Wood coming from the mill can have dents, marks, or be rough. Do you know the best way to remove these stubborn surfaces and make your wood smooth?
Sand the wood. Belt sanders are the perfect tools for this job, and you should learn how to use belt sanders safely. Using best sanders for wood sanding helps to smoothen the wood surface and accentuate how beautiful the wood’s natural grain is.
You can also sand metal and fiberglass surfaces to remove rust. Sanding is an essential task that will ensure that your varnish or paint goes on a smooth surface, making it aesthetically appealing. If you want to reshape old furniture, consider sanding.
What Is a Belt Sander?
A belt sander, also known as strip sander, is a tool used to shape, reshape, and finish surfaces made of wood, metal, glass, and other materials.
Belt sanders may be handheld or mounted on a bench. A sander consists of a loop of sandpaper that revolves around the use of a pair of drums. The sandpaper aggressively rubs on the coarse surface to achieve a smooth finishing.
However, this aggressiveness is good only during the beginning stages of sanding. The sanding process generates a lot of dust from the surface, especially wood. Most sanders have a dust collecting system built in to keep the sawdust in check.
How to Use Belt Sanders Safely
Using a belt sander, whether handheld or bench mounted, is a simple procedure. Just follow the following steps.
Step one – Prepare the sanding surface.
Prepare the wood, metal, or glass that is to needs sanding. For safety purposes, properly secure the surface on a working bench or table using clamps. Placing the wood or any other material on the table prevents it from slipping while you sand.
Step two – Wear protective gear
Put any necessary protective gear. You will need the gear because of the sawdust produced that can easily get into your eyes. Goggles, ventilation masks, and gloves are the best protective gears to use. However, if your belt sander has an inbuilt dust collection system, goggles may not be necessary.
Step three – select the right sanding belts.
Choose the right belt for the job. Normally, in the beginning, you will need a sanding belt with a coarse grit, preferably 80 or 100. With this, you should be able to remove scuffs. With time, you will need to switch to a finer grit, say 180. Fit the starter belt into the lever.
Step four-start sanding
Holding the belt sander away from the wood or metal, start the motor, and ensure it is full. Bring it into contact with the surface and start sanding. From the rear of the sander, gently and slowly ease the coarse belt on the wood. Apply pressure, but do not press as hard on the sanding surface as you may end up gouging it.
Step five – change the belt and finish up.
Once the scuffs are out, ease the sander belt from the board. Remove the ventilation bag from the sander and empty it before reattaching. Then, replace the coarse sanding belt with the one that has fine grit. Repeat the sanding process to get a smooth finishing. This step teaches you how to use belt sanders safely.
Can You Use a Belt Sander for Hardwood Floors?
Yes, you can. It is possible to use a belt sander on a hardwood floor. However, it has to be a handheld belt sander to make it easy for you to move around. For an effective task, you need to clean the floor and make it free from any debris.
Using the best sander, you can find will make the chore easy for you. Preferably, pick a 240v model of belt sander to provide enough power to get rid of wood that has worn out.
However, you need to know when to stop sanding so as not to damage the hardwood floor. A belt sander is the best for hardwood floors as the chances of damaging the floor while sanding is meager.
How to Change Sandpaper On a Belt Sander?
Eventually, you will have to change the sanding belt from a coarse to fine grit. It is crucial to ensure that you have the correct size and grade of sandpaper for the surface you wish to sand.
Release the tension bar on the belt sander. This will let the tension out of the front, rotating bar. Once this happens, you will be able to remove and replace the sandpaper.
The sanding belt always has an arrow that indicates which way the belt should rotate when sanding; ensure to check that out. Always put the sanding belt at the Centre of the rotating drum before tensioning the sander.
Are Sanders Difficult to Master?
No, not at all. With minimal practice, you should be able to use a belt sander effectively. You will even learn how to use a belt sander on a deck. Most people are afraid of using belt sanders because of the thought of ruining a surface completely. Nevertheless, with proper use and a little practice, you should be good to go. The only slightly difficult task is mastering how to change the sanding belt and not pressure the wood while sanding.
If you buy the best belt sander, you will master it quickly, and before you know it, all your wood pieces will be smooth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is making my belt sander belts fail?
A: Age, humidity, and heat are the most frequent causes of belt failure. However, you should also check that the belt is rotating in the right direction, as indicated.
Q: What are the hazards of working with belt sanders?
A: The most familiar hazard is running rolls catching clothing, jewelry, and body parts. Abrasions can also result from contact with abrasive surfaces.
Q: How long does a belt sander belt last?
A: How long a belt will last depends on several factors. However, if you know how to use belt sanders safely, they should stay put for between 12 and 18 months.
Using belt sanders the right way is essential for your overall safety. I have given you a detailed guide on how to use belt sanders safely. I hope the above tips will help you get the best from this machine without injuring yourself. You should also consider getting the best belt sanders to help you remove materials fast.