Author Topic: SuperMax Drum Sanders  (Read 5856 times)

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Offline wow

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SuperMax Drum Sanders
« on: October 30, 2014, 11:48 AM »
I am posting this message so it's easier to find in a search.

I have mentioned before that I used to manage Performax back before they were sold to Jet. Some of the employees purchased the rights to the larger models and started SuperMax Tools, who today manufacture single and dual drum sanders up to 50" wide right here in the USA.

Although I no longer work directly for them, I have a kind of 'friend of the company' status. I often refer people to them, and I can help out of if there are ever issues.

If you are interested in purchasing anything from them, PM me and I'll get you hooked up. You'll save some money or get some free items if you do! This offer is intended to benefit FOG members, so is valid for anyone who has been a member of the FOG for a year or more, or has at least 10 posts.

Enjoy!
Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

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Offline GreenGA

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2014, 12:13 PM »
Thanks for the offer to help.

About a month ago, I was watching a video in which was featured the... 1632...???  Nice.  Too bad my shop can't hold any more toys.  [crying]
Never use a 2x4, when a 2x6 will do just as well.

SYS-Lites, CMS/GE, TS55, KAPEX, MFT/3, CXS Kit, C15 Set, C12 Set, T18 Set, Ti15 Set, CT48 w/Boom Arm, Carvex PSBC, HL850, HL65L, RO90, RTS400, DTS400, LS130, DX93, RO150, ETS 150/3, RAS 115/4E, RS2E, Domino 500 & 700 Sets, MFK700 Set, OF1010 EQ, OF1400, OF2000E+, MFS700, FS3000/2, LR 32-SYS+97" rail, 2011 Centrotec Set, Metric and Imperial Zobo Forstner Bit Set, VS600 Dovetail System, Guide Rail Kit, Parallel Guides, Tradesman Cleaning Set, Shinex, lotsa 'tainers (Sys, Sorts, Minis, Midis, Maxis. Attics, Classic, New and Blue).
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Offline deepcreek

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2014, 03:44 PM »
My business partner (Erich) has been dealing with the guys at Supermax quite a bit lately.

We bought a 20 year old Performax 37x2 from a woodworker in Pittsburgh, PA and made the round-trip from Houston, TX to get it.

It needed some parts to bring it back to tip top shape and they have been tremendously helpful.

Great engineering AND customer service.  Just like Festool.
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

http://www.facebook.com/timberfire

Offline micknm

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 10:53 PM »
Thanks for posting this.  I was in the Klingspor store in Hickory, NC a couple of weeks ago.  They had some Supermax equipment on the floor and I was very impressed. It just "felt" like the product was beefier and that the fit and finish were superior to others I've seen. I was surprised that the prices were competitive.  I'm interested and will PM you some time soon.  Thanks very much.

Offline micknm

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 10:55 PM »
So this is my tenth post and now I qualify!

Offline wow

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 11:11 PM »
So this is my tenth post and now I qualify!

Congrats!

I hope my restriction is understood and not too onerous? My intent is to help those who are legitimate members of the FOG while at the same time screening out anyone who just wants a 'fast discount'.

I am all about supporting the FOG community, and since Festool doesn't make anything like the SuperMax products I believe they compliment each other very well...
Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

Offline myfinishingtouch

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2015, 07:39 PM »
So I'm in the middle of my personal sander decision making process.  I just bought the Domino XL and CT36 and my first big project is  going to be a gaming table (very similar to the Geek Chic Emissary).  The question is whether or not a drum sander is necessary or if Festool would do the job.  Lumber will be coming off a Felder planer with spiral cutterhead so will be pretty good to begin with.   Most posts I've read about using drum sanders state a ROS is needed after a trip through the drum sander so couldn't the RO150 or ETS150 with a hard pad do about the same thing as a drum sander.  Maybe even as quickly?
Thanks,
Dave

