Friday, April 1, 2011

Upgrading a Performax 16-32 to a SandSmart Controller

This project definitely comes out of left field...

I have a Jet Performax 16-32 drum sander that just predates the addition of a SandSmart controller.  When I first got the sander, I looked into swapping out the controller.  Well, the box of parts has sat for a long time, but I got it done this past weekend.

SandSmart is the controller that runs the conveyor belt.  It allows you to set whatever variable speed you want, but if you set the feed too fast for the drum, it automatically backs off the conveyor speed to keep the drum at full load, but not pop a breaker.  For anybody who has popped a breaker by taking too much off a board or hitting an unexpected high spot during flattening passes, you know why this controller can be a big deal.  When the breaker pops, the conveyor stalls almost immediately and the drum spins down very slowly.  The heat of the drum slowing will always leave a very large burn mark.

The "doesn't pop the breaker" benefit is the most touted, but not the best reason in my mind.  Drum sanding is slow, it's boring.  I like the idea that on the first several passes to simply 'hog off' stock, I can set the speed much higher than it could handle and let the SandSmart controller back off the speed to the maximum speed allowed given the abrasive, stock, and amount you're trying to take off.  That's why I want SandSmart.

In this video, we take a tour of the drum sander insides if you haven't seen one up close.  Below the video is a list of parts you'd need to accomplish this.  They are all available from Jet's replacement parts program.

Even if this upgrade doesn't interest you, if you have an older pre-Jet Performax drum sander, you might want to consider ordering the new dust hood with the 4" port versus the older 2.5" port.  The stock number for this new dust hood is 80-2002.  Depending on your older model, you may have a knob to open it (like you see in the video thumbnail) or a D-shaped handle.  If you want the knob (which the replacement dust cover is drilled for), the knob is 80-3137 and the corresponding latch 40-3168.  Note that the SandSmart controller assumes a 1.5hp motor. If you have an original Performax, you may have a 1hp motor, which will draw a maximum of 8 amperes. The 1.5hp motor will draw a maximum of 11 amperes.  SandSmart's hysteresis is based on current so the 1hp will never get in the self-regulation range of the controller.

Parts List:

Stock NumberDescription
72-2250SandSmart Controller, 1Ph 110V
72-2250-01Knob - 2244Plus
72-2250-02Label Speed Adjusting
40-4903Bracket Base Controller
40-4904Bracket Housing
40-4022WCover Base
20-0777 (qty 2)Screw Pan Head Self-Threading

Parts desk: 888-804-7129


  • Ben said...

    Good video! Thanks the quick tour around the drum sander.

  • neilc said...


    Do you have the part number for the new hood?

    Great video - I have one of the original 16-32 units so am thinking about these upgrades.


  • HalfInchShy said...

    Thanks, Neil,

    The dust cover part number was in the posting, just above the video kinda clandestine-like. I just now edited the post to add the knob and latch. My older model had a D-handle (so, 2 screws into the lid) while the replacement cover has a single pre-drilled hole for the knob. You could move the old handle over drilling new holes, etc. I just opted to pay the ~$3 more to get the new knob and latch.

    You'll just have to hacksaw off the hinges from the replacement; very easy to do. Then it is just drilling the 4 holes for the piano hinge. In my case, the lid would sit askew (even the old). To correct for that, I put one side of the piano hinge on the outside of the new cover and the other on the inside. This got the lid to sit perfectly.

  • Anonymous said...

    Thanks for the video... I've done an internet search and can't find anyone selling the Sand-Smart parts that you used on the upgrade... where did you buy them?

  • HalfInchShy said...

    The phone number for the parts desk is listed below the parts list. While some Jet dealers could order the bigger items for you (the controller) and maybe discount it a bit, it is much easier to just place one order. They ship pretty quickly, too. Off that phone number, you'll need to ask or select customer service and tell them you want to order parts.

  • Anonymous said...

    Paul -

    So I did order the parts from Jet, they came in and I did the retrofit on an original Performax 16/32 sander.

    it works great. I had to google sandsmart wiring diagram to figure out how to wire the new unit in place. I also had to lengthen some of the original wires. But all in all, a fitting upgrade.

