How To Use A Belt Sander
How To Use A Belt Sander
Having difficulties on how to use a belt sander? If yes, then you have definitely come to the right place. We are dedicated to providing you a detailed guide regarding the usage of this tool to guarantee ultimate comfort and safety in your work. And considering the fact that belt sanders come in various styles, it would be quite advisable to first look at the different types available on the market.
Types of belt sanders
If you want to know how to use your belt sander, then you need to be familiar with the type of tool you have. Generally, belt sanders are classified in two main categories: Handheld and stationary belt sanders.
Handheld belt sanders are equipped with a seamless loop of sand paper. They are lesser aggressive compared to stationary ones. They are very efficient when it comes to the removal of paint, stain or varnish. Handheld belt sanders are further classified according to belt size. These include:
* 3 x 8 inches belt sander: these are compact sized sanders that are much easier to control. They are perfect for novice craftsmen.
* 3 x 21 inches belt sander: this is the most popular size owing to its excellent combination of power, speed and balance.
* 3 x 24 inches belt sander: these are designed to provide extra sanding surface.
* 4 x 24 inches belt sander: these are the largest models suited for heavy duty applications on large surfaces. They are specially designed for experienced users.
Stationary belt sanders on the other hand find great application in the removal of non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum. They are also an excellent choice when it comes to wood shaping operations.
How to use a belt sander like a real professional
Now that you have an insight on the various types of belt sanders, lets now go through the different steps required during usage.
In case you are using a handheld belt sander, then the following steps should be taken:
* Ensure that nothing is in the way of the belt sander. These include loose clothing or the power cord. Generally, belt sanders generate great torque that may have hazardous effect if your clothing or power cord gets caught into the machine.
* Turn on the sander and allow it to attain maximum speed. You can then adjust the speed using the incorporated speed dial. Normally, the type of speed you select will be highly dependent on the type of material you are working with. For example a high speed would be ideal for the tough hardwoods while a moderate speed would suit softwood materials.
* Hold the sander with both hands. One hand should be kept on the trigger while the other placed on the forward handle. This will guarantee maximum stability and control. With your hands in position, carefully ease down the sander making sure that the rear roller contacts the wood first.
* You need to hold on tightly since the grabbing effect of the belt on wood tends to drive the sander forward. Work the sander forward and backward according to the grain alignment. Be careful to not let it stay in one place. This will prevent damage to the wooden material. Stop occasionally to check and monitor your progress. Always clean the sanding belt to prevent waste buildup.
If you are using stationary sanding, then adhere to the following procedure:
* First, you need to set up your sander. This is done by clamping it on your working table in such a way that it faces upside down.
* Then power on the sander and hold your piece of wood into position against the spinning belt. Stationary sanding actually finds great application for those that want to achieve a desired shape on the edges of a wooden material.
Additional safety measures to be undertaken during the sanding process
Now that you know how to operate a belt sander, it would be good in case you take into account certain safety measures to keep you safe during the sanding process.
* Ensure that you put on a face shield, safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from the flying pieces.
* Put on a mask or a dust respirator to enable you breath comfortably in the cloud of dust created.
* Consider getting a cleaning stick for clearing away resins and dust. This will protect the sanding belt from jamming.
We hope that the above article has helped you a lot on how to use a belt sander. Following the stipulated steps will help keep you safe and offer great comfort in your sanding task. Now that you have the essential knowledge needed to operate a belt sander, it is high time that you get your tool and set off to work.
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