Finally, after a month and a half of haggling, hemming, and hawing, my new (to me) sander made it into my shop yesterday. This is my biggest equipment investment to date, since I started out in my 500 SF garage 6 years ago. Back then it was a Performax 22/44 Pro. Then 2 years ago, I got an Extrema 37" double drum. But as the business continued to grow, and with an eye to the future, I realized that I really needed a wide belt. The business has settled into a niche doing custom cabinet doors - so we're pushing a lot of flat stuff through the sander. And as I do work for more shops, I keep hearing that they want doors that are practically ready to finish on arrival. I went to AWFS to look at sanders and was impressed with the SCMI.
While I was trying to figure out the best way to pay for one, I came across a used 1999 Sandya 5. After more investigation, it turns out that even with the age, it had low usage, the owner having upgraded quickly to a larger machine. I paid a tech to inspect it under power, and he reported that everything functioned and that he was surprised by the good condition overall. So I feel like I got a machine with lots of life left in it. The feed mat looks all but new and the rubber contact drum on the combi head has only minor wear at the edges because the previous owner was running 44" belts with reduced oscillation to try to squeeze more width capacity out of it.
Some of the cool features on this machine are shown in the pictures. Each contact point has pneumatic control from the front panel. You flip a switch to activate the steel calibrating drum, the rubber combi drum, and the platen in any combination you please. It doesn't have the newer go-to type thickness controller, but the digital display is more than I have now. We only run a few standard thicknesses anyway. There is a controller for the platen that is synched to the feed speed. It can be set to lower the platen when the leading edge is halfway past it, and raise it when the trailing edge is halfway through. This prevents any rounding of edges. It also has an oscillating blower to clean the polishing belt.
All in all, I hope it will be able to take things to the next level.