Belt sander is one of the most practical tools for wood sanding. If you know how to use a belt sander, you’ll be able to do a professional work, even if you’re an amateur. Not only does it allow you to use it on all types of wood, they also can be very affordable.
These days you can find a quality belt sander with a powerful electric engine. With such tool in your possession you can take your woodworking to a whole new level.
Before You Start Sanding
Depending on which belt sander you own, you may want to wear hearing protection. Most modern belt sanders designed for amateur use are not too loud, but there are some that make noise above 100 dB.
Another safety issue is breathing in the sawdust. Again, this depends on what kind of sander you use. If it doesn’t come with a dust bag, you will have to use a mouth protection.
Now that you’ve dealt with all the safety issues, it’s time to choose the right belt. Before changing it, you need to make sure the device is unplugged. A general advice is to use fine grid sandpaper belts for smooth work, such as giving the final touch to the homemade furniture.
Using a Belt Sander the Right Way
There are two ways to use your belt sander. The first one is to run it across the wood that you want to sand. The other involves turning the tool around, clamp it onto the table and run the wood pieces on top of it.
The former way is ideal for sanding small pieces of wood. Still, most people use it the standard way as it’s safer and provides more precision.
When using the sander by running it over the wood, you don’t need to lean on it. The weight of the tool should be enough.
Start sanding by moving the tool back and forth, following the direction of the grain. When you make a stroke, move the belt sander for half of the platen’s width in order to start with the second stroke. When you reach the end of the board, be careful as the tool might outweigh over and fall on the ground.
In order to do a good sanding job, it is important to keep the sawdust away. Even if the tool comes with dust bag, it doesn’t mean the belt will stay clean. In fact, it probably won’t. That is why it is important to regularly clean the bag and dust or vacuum the belt.
Although belt sanders are yet to overtake the title of the most popular sanding tools from orbital sanders, the fact is that they can help you with woodworking. All you need is a good belt sander and some patience.
This tool doesn’t require a lot of strength or skills, all you need is the strong will. Your first few attempts might not be the best possible, but once you master sanding wood with this tool, you won’t want anything else.