Offline T. Ernsberger

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2015, 08:38 PM »
So I'm in the middle of my personal sander decision making process.  I just bought the Domino XL and CT36 and my first big project is  going to be a gaming table (very similar to the Geek Chic Emissary).  The question is whether or not a drum sander is necessary or if Festool would do the job.  Lumber will be coming off a Felder planer with spiral cutterhead so will be pretty good to begin with.   Most posts I've read about using drum sanders state a ROS is needed after a trip through the drum sander so couldn't the RO150 or ETS150 with a hard pad do about the same thing as a drum sander.  Maybe even as quickly?
Thanks,
Dave

I own a 22/44 Supermax and I have a RO150.   I did a table not to long ago and used both.   The Supermax is a great sander and I used it to level the surface and used the R0150 to finish sand the table with a hard pad.   I find when using the Supermax you have to be very careful not to bump the machine or it will leave drum marks in the surface.   Thats why I finished with the ro150.  For smaller projects the Supermax works great.   Just a pain to do big projects with. Next I will try it with two people. Both are great machines and very thankful to have both in my shop. 

Offline myfinishingtouch

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 10:31 PM »
Tyler, hanks for the input.  I guess what I don't understand is the leveling part.  If a domino is used to join the pieces of the table top what needs to be leveled?

Most videos of the RO150 (Parfit's included) show taking rough wood to smooth but who doesn't start off with planed wood?

Thanks
Dave

Offline T. Ernsberger

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 11:10 PM »
Tyler, hanks for the input.  I guess what I don't understand is the leveling part.  If a domino is used to join the pieces of the table top what needs to be leveled?

Most videos of the RO150 (Parfit's included) show taking rough wood to smooth but who doesn't start off with planed wood?

Thanks


All my material is run through the planer. If there's any glue or clamp marks the Supermax takes away the majority of the sanding, I normally use up to 100 grit.   Sand paper changing is not super fast of the Supermax so its easier to use the Rotex.  By leveling, when i build cabinet doors i run through the Supermax it helps level or sand the door equally.    Using the hand sander it you are not carfull you can take away too much. So when I say leveling I mean sanding equally across a face.  I hope this helps.   

Offline wow

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2015, 11:26 PM »
The SuperMax Drum Sanders excel in a few areas:

1. They can flatten one face of a board just like a planer. Unless you try to take too big of a bite, the SuperMax doesn't 'compress' the wood like a thicknesser does. This allows you to smooth one face, then flip the board and  thickness it - either on your planer or using the SuperMax.

2. Since each grain of abrasive acts like a tiny knife, the SuperMax Drum Sander does what a planer CAN NOT - it can thickness wood with wild grain. While some planers do a halfway decent job, grain tearout is always a potential problem due to the knives on a planer. The SuperMax Drum Sander doesn't use conventional knives so this isn't an issue,

3, They can do very W I D E panels. With the exception of Darcy, I doubt many people have jointers much larger than about 12 inches -  but I have a 36" SuperMax Drum Sander, so I *almost* have a 36" jointer!

Hope this info helped...
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 11:26 AM by wow »
Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

Offline rst

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2015, 07:17 AM »
I have the Jet 1632 which I bought right after they bought out SuperMax and I love it.  I have a 12" Powermatic planer but most of the time I use the sander.  With 36 grit I can really take off material quickly.  I have even used it on UHMW plastic.  I'm considering buying a double drum model and if I do it will be the Super.  Their brush model looks really intriguing also.

Offline SittingElf

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2015, 02:33 AM »
Wayne,

You know these products, so can you do a comparison between the SuperMax 25/50 cabinet sander and the Jet 22-44 Oscillating Drum Sander.

I am drawn to the jet due to the oscillating mechanism that gives a clean finish, rather than having to go back over with one of my RO's...at least to 100 Grit.

Perhaps there is some extra benefit for the SuperMax over the Jet that I have missed (Other than the extra 6"). Please elucidate if you can.  They are close in price, and I'm likely to purchase one or the other by this summer.

