Belt sanders are powerful tools that can be used for a wide range of purposes. Though belt sanders are not the most used tools, they certainly are important for any woodworker. The most common use of a belt sander is to shape and finish wood and various materials. Working on an electric motor, it has two drums that rotate continuously and does the job.
Belt sanders are very quick and powerful. This is the reason they are often used in the initial stages of sanding. They are sometimes used manually, where they can be moved as a handheld tool on the surface of the wood. They can also be used as stationary tools, where they can be mounted and further utilized as a bench sander.
Belt sanders often produce a large amount of sawdust and debris when used. They, therefore, are usually accompanied by a dust collection system. Let us now have a look at the various purposes for which you can use belt sanders and how to use a belt sander.
What Are the Uses Of Belt Sanders?
Belt sanders serve a lot of purposes and are very convenient when it comes to finishing and shaping the wood according to your requirements. They can also be used on metal surfaces to refinish them effectively and efficiently.
If you are looking to remove paint, stain, or polyurethane from any surface, then a belt sander can come in handy. The belt sanders are often used for large projects, but they are also perfect for home, DIY, and even smaller projects. They are convenient to use and can get the work done at a faster speed.
Belt sanders are great when you want to form curved shapes as well. They are not very well suited for detailing as they work at a very fast pace. Often used to fix things or correct mistakes as well. They are great for achieving a smooth surface and are best when used at the very beginning of the sanding process.
Now that we know the multi-purpose functions of a belt sander let us see how to use a belt sander.
How to Use a Belt Sander
Belt sanders can be used in various ways for multiple purposes. But the question is how to use a belt sander? Let us take a look at some ways in which you can use a belt sander.
1. As a Handheld Tool
You can use a belt sander manually as a handheld device. The one thing that