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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Replacing the DRO on the SuperMax drum sander

If you've installed the Wixey digital readout (DRO) on your SuperMax drum sander, you know that in addition to the DRO made by Wixey for planers, the installation also requires some special fittings that SuperMax supplies.

I've enjoyed the greater precision that the DRO allows, and was dismayed when it stopped working.  A quick look inside the case confirmed that the two AAA batteries had leaked, despite the tool's being in regular use.  These were Amazon basic batteries, and this was the third time we've had leakage.  Coincidence?  I don't think so!

I contacted Wixey to get instructions for replacement, and found that while they sold replacement DROs, and had instructions for installation on planers, they were not familiar with the specifics of the SuperMax setup.  I learned that replacement depended upon removing the screw that held the DRO  to the bracket, but found that access to this screw was blocked by the special mounting hardware for the sander.

However, it looked like a simple job to remove the entire assembly intact, which would allow access the screw holding the DRO to the bracket.  Here's what I did:

1. I loosened the bolt that held the black bracket to the sander.

2. I removed the screws that held the silver bracket to the sander.  At that point, the unit could be removed from the sander.

3. From that point on, it was quite straight forward.  I removed the screw that held the DRO to the black SuperMax bracket and set the bracket and screw aside.  The DRO now slid freely on its vertical bar. I undid the top of the spring at the rear of the bar, which freed up the bar so I could slide it out of the DRO.

4. I slid the new DRO into place on the bar, and reattached the spring.

5. I then reattached the black SuperMax bracket to the DRO.

6. I slid the black bracket onto the bolt, tightened it slightly, then replaced the two screws in the silver unit.  I then tightened everything up, zeroed out the unit, and watched it work perfectly.

And I'm going to get a big batch of name brand AAA batteries at Costco this week!