Cheers,

Frank
Woodworking is 3% talent and 97% paying attention to the FOG! 

hammerfelderowners.com

Offline Lbob131

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2015, 08:32 AM »
The sanding brushes  seem extremely expensive.  Over £600  for the  Axminster  brushes in the UK.
And  I expect these  are consumables. :(

Do Jet  make sanding brushes?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 09:29 AM by Lbob131 »

Offline wow

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2015, 11:17 AM »
Wayne,

You know these products, so can you do a comparison between the SuperMax 25/50 cabinet sander and the Jet 22-44 Oscillating Drum Sander.

I am drawn to the jet due to the oscillating mechanism that gives a clean finish, rather than having to go back over with one of my RO's...at least to 100 Grit.

Perhaps there is some extra benefit for the SuperMax over the Jet that I have missed (Other than the extra 6"). Please elucidate if you can.  They are close in price, and I'm likely to purchase one or the other by this summer.

Cheers,

Frank


I have never used the Jet product, but I believe I can indeed give you a comparison by way of a story.

When I started at Performax I had never used a drum sander, but desperately wanted one for my shop. I borrowed a SuperMax 37x2 that we got back from a show to play with - one of the perks of being the GM.

[wink]

About the same time I enrolled in a cabinetmaking class at the local Technical College. The school had a massive TimeSaver wide-belt sander that had two oscillating heads.

I had a similar question as you - I wondered how much better the results would be on a $100,000+ oscillating wide-belt sander versus the $4,000 non-oscillating SuperMax drum sander. So I devised a plan to find out.

I needed to build a cabinet with drawers for the area under the extension of my table saw. I glued up some lengths of red oak to use for my drawer fronts, then planed them to just slightly more than finished thickness. I ran two of the four pieces through the SuperMax 37x2 using 100 grit on the front drum and 150 on the rear drum. I marked those pieces discretely so I could tell which they were.

I took all four pieces to school and ran the other two pieces through the TimeSaver, using 100 grit abrasive on the front head and 150 grit on the rear to match what I had used on the SuperMax.

The school had a ‘day’ cabinetry instructor and a ‘night’ cabinetry instructor. Although I was in the night class, the daytime instructor occasionally stuck around for a bit. Once I finished running the second set of glue-ups, I independently approached the instructors and asked each of them to tell me which pieces were done on which machine.

Both instructors had extensive cabinetmaking experience. The day instructor had owned his own shop. He examined them carefully, said he couldn’t really tell the difference, but guessed anyway. He guessed wrong.

The night instructor was employed for many years at Medallion cabinetry, working his way up to a job as final inspector. He correctly identified which was done on the SuperMax 37x2 and which was done on the TimeSaver.

I then hit them lightly with an RO sander - as you typically would - and again asked them to tell me which was which. Neither of them could tell any difference.

Without reading too much into this simple test, they and I agreed that the following were valid conclusions:

1. Finish sanding with a random orbit sander was required regardless of which machine was used.

2. Either machine could accomplish the task just fine.

3. The results were so close as to be essentially identical in the opinion of trained cabinetmakers. Only the experience of years as a QC inspector enabled my night instructor to pick out which was sanded on which machine.


Based on those results, we never pursued the idea of making the SuperMax oscillate, as it seemed like an unnecessary complication with minimal benefit. KISS!

Of course, I suggest you try a piece of wood through the Jet sander yourself before you make your decision. Like I said, I’ve never used one...

Edit: I read this again and realized that my post might make it seem like there is NO value to having an oscillating function. That, of course, isn't true. What I forgot to mention is a biggie -  Oscillation on a wide-belt sander was an accident, and is a necessary evil NOT a desired action! I can almost hear you say...WHAT???!!!!

