Midnight Woodworking


Supermax 19-38 drum sander

I like tools. The problem with collecting them is that you eventually run out of space. I wanted to add a drum sander to my shop tool collection, but I have no place to put it. My shop was added on to the house about 14 years ago. It was huge at the time and there was room to spare. Since then, I have continuously upgraded and added more tools. The shop was added on to the back of the house, behind the garage. I have to admit that my garage has rarely been used for cars. In the winter, we fill half of it with firewood to keep it in out of the rain and make it easy to grab a few logs for the fire without having to go outside. Since we don’t park in the garage, my wife graciously allowed me to annex half of the garage and convert it into additional shop space.

I added an insulated 2×4 wall to the block, exterior wall and split the garage with an insulated 2×6 wall. This allows me to open the door to my shop to share the conditioned air from my shop’s heat pump. To this space I have added shelving for storage, as well as Adam’s work bench and the second lathe. Adam has outgrown his bench and he uses mine a lot more now, but his is still a catch-all for all of his stuff. My dust collector is also located in this space, which helps heat the space as well… Moving one of my large rolling metal shelves from the shop to the garage also allowed me to add an additional wood rack to the back wall of my shop, freeing up a lot of floor space, where it had been collecting.

Now that I have a bit more breathing room in the shop, it is time to start filling it back up again…

I wanted to buy a drum sander, to add to my shop’s capabilities. After some research, I narrowed my choices down to the Jet and the Supermax. Prices were comparable, but the reviews on the Supermax seemed to be really good and the machine was made with a lot more steel and cast iron than the Jet. It weighed about 100 pounds more than the Jet. While that makes installation a pain, it usually means a lot more stable tool. My buddy Bryan bought the smaller Grizzly drum sander and he had problems with it tipping over. I definitely did not want to have that problem. I chose the Supermax 19-38 from ACME Tools. Everybody sells the sander for the exact same price, but ACME has free shipping and lift-gate service for any purchase over $199. That plus no tax made them the cheapest choice. I placed my order and the unit arrived just six days later. Pretty quick for freight.

The instructions recommend having help when lifting the sander, and I didn’t, so I won’t bother showing you how I did it. Lets just say it was really heavy (about 260 pounds) and awkward by myself.

I opened the two boxes that arrived and found the sander and the feed table, but no base. I called ACME and they were very polite and helpful, but it still took another seven days to get the base. Three days for the warehouse to figure out that they didn’t send it and another four to FedEx it to me…

While I was waiting… I figured I would get the rest of it put together.

I needed to unbolt some of the packaging materials from the bottom of the sander, so I put it up on blocks and disassembled those.

They thoughtfully enclose an English depth gauge as well as an additional one in metric, in case you have a preference.

I had to install the knob on the height adjustment crank.

And remove a spacer block that was installed for stabilization during shipping.

Well, that took all of five minutes, so I let the unit sit for a week while waiting for the base.

The base arrived in pretty good shape, although there was a large buckle in the side of the shelf.

I tried to straighten it out with my wood vise, but thought didn’t quite get it all out.

Next option was a rubber mallet and a block of wood. That pretty much took care of it.

On to assembling the base. The instructions were pretty straight forward, assemble the legs first, then the cross bars.

Flip the whole thing upside down, then bolt on the shelf.

Add the feet and flip it back over. The base is pretty heavy-duty. The whole thing weighs about 50 pounds.

I carefully lugged the sander over and set it in place, then bolted it down.

To attach the drive table, two screws on the drive side, and two nuts on the outboard side, had to be removed, then reinstalled with the table in place. I had to remove the pre-installed sand paper to check that the drum head was calibrated properly, but it was simple to reinstall. Just a spring-loaded clip on each end to hold the paper on.

For a test run, I grabbed a piece of cedar that had some grey fuzzy spots and some big knots.

The sander worked perfectly with no adjustments required. and unlike my planer, I can run the board in against the grain, with large knots, and I get absolutely no tear-out or snipe.

I also picked up one of those giant gum eraser looking things, off of Amazon, to keep the sandpaper clean.

I re-routed the dust collection from my chop saw, to the drum sander. You need to have 500-600 cfm of dust collection, or the sand paper will load up quickly and burn the wood. It always seemed to be a waste of effort, trying to use dust collection on the chop saw anyway…

All in all, I am happy with this purchase. I hope it will expand my capabilities in the shop. I want to start fooling with segmented bowl turning and this will make sanding the different layers a breeze.

2 comments on “Supermax 19-38 drum sander

  1. jakestoolscool
    January 30, 2018

    I have a 1500 sq ft. shop and still wish that I had more space, unfortunately I do not foresee a drum sander taking up space in it in the near future due to budget. Good article, I am jealous of your new toy.

    • Lwroten
      January 30, 2018

      Thanks, I am seriously toying with the idea of adding on to the back of the shop, in the spring. That would still bring me up to about half the size of your shop though. Budget has always been a challenge. I do a lot of design work on the side, and that is what pays for my upgrades. None of it comes from the household budget.

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This entry was posted on January 29, 2018 by in Misc..., Tool and tagged , , , , .

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