Sanding and surface preparation are a part of any carpentry or metalworking project, and drum and brush sanders speed up these time-consuming tasks. SuperMax drum sanders produce more consistent results than hand sanding, especially when working with large, flat pieces. You can also thin oversized stock, clean up recycled materials or prepare surfaces for paint or varnish with these tools. Use SuperMax brush sanders to create unique surface finishes on metal parts or to de-fuzz or distress wood stock. Brush and drum sanders come in many different configurations and sizes, including models suitable for both home hobbyists and professional users.
Although SuperMax drum sanders and brush sanders perform different tasks, they share some design features. Both have a conveyor belt that feeds material beneath one or two swiftly rotating cylinders that do the actual surface finishing work. Drum sander cylinders are solid metal tubes wrapped with sandpaper, and SuperMax brush sander cylinders have stiff wire or nylon bristles. You primarily use drum sanders to finish wood surfaces, but brush sanders can handle both wood and metal stock. Some SuperMax drum sanders can use either brushes or sanding drums for additional flexibility.
There are two types of conveyor beds. Enclosed conveyors have vertical supports on either side that create a rigid base for the sander’s drums or brushes. Open-ended conveyors only have a single support next to the drive enclosure, which lets you work with materials that are wider than the drum face. While enclosed conveyors provide better support for spinning brushes and drums, you can finish surfaces that are almost twice as wide as the drum face with open-ended SuperMax woodworking drum sanders by sending the piece through twice.
Sanders come in single and dual drum or brush configurations. Single drum models are more compact than dual drum sanders, but they only perform one finishing task at a time. SuperMax dual drum sanders can perform two operations in a single pass, and dual brush sanders can create more complex surface finishes using two different brushes at once. Dual configurations are a good choice for high volume shops with consistent finishing needs, but they are somewhat more complicated to set up. You can perform the same tasks using a SuperMax drum sander with a single drum or brush by swapping out cylinders and making a second pass, but this does take a little more time.
All SuperMax brush sanders and many drum sanders come with stands, but there are bench top drum sanders available, too. These compact units take up less space but require firm support for the proper operation. There are SuperMax tool stands, including open and closed base models with or without wheels, available for all SuperMax sanders.
Among the most important features of a SuperMax drum sander or brush sander is the size of the stock it can handle. The
most obvious measure to consider is the sander’s maximum width. Quickly sanding very wide pieces saves considerable time, but it also significantly increases the tool’s footprint. As mentioned, open-ended SuperMax drum sanders do offer increased sanding width in a smaller machine, but two-pass sanding is a slower process that requires a bit more care to achieve the best results.
The second material capacity you should consider is the tool’s thickness range. Most SuperMax drum sanders can handle stock measuring 1/32-inches to 4-inches thick, which covers typical woodworking needs. Metalworking jobs often involve odd-shaped or oversized pieces, so many SuperMax brush sanders accept extra-thick materials. These machines handle pieces as thin as 1/32 of an inch and can process stock up to 11 inches thick, depending on the model and brush chosen.
The final material handling dimension you should consider is the minimum stock length. Unlike other measurements, where bigger is better, a short stock length lets you safely feed smaller parts into your brush or drum sander. Due to the size of their brushes, most SuperMax brush sanders have a minimum piece length of about 10 inches, but drum sanders can handle much smaller pieces, as short as 2-1/4 inches.
Brush and Sanding Drum Applications
You can use SuperMax brush sanders and drum sanders for many different applications. Drum sanders are mainly used for woodworking while brush sanders are primarily metalworking tools with a few specific woodworking applications. Combo sanders can use either brush or drum cylinders. All SuperMax drum sanders have quick-change cylinders so you can easily swap sandpaper grits or brush types to match your current project’s needs. There’s also a complete line of SuperMax sanding accessories available to further enhance the performance of your SuperMax drum sanders.
The following table highlights many of the common uses of brush and drum sanders and indicates which tool can be used to
perform each finishing task.
|Application||Brush Sanders||Drum Sanders|
|Create hard-sanded wood finishes||—||X|
|Prepare wood for paint or stain||—||X|
|Decorative metal finishes||X||—|
|Sanding large, flat wood surfaces||—||X|
|Distressed wood finishes||X||—|
|Thinning wood stock||—||X|
|Removing old finishes||X||X|
|Sanding panel doors or molding||X||—|
|Remove soft grain from wood stock||X||—|
Controls and Material Handling
Sanders are powerful tools that require precision to achieve the best results. All SuperMax brush sanders and drum sanders offer easy-to-use controls that let you accurately adjust drum, motor and conveyor belt settings and have material handling features that keep stock moving smoothly beneath the drum heads.
- Drum height controls determine the thickness of finished stock
- Drum differential settings change the aggressiveness of each drum in SuperMax dual drum sanders
- A depth gauge clearly indicates drum height settings
- Simple drum and conveyor speed adjustments let you manage material finishing speeds
- SuperMax drum sanders have conveyor tracking and tension controls that ensure stock feeds correctly
- Poly conveyor belts grip stock securely to prevent slippage
- Adjustable tension rollers maintain consistent pressure on stock and eliminate sniping
- A flip-up hood offers easy access to drums and brushes for maintenance
- Variable speed drum motors on some units provide additional control over the finishing process
SuperMax drum sanders also have a patented self-tensioning mechanism that holds sanding wraps securely and automatically removes slack created by regular use. Many also feature INTELLISAND™ technology, which automatically adjusts the conveyor speed based on stock density and grain patterns. This feature prevents burning and gouging and produces consistent results when using uneven materials. Some SuperMax drum sanders include digital height displays for more accurate results and can show measurements in either English or metric units.
Reliability and Durability
All SuperMax brush sanders and drum sanders are built to provide years of service in any workshop. They feature cast iron frames that combine exceptional rigidity with strength and durability. They also have steel conveyor beds that are precision flattened to ensure accurate sanding and finishing results and reinforced to support heavy materials. Most vary less than 0.01 inches across the width of the conveyor bed. All SuperMax drums and brushes are self-cooling which extends abrasive life.
Sanding and finishing tasks produce dust and metal particles that can damage stock or cause health issues. SuperMax drum sanders and brush sanders have integrated dust hoods with built-in vacuum attachments to keep your work area clean. Most also include the minimum recommended ventilation required to provide proper dust management, so you can choose a vacuum system that matches your sander’s needs.
Motor Performance and Power
The best sander is not much use without motors to drive the conveyor belt and finishing cylinder. SuperMax drum sanders and brush sanders use ultra-reliable, totally enclosed, fan-cooled motors to drive sanding drums and brushes. These motors keep dust and debris away from moving parts and operate for extended periods without overheating. SuperMax sanders also have separate direct-drive, infinitely variable DC motors that provide consistent speed and torque to their conveyor belt under any load conditions. When evaluating SuperMax brush sanders and drum sanders, be sure to review their electrical requirements. Their dual-motor configuration draws quite a bit of power, which may require a dedicated 110V or 220V circuit.
SuperMax brush sanders and drum sanders come in a variety of models designed to handle the needs of professional carpenters, metalworkers and home DIY enthusiasts. Brush sanders are ideal for cleanup work, metal finishing or specialized woodworking tasks while drum sanders speed up time-consuming sanding jobs on flat surfaces. SuperMax dual drum sanders take care of two steps in a single pass, and combo units can use both brush and sanding cylinders to perform a wider range of finishing tasks. Explore our selection of SuperMax drum sanders and brush sanders, or browse SuperMax Tools’ complete product line, and find the right finishing solution for your workshop.