Drum Sander Opinions

craftbeerguy

Craft Beer Guy
User
I have the Supermax 19-38. I haven't used it much but it's fantastic for cutting boards or other shorter length glue ups.

Another project involved sanding about 40 poplar doors. The shorter ones leveled out nice. The longer ones that had even the slightest twist ended up catching for a moment and creating a gouge albeit a small one. My conclusion is that it's a great machine (under $2000) but I've only found a very limited use for it. If I was making a dozen cutting boards a week, I'd never part with it. If I was 25 yrs younger, I'd opt for a small wide belt where my investment would payoff through jobs. I maybe selling the SM in the near future.
 

Stuart Kent

Stuart
Senior User
I have owned 3 different drum sanders over the years. Woodmaster is hands down the best. It is the closest thing to a wide belt in terms of build quality and they are available in several sizes and configurations. We have the 52" dual drum at the North Carolina Furniture School and couldn't be happier with it.
 

Reference Handiwork

Ref
Senior User
I have the Supermax 19-38. I haven't used it much but it's fantastic for cutting boards or other shorter length glue ups.

Another project involved sanding about 40 poplar doors. The shorter ones leveled out nice. The longer ones that had even the slightest twist ended up catching for a moment and creating a gouge albeit a small one. My conclusion is that it's a great machine (under $2000) but I've only found a very limited use for it. If I was making a dozen cutting boards a week, I'd never part with it. If I was 25 yrs younger, I'd opt for a small wide belt where my investment would payoff through jobs. I maybe selling the SM in the near future.

If you end up selling it, let me know! I pump out cutting boards regularly (just sold a set of 11 to one customer) and such a tool might be perfect for me.

I've found some wide belt sanders that I could buy and make work, but my main issue with them is the space factor. Currently in a basement shop and no clear timeline for when I'll be able to have a more conventional garage or shop space.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
Supermax 16/32. Good machine. Open end sanders best way to go for entry level.

Wide belt sanders are best, but so expensive! Some require compressed air, all require serious dust collection! Unless you're into serious production its too big and too expensive for the average shop.
 

Reference Handiwork

Ref
Senior User
Supermax 16/32. Good machine. Open end sanders best way to go for entry level.

Wide belt sanders are best, but so expensive! Some require compressed air, all require serious dust collection! Unless you're into serious production its too big and too expensive for the average shop.
Yeah, I think that's what I'm concluding. I sometimes go too big, too fast, when it comes to machine projects (hence going from a rockwell contractor saw to a 3hp, 3phase cabinet saw).

I'm watching for the right deal at the right time. Just got back in the shop last night after a two week break to let a stitched up finger heal (bandsaw) and am already looking around, eyeing the perfect location for a drum sander.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
Yeah, I think that's what I'm concluding. I sometimes go too big, too fast, when it comes to machine projects (hence going from a rockwell contractor saw to a 3hp, 3phase cabinet saw).

I'm watching for the right deal at the right time. Just got back in the shop last night after a two week break to let a stitched up finger heal (bandsaw) and am already looking around, eyeing the perfect location for a drum sander.
Check the specs I put mine on a dedicated 110V 15A circuit.

The 19/38 has a bigger motor.

I see they have a combo sander that will sand profiles.
 

walnutjerry

Jerry
Senior User
I have owned 3 different drum sanders over the years. Woodmaster is hands down the best. It is the closest thing to a wide belt in terms of build quality and they are available in several sizes and configurations. We have the 52" dual drum at the North Carolina Furniture School and couldn't be happier with it.
I also have a Woodmaster single drum sander, 38" wide though. Been using it for over 20 years trouble free. Just be sure you have enough power in dust collection to clear the dust from the machine.
 

BobW

New User
Bob
Hey friends,

I'm a Winston Salem based hobby woodworker hoping to buy a drum sander someday soon.

I do a lot of cutting boards and similar glue-ups. I have a small shop but am dead set on getting larger space someday in the next couple of years. I'm open to both used and new machines and have restored a number of old woodworking tools (still miss the 3ph, 3hp general 350 saw I left in Oregon). Price cap would be 2K, ideally.

I've looked at new machines, double drum machines, and even used wide belt sanders. I'm not sure what's right for me, but I'd like to hear some of y'all's dos and don'ts on this matter.

What are your experiences with drum sanders and wide belt sanders?

Would it be worth buying a 3 phase machine and wiring it for operating on a VFD (I'm comfortable with this kind of work)?

What are your main parameters when choosing a sanding machine like this?

- Jason
Check out this link:


It is a DIY drum sander that you can make in your shop, I have not done it yet (in the middle of building a new home) but I figured it was worth 10 bucks for the plans and then I can build it later! Might be worth looking into.
 

craftbeerguy

Craft Beer Guy
User
I have the Supermax 19-38. I haven't used it much but it's fantastic for cutting boards or other shorter length glue ups.

Another project involved sanding about 40 poplar doors. The shorter ones leveled out nice. The longer ones that had even the slightest twist ended up catching for a moment and creating a gouge albeit a small one. My conclusion is that it's a great machine (under $2000) but I've only found a very limited use for it. If I was making a dozen cutting boards a week, I'd never part with it. If I was 25 yrs younger, I'd opt for a small wide belt where my investment would payoff through jobs. I maybe selling the SM in the near future.
I'll PM you if I decide to sell it. Sorry, haven't been on the website for some time.
 

avikb

New User
avikb
I have a Jet 1020 (I'm a hobbyist). If you're not going to get the huge/wide ones, buying an open ended one is important. It took me a while to get the mounting of the abrasive right and I saw a lot of reviews where people may have done it incorrectly or just given up.

Pros: It evens out my joinery
Cons: it seems under powered, or I'm not patient enough

One last thing, they can be expensive to repair, you may want to consider a new one with a warranty before an old one.
 

jgt1942

jgt
User
I have the SM 18-38 and love it. Yes, a wider would be much better but, $$$$$. I recently used it to make two barn doors using 2x4 pine. The big downside of pine is the pitch. I now have several belts that are ready to be soaked in simple green or the purple stuff.

It is critical that you get the belt on as tight as possible, this is bit of a learning curve. If it is not tight it will either overlap somewhere on the drum or the ends where you insert the sandpaper in the catches will beat on the wood you are sanding and break.

The MAX depth in one pass is 1/4 turn, I settled on 1/8 turn.

The automatic sensor for speed is a huge plus (IMHO).

I ordered two long rolls of sandpaper (80 grit and 120 grit) from Klingspor at $81 each. If I recall correctly this will drop the price down to about $5.00 for each strip I cut. BTW I could not find the rolls on the website and called 828-326-WOOD (9663) to place the order. If you search for the product number you can find it (Klingspor Abrasives 3" x 50MT 120 Grit Premium Aluminum Oxide Drum Sander Rolls)
PE60474: 3"X50 Meter Aluminum Oxide 120 Grit Roll (total of 17 strips)
PE54773: 3"X50 Meter Aluminum Oxide 80 Grit Roll
 

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