It is virtually impossible to keep those belts tracking without chewing up the edges and tearing up the belts. Since the engineers couldn't figure out a way to keep the belts tracking in one place, they came up with a system that had the belt intentionally wander back and forth on the platen. It would wander to one side - where it would activate an adjusting mechanism that caused it to wander slowly back toward the other side, where it would activate another adjusting mechanism that caused it to wander slowly back toward the first side, and so on. Think of this concept working in much the same way as you steer a car, i.e. never going in a 'perfectly' straight line, but actually making hundreds or thousands of tiny adjustments that result in the appearance and feel of moving in a straight line. It was an ingenious solution to the problem, and is still the way wide-belt sanders are designed today.

Rather than admit that there was ever a problem - which might have caused a raft of recalls or buy-backs on machines that didn't track and kept tearing up expensive belts - the 'fix' was marketed as a 'feature' which has never actually been proven to have much real value...except, as mentioned, to prevent the destruction of expensive sanding belts and corresponding damage to the workpiece.

How's that for a twist? [tongue]
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 01:20 AM by wow »
Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

Offline Lbob131

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2015, 11:34 AM »
That's very useful  information. Thanks.

Offline John Beauchamp

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2015, 05:06 PM »
WOW, With information like this I feel you need a promotion, You are now the head FOG walmart greeter [smile] [smile] [smile]  It's amazing the background and knowledge of the people on here
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 05:11 PM by John Beauchamp »
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Offline wow

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2015, 05:14 PM »
WOW, With information like this I feel you need a promotion, You are now the head FOG walmart greeter [smile] [smile] [smile]  It's amazing the background and knowledge of the people on here

Awww, shucks...

 [embarassed]
Trying to be one of the most helpful members on the FOG.

Offline gregstuff

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2017, 11:01 AM »
I've been suffering from sander envy ever since a friend bought a SuperMax 19-38 a couple of years ago. I have access to use his anytime I want, but he lives 10 min away and there's nothing like having the correct machine for the job sitting in your shop where you can flip a switch and work.
I've been soaking on the idea of buying one for months and stumbled onto a used 37x2 that's in great shape. I gave it a thorough once-over, ran some dimension lumber and I like it enough to pay more for it used than for a new 19-38. I worked a deal, committed to buy it and I'm picking it up this afternoon. I've downloaded and printed the owner's manual from SuperMax. Although I work with a variety of woods, a fair amount of what I do is with #1 KDPT yellow pine. (I keep rubber sanding belt cleaning sticks at the ready.) I'm looking real-world tips and tricks for this sander, including what combinations of grit to run for various woods.

Offline ben_r_

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2017, 06:38 PM »
I think a bit has changed since this thread was started. I dont think SuperMax drum sanders are made in the USA anymore. At least not the most popular 19-38 everyone buys.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

Offline tjbnwi

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2017, 07:49 PM »
I've been suffering from sander envy ever since a friend bought a SuperMax 19-38 a couple of years ago. I have access to use his anytime I want, but he lives 10 min away and there's nothing like having the correct machine for the job sitting in your shop where you can flip a switch and work.
I've been soaking on the idea of buying one for months and stumbled onto a used 37x2 that's in great shape. I gave it a thorough once-over, ran some dimension lumber and I like it enough to pay more for it used than for a new 19-38. I worked a deal, committed to buy it and I'm picking it up this afternoon. I've downloaded and printed the owner's manual from SuperMax. Although I work with a variety of woods, a fair amount of what I do is with #1 KDPT yellow pine. (I keep rubber sanding belt cleaning sticks at the ready.) I'm looking real-world tips and tricks for this sander, including what combinations of grit to run for various woods.

Contact Super Max, they helped me get going in the right direction over the phone.

Tom

Offline gregstuff

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Re: SuperMax Drum Sanders
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2017, 09:48 AM »
Thanks for the tips. I talked with my buddy who has the 19-38 and he told me that the folks at Performax are friendly and helpful, even with older machines, so I'm going to give them a call. The label on the dust hood of the one that I picked up yesterday says "PerformaX SuperMax 37x2 HD". It has "Proudly made in the USA" across the top of the label. (Score one for the home team.)