    I did not upgrade the hood. Could not find the part number in the Jet parts search tool.

    Thanks again for inspiring the upgrade.


  • Anonymous said...

    Curious what the upgrade cost? Also are you familiar with the year the "sandsmart feature" was added to the machines?

  • HalfInchShy said...

    The most expensive part was the SandSmart controller, which was between $200-$230. I purchased other parts at the time to upgrade other tools. Other than the controller, the other parts may total $20; which parts those are depends on your model of sander and what you want to replace. If you were to try doing this upgrade to an original Performax (pre-Jet), you'd need the controller housing (3 parts, around $20 IIRC) since the SandSmart controller is larger than the original controller. Also, in that case, if you wanted to upgrade the dust port, you'd add about $20.

    But the case I showed in the video of a pre-SandSmart Jet Performax sander, all you need is the control board. To me, it is worth it; it is so much nicer running it at top speed and letting it throttle back and not worrying about popping a breaker.

  • kaetamer said...

    I know I'm waaay late to the party but I recently bought a Performax 16-32 with the 1 hp motor. Rather than upgrading the motor to 1.5 hp to get to the 11 amp current draw couldn't a 3 amp load (another motor) be placed in parallel with the original 1 hp to get to 11 amps?

    A bit of a kludge perhaps, but possible?

    Thanks for your informative video and info.


  • HalfInchShy said...

    Hi, Scott,

    I think you answered your own question :) I think trying to draw a constant 3A in parallel to the sander would be a kludge although in theory it would work :)

    If you were electrically inclined (or knew someone who was on the Heath Kit mailing list as a kid...) you likely could look at the controller itself to find the current detection circuit. Without it in front of me, I'm betting it is just an op-amp so it'll have a fairly cookbook configuration of lumped elements outside it to set the hysteresis point of the circuit. If you find that, you could replace whichever lumped elements needed it to lower the hysteresis point for a 1hp motor.

    That would be an interesting project if the controller wasn't $200+ :) And it has been a long time since I leafed a Heath Kit catalog so there'd be a lot of digging to do.

    I do recommend the upgrade if you can justify the cost; even last week I was using the sander and simply set it to 100% to let it back off where needed. Even the change in feed rate told you where the high spots where on the first passes. So maybe upgrade the motor to 1.5hp as well and keep the old 1hp for something else around the shop.

    If you go nuts and rewire the circuit board, do document it somewhere and let me know where so I can include the link in the article.

  • Michael said...

    I'm really interested in this upgrade! Where did you guys find the controller for $200-230? The best price I have found is $300-330. It looks like the 72-2250 is same part number for the 110v 16-32plus, and the 220v 22-44plus. The wiring diagram is also the same for both units. I did find the 22-44 pro controller for under a $100. Any info would be helpful.

    Thanks Michael

  • Michael said...

    Ok.. the wiring diagrams are the same, but not the controllers. Bummer..

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Hi, Michael,

    I got the controller and parts directly from Jet's parts desk. Perhaps the prices have gone up; I didn't get any special deal on it. If you have a good Jet dealer in the area, maybe you can sweet talk them into ordering the part for you and selling it to you at a better price. The price you pay from the parts desk is the retail price; dealers get it cheaper. I know at the time I did this upgrade, I called one of my dealers and he could get it to me for cheaper; he was a disorganized dealer so things dragged on to the point where I just called Jet. He's no longer in tools.

    Tom Bellemare at is also a Jet dealer. Maybe give him a call or email. He'd be my first stop.

    Good luck! Unless the expense is too much, you'll like the result. Since the time I wrote this article, I've liked the upgrade more and more since being able to put the machine on 100% speed and letting it back off greatly speeds up a slow process!

  • Michael said...


    Thanks for the source information. I'll give them a call

    Best, Michael

  • Anonymous said...

    Just tried this with the older 1.5 HP performax unit. Had to order more parts. The 110 power receptacle from the old unit is too large to go in the opening on the new box. Also a different speed knob.

    Had to order 72-2120 power recepticle
    72-2250-1 knob
    72-2250-05 knob set screw.

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Thanks for posting that update, anonymous! There are so many combinations; it'll help someone!

  • Anonymous said...

