Hand sanding provides great effects. But if you’re the one doing the sanding, it can be painful and boring, and time consuming. Among the power assists to sanding in a small shop setting are compact, head-style brush sanders. Reaching into uneven surfaces, they can sealer sand doors and moulding effectively. Leading brands in this niche include Delta (deltaportercable.com), Slipcon USA Inc. (slipcon.com) and Timesavers Inc. (timesaversinc.com). One example is Supermax Tools, Eagan, MN, which introduced a double-drum version of its brush sander that is faster than earlier models, but still geared to smaller woodworking operations.
“We have been selling single head brush sanders for years,” says SuperMax Tools (supermaxtools.com) owner Bill Schroeder. (SuperMax Tools officially launched in 2005 when Schroeder and another former Performax employee, Warren Weber, purchased rights to manufacture closed-end sanders — larger than 24-inch — from the WMH Tool Group.) “Customers told us they wanted a faster machine, because if they got into a lot of production it was too slow.” The newest model is a Superbrush 36x2.
The SuperBrush 36x2 has two brush sanding heads, each independently adjustable for rotation direction, rotation speed, bristle contact and engage/disengage (so only one head is run at a time, if desired.) A conveyor with infinitely adjustable feed-rate carries wood product through the sander at up to 30 feet per minute, allowing for a wide range of processing speeds and brushing possibilities.
Many types of brush heads are available, both flatter and nylon style brush heads in a wide range of grits and variations. Also available are wire, Scotch-Brite® and polishing heads in a variety of configurations.
The range of brushes and settings allows for a wide range of brushing and sanding applications and techniques, says Schroeder. For example, white wood sanding and sealer (scuff) sanding of cabinet doors, passage doors, drawer fronts, face frames, mouldings and trim. With the two brush sanding heads counter-rotating, all corners of a raised panel door can be reached and sanded in one pass, Schroeder says.
Other applications include distressing or weathering to make new wood look like old lumber — a popular effect now for furniture builders, cabinet makers and hardwood/softwood flooring suppliers and architectural millwork fabricators. Cleaning and dressing reclaimed lumber is another application, as well as polishing and dusting or cleaning. The SuperBrush 36x2 includes a DRO (digital depth gauge) for conveyor table height adjustment with electric height adjustment controls for fine tuning adjustments. Four 4-inch dust ports move air and evacuate sanding dust. Four tension rollers hold doors, moulding and other stock in contact with the conveyor belt to allow processing of a wide range of material sizes.