TerryMcK

New model Jet 16/32 drum sander

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Looks like an outstanding machine there Terry.  I know you have to be looking forward to using it.  Any ideas for a first project to give it a good test?

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23 minutes ago, Chet said:

Looks like an outstanding machine there Terry.  I know you have to be looking forward to using it.  Any ideas for a first project to give it a good test?

Yes Chet I have a few acoustic guitar parts (sides and soundboards) that I want to thickness. I have previously done these by hand and it is very easy to pull lumps out of thin boards (1/8” thick soundboards and even thinner sides and backs) with a hand plane. The drum sander will make it so much easier and less of my expensive sitka spruce going into the burn pile!

I have already used the sander to resurface a chopping board that had become bowed on the back and had a butchers block type of hollow on the face (caused by years of knives). My wife is now very happy that it doesn’t wobble around on the counter top anymore. It took about 5 minutes to level and resurface. I used that as an example to justify the cost LOL!

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42 minutes ago, TerryMcK said:

I used that as an example to justify the cost LOL!

Any time you can use a project that your wife wants as an excuse for a new tool it usually turns into a win.

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Mark your template to prevent cutting the strips upside down (and completely useless) . I mark the back of the abrasive and it makes the razor knife blades last longer. A pair of the old fashioned scissors type tin snips work on cloth abrasive rolls too. 

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Good point. We can’t get the Supermax range over in the UK but as far as I am aware the Supermax’s don’t have the parallel bed adjustment that this new Jet and the Powermatic machine has, so for that reason alone a Supermax wouldn’t be on my radar.

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My SuperMax has bed parallel adjustments plus a lever that switches from perfectly parallel to slightly off which prevents a line/gouge when sanding boards wider than the drum. 

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Congrats Terry! All of the upgrades on your model , I wish I had on mine. And I can’t think of anything else lacking. What is the US dollar conversion on yours? I need to start cutting my own paper. I did once at Steve’s suggestion but failed to order more paper. In fact, in needing some, I went to Rockler today and bought two boxes of four strips each for $30.00 ea.. Great review! 

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I know that all cantilever type drum sanders have some sort of parallel adjustment and I might not have been as clear as I meant to be. This Jet and the Powermatic share a similar one knob tool-less method of adjustment that other manufacturers don't currently have (AFAIK). This makes it super easy to adjust.

I'm not fond of chasing my tail by adjusting a machine with wrenches, testing, readjusting, tightening and locking off etc. I get enough grief from adjusting my planer when I change the blades. This one knob simple adjustment of the conveyor bed is a revelation for me.

Ken I'm not sure of the dollar conversion rate as there are probably other factors involved before it gets a final price in US stores - at the moment its around $1700 for the basic machine without extension tables or casters. But I'm sure the new Jet will arrive over in the US (if it is not over there already) soon. I did already mark my cutting template with "Grit side up" as I did read an article of a woman who bought a drum sander. She also bought a roll of Abranet to make her own belts. She then made the mistake of cutting a bunch, using the entire roll, but placed the new abrasive strips grit to grit with the original one. Then she cut the ends to suit. 

The resultant new strips were unfortunately mirror images of the original and did not fit the drum roller. She made a real expensive mistake but was big enough to admit it to the internet so others didn't make the same mistake. She probably reused the abrasive on a hand sanding pad as Mirka stuff is too expensive to throw away - who knows.

 

Incidently the Abranet I bought is Mirka Abranet Max which doesn't stretch as much as regular Abranet. Anybody else have any experience of Abranet Max?

 

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The adjustment does look nice and easy. My only defense to the supermax is it's a 1 time adjustment. It took me a few min to dial it in but once you lock the bed parallel your done.

Do you have to remove a bolt to open the top to change the sand paper? My super max has a latch and it's super fast top open the top which is nice for cleaning the abrasive with a crepe block.

I never knew mirka made rolls for drum sanders. I'll have to look into that. Currently i use some pretty inexpensive stuff but it works well as long as i don't burn pitch into it.... which i just did again a couple days ago. :mellow:

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 There is a also a latch to open the dust shroud making it quick.

The abrasive locks in with a spring clip at either end. Also the spring clips are mounted onto another spring loaded mechanism that automatically tensions the belt (within limits of course) so no loose abrasive turns. The Jet supplied abrasive is shown on the drum below

spring.thumb.JPG.b95664479023b8fc3d95d1dba2934f66.JPG

 

There is another manufacturer of sanding belts I can buy locally and that is made by Hermes and is called J-Flex. It is more expensive than the equivalent Mirka - roughly twice as expensive for the same length rolls. Obviously I haven't tried that one but I know it is not an open mesh structure and is a more traditional cloth backed abrasive. Any comments on Hermes is also welcome.

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Yeah it looks a lot like the Supermax 16-32 that I have. It's like they were both originally designed by the same person and at some point diverged causing subtle differences.:D

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Jet bought the  Performax smaller machine line years ago. The original company became SuperMax they came out with my 19/38 and your 16/32 then sold out to Laguna ( I think) . 

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My Supermax doesn't seem to hold parallel very well.  I've adjusted it (I think) three times in the past year I've had it.  It drives me nuts...I use a 16" wide piece of MDF covered in pencil and don't stop until I get even sanding across the width with a shallow cut.  Weeks or months later, I notice that I'm getting heavier contact on one side or the other.  I think that I need to adjust the top roller on the infeed side, it seems a bit too low and I think* it might be knocking the drum mechanism around from time to time.

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I keep an eye on my SuperMax 19/38 with a pair of digital calipers and it's been behaving pretty well. And there is usually a few days each month that it gets run nonstop for 6-7 hours. I think the cast iron frame being so ridgid and careful handling of the infeed/conveyor/ outfeed tables is important.  But these days each model of a machine can behave slightly different depending on the features/flaws inherent in its design. The simple height adjustment wheel takes a few seconds to change a few inches but I didn't want the quick adjust feature.

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