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SuperMax 16-32 1st impressions

7062 Views 12 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Terry Q
Based on feedback to the thread “Drum sander recommendations” I started on 20 September 2017 and a detailed discussion with the staff at the local Woodcraft store I ordered the new SuperMax 16-32 drum sander. Fortuitously Woodcraft had placed orders for the sander directly after it was released by SuperMax and mine arrived within 10 days. By having it shipped to the store there was no freight charge, a bit of savings given the box weighed 140 pounds.
The system was packed in a heavy-duty cardboard box that arrived without damage. It was bolted to 2 pieces of plywood that kept it upright and centered in the box. Hence no Styrofoam. The plywood was designed to serve as “handles” to move the sander from the box to the base for mounting with the bolts being re-used for the final mounting. A simple straightforward process for 2 people.
The base was very easy to assemble and the casters are heavy duty with good locking mechanisms.
Once assembled the calibration check was straight forward and found to be accurate as set at the factory.
Adding the in and out feed tables was tricky as it requires adjusting set screws to control the angle of the offset which interacts with the main bolts when the latter are tightened to hold the tables in place. Definitely a 2-person job with one holding.
The “new” features that sold me on this system are:
1) The Wixey gauge which can be set to check overall thickness as well as increments in material to be removed.
2) Ease with which the depth of a given pass can be adjusted.
3) The in and out feed tables fold down.
4) Improved locking mechanism for removing and adding sanding paper.
5) Intelligent speed control which ties the amount of material being removed to the drive belt speed.
The photos below show the assembled system.
I have yet to decide whether to add drawers to the base or a couple of simple shelves. I’m leaning toward the latter because of the taper of the base and the need to fold the tables down.
I’ve only just begun to use the system with the 1st passes to clean up a new cutting board post glue up. To date I remain pleased.

Sorry about the photos being sideways. I still haven't got the hang of photos with an Iphone.


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nice review. And the one I would most likely buy.
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Looks great, Jon! I like the way the DRO is incorporated into the belt speed control - that's slick. It's been a while since ours was that clean, though. There's a light coat of dust on the motor and the stand so they're no longer jet black like yours. Last week I ordered the folding tables for our 19-38 and put them on yesterday and they work great.

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I am also jealous. My old 16-32 works great, but some of the new features that you got are worth it.

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This electric sander is magnificent! I did plenty of analysis on all my choices for a smoother, as well as Jet and Grizzly and terminated up back at this guy and that I do not regret it in the least. This electric sander has done everything I've asked it to perfection! It's rock solid. I unsure wherever the complaints regarding loading sandpaper come back from, it's SUPER straightforward, takes no quite a pair of minutes. and it's a spring-loaded gripper, therefore, it forever keeps the sandpaper tight. The additional-wide belt is extremely nice yet and includes a fast change lever for doing extra-wide items, therefore, there is nothing you have got to regulate to induce an ideal sand.
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Jon, great feedback, I hope to order one in the next few months.
Which Wixey gauge did you get?
Other than the gauge, wheels and the in and outfeed tables did you order anything extra?
A few suggestions for you.
1) I assume you are copying your photos to your PC. Open a photo app that will allow you to rotate the photo. I use a Windows PC and use the IrfanView app for part of my photo work. I can easily rotate the image left/right and then save it.
2) I suggest that you add drawers rather than shelves. The shelves will require a lip on all sides to ensure materials on the shelves don't fall off when you move/use the sander. The shelves will be a dust collector. I well understand that the legs are not straight thus you will lose a small amount of drawer space when you make the drawers. I built similar drawers when I made the "A" frame for my pipe-clamps.
Good review Jon. I wish that machine wasn't so expensive by the time it gets here.

I also use Irfanview to rotate with. Import the photo to it, rotate it, then save the rotated image as another file and load it onto the forum. Irfanview is a free download. It also allows you to add text to a photo.
Great review and only cements its position on my short list of tools. I had a Jet 16-32 but had to sell it awhile ago. This unit definitely has some improvements. The fact that the tables drop down, alone, is a huge improvement for the space challenged.
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JG: The Wixey is built into the system so there is no choice there.
I've been rotating the photos on my PC and then saving hem again but the changes don't seem to pass through. I appreciate the suggestion and will continue to work on it.
I'm still thinking about the drawers. The shelves are in place and the problems you noted are there. Still working on the matter.
@Cherryville Chuck
Understand the import cost issues and appreciate the comments on the photos.
I have to ask. Besides the cost dif. They have the 19”, why get the 16”?

Folding in and out feed tables, Wixey gauge, ease of adjustment, belt speed integrated with the drum and slightly smaller foot print.
There was a big upgrade to the 16-32 Superman sander. I would think the 19-38 will probably go the same upgrade within the next six months or so. I see where they are including free extension tables on the 19-38. Same thing they did with the 16-32 when they were about to change.

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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