    Well, now that I got the power receptacle in the power cord "strain relief" is too large for the hole. So need to order 72-6014 if yo have the older 1.5 hp Performax unit.

  • Unknown said...

    Stumbled across this post, and, quite honestly, found you that way as well.

    Great post, Paul-Marcel. I'd been immensely frustrated by motor stopping in the past. I ordered these parts and the installation went quite smoothly except for the "stress relief" items which broke and I had to do some workarounds. Not your fault-just flimsy/brittle plastic. Now my sandsmart controller works just great.

    I like your website a lot.

    Dick G. Easton, MD

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Thanks! Glad you stumbled :) And glad you liked the modification. I love it on mine; I swear it cuts the sanding time in half since I can run it at the fastest speed.

    Now, if only there was a way to retrofit oscillations :)

  • Keith Pleas said...

    I have an older 16/32 1hp and upgraded to the 4" hood. I didn't order the new (1 hole) knob because the corresponding latch is also 1 hole, and my sander frame is drilled for two holes (though spaced closer than the two handle holes.

    I'm real glad I went this route - the hinge on the new hood is completely different design. I had to sand / carve off the new hood's external hinge points and then sand / carve out reliefs for the old hinges which were slightly relieved into the old hood. A bit tedious, but ended up with a good fit with the new hood into the original location, which also meant that when I moved the 2 hole handle over, the latch works as well.

  • HalfInchShy said...

    I had an older unit I refurbed at the same time as my unit. Yeah, just the cover upgrade made a big difference on that old one with just the 2.5" hole. Glad it worked out!

  • Unknown said...

    I ordered my controller from Supermax, it was 86 dollars plus a little shipping. Oddly their part number was 72-2250, the same as Performax. Its the same.

  • fallguy said...

    Hey Paul-thanks for the post. I have a Supermax 25x2. And today I fried either the conveyor motor or the conveyor motor variable drive switch. I will try to find out tomorrow what I fried. That said, I'd like to try to retrofit this smartsand thing. I already asked Supermax if I can retrofit and old model with the new controls. My motor is a 5hp. Do you know if I can modify this machine and add some brains? Is is just a change to the drum motor so the drive has zip to do with it? Thanks.

  • pebbox said...

    Hi All:

    I have a Performax 16/32 with 1 1/2 hp motor - trying to upgrade to smartsand. I need to order different power receptacle - thanks Anonymous! I saw a frustrating night with a hacksaw ahead of me.

    I cannot find the wiring diagram for the smartsand online. It looks like I will need to extend some wires as well - but not confident that I will guess correctly. Old unit had four prongs, while the new unit has six.

    Can anyone point my in the right direction - Thanks.


  • HalfInchShy said...

    Hi, fallguy... a 5hp motor will have a significantly different current limit and be operating at 220V, not 110V. You'd have to ask Jet's parts desk if there is a controller board made for that combination. I kinda doubt you will find such a board, though.

    Pebbox: it would be good for you to get a manual for your exact model and one for the newest model so you can try determining the function of each of those wires and decide if you can mate the 6-wire connector to the 4. It doesn't sound promising. I don't think you'll find the wiring diagram for the SandSmart controller itself other than seeing it in context of the full product's wiring diagram. That said, though, the guy from Jet's parts desk was very helpful with me and asking for enough information might get you some unpublished diagrams.

  • guitarguy said...

    Hi - The latch for the 4" dusthood is no longer available from Jet.... any ideas ?

  • HalfInchShy said...

    Hi, guitarguy, that older 16-32 model was originally from SuperMax and bought by Jet. SuperMax has a newer lineup, but it is possible the hood for their 16-32 would work or that they have replacement parts for the older models that would include the 4" port. Worth a phone call:

  • Unknown said...

    Anyone know where I can get a controller for my Performax 22-44 PRO... Either the factory kind, new, used or Sandsmart but with the sandsmart conversion and all components needed to make it fit, I'm looking at close $500 and thats just not in the budget right now....Thanks. Scott S. That being said, I would probably sell the 22-44PRO as is if 15537

  • Anonymous said...

    The controller assembly is made by KB Electronics and is part number KBVC-14 and can be found for $50 shipped.