the paper over head on drums get this job the best Ive ever seen it . Its a perfect job and huge time saver. Two pieces get so close, with no glue you can pick up a top one and the air not getting in lifts at the bottom one.

    I also only use my machine with two drums of 60 grit . I feed through on an angle so the piece uses the whole drum if possible . Still haven't tried more coarse grit.

    Great tool no matter which one you get . The bigger the better of course.

    Rob

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Newcastle
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    244

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by elanjacobs View Post
    It's got that
    Are you sure? Intellisand isnít listed in the specifications on the gregory machinery or supermax Us site despite looking almost identical to my machine.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Wolvi
    Posts
    172

    Default

    Dom

    I've got the smaller version, the 19-32, and there are a couple of things to look out for depending on your workshop.

    Unless your workspace is completely humidity controlled never assume that the sandpaper is properly tensioned, believe me, it shrinks and it grows as does the conveyor.

    Underneath the conveyor there are 2 nylon guides with a magnetic backing. If the conveyor goes out of alignment, and it more than likely will at some stage, these guides shred the edges of the conveyor. I took the guides off as I can see no real purpose for them other than to shred the edges as noted.

    Beware sap & glue lines, they are a killer. You can buy some spray on tool cleaner, can't remember the name, that you can apply to the paper to get rid of glue and hardened sap. For normal clogging you can either buy sandpaper cleaning blocks or, alternatively, just use some old thongs, works pretty much the same.

    ETA: If you're getting a DRO, the thickness it shows is generally only really relevant per grit, until you get to the finer grits when the actual thickness of the abrasive doesn't change significantly enough to worry about. On the heavier grits it's not a set and forget thing.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
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    Default

    Thanks guys. Sounds like it will be a useful machine to have. I just placed the deposit on the machine.

    Also, my apologies, when i said double the mass of the Jet I was thinking of the 18-36 not the 22-44, which does not seem to be available anymore in Australia.

    Cheers, Dom

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    2,607

    Default

    The sauce Feckit mentions is CMT 2050. Good stuff.

    The cleaning rubbers work fine too. Pine is a problem with gumming up.

    On the machine, I've a Carbatec. It only has a speed control, but geez I love that machine. I would be one of the last Id ever sell if I were forced into it.

    IF I had a magic genie wish, Id get an oscillating one. A mate has one and its finish is fantastic.

    I use the machine ALL the time. My personal favourite belts are the fabric rolls The Sandpaper Man sells. I've, naturally, all of them in every grit, but ONLY use 80! Not even 120..... A light skim of 80, move the piece slightly to the side without a height adjustment and it finishes beautifully. A quick blat with the ROS and 150 grit and its done.

    As for "adjustment" this is trivial and done once. I used shims made from soft drink cans. They are exactly 0.1mm thick and using a piece of MDF (its known flat), use a pencil to scribble over the whole surface. Run it though so its juuuuust sanding the surface and give it a skim. This will tell you which side is running high/low. Shim, do again, perhaps a third... Fixed. Easy peasy.

    Dust collection on all of these machines is terrible. Invest some time upgrading it. Better DC = much better result + less burning.


    OAM, Ive a stand, never used, to sell. I'll put that up on the Market Place.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    inverloch
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    Default

    I have the 19/38. Can't fault it.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    685

    Default

    Before I went full steam proper 3 phase wide belt sander.

    I considered this and almost purchased one.

    Main.jpg

    the working width is 420mm. its like a mini wide belt sander. and I understand the belt also oscillate like the proper wide belt sander.

    search WBS 1836.

    I didnt go with this because I learnt my lesson already, buy once, cry once, and laugh forever.

    If I am in the market for a sander, and I dont have 3 phase, this is what I will get, rather than drum sander.

    Powermatic has this as well
    1632 Open End Belt Sander, 5HP 1PH 230V

    please note, I am not a woodworker. I lack the patience required, my tools are meant to be efficient and fast.
    Masterwood OMB1V, SCM 5 RCS1100, Danfoss VT2882, Griggio Unica 400, Felder AD951, Casadei FV110, Holytek DC006, Chicago Pneumatics CPRS10500, Ceccato CDX12, Festool DF700, HK55 , CT36, LEX 3, OF1010, VAC SYS, SICAR TOP6
    Its a journey

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Newcastle
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    244

    Default

    I agree Albert, that looks like a good single phase sander design, unfortunately it has been discontinued by machinery house/ hare & forbes and none of the US versions are available here. I guess it had a limited market.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
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    Default

    Thanks again for the feedback and advice.

    Since the decision is now made, the only other query I have is for those with a supermax - is the infeed/outfeed table accessory worthwhile?

    I plan to make my own timber stand/cabinet for it. Are the feed tables useful and good quality or am i better off without them or making my own?

    Cheers, Dom

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Wolvi
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    172

    Default

    is the infeed/outfeed table accessory worthwhile?
    Personally, yes and no. They're convenient for small bits to just sit there waiting their turn to pass through, a roller assembly is better for bigger bits. In an ideal world I'd make another roller bed assembly and have the rollers quite close together at the conveyor ends and spaced further apart the longer the assembly.

  15. #14
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    Aug 2008
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  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Wolvi
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    Default

    I made 2m (1x 0.6m & 1x 1.5m) of roller assembly of my own for my thickie, came in at about $120.

    25mm galvanised tubing, 22mm OD steel skateboard bearings press in just nicely, worst case a tiny brush over with a die grinder. ID of the bearings is 8mm, so 8mm gal threaded rod get some nuts and you're just about there. Make them any length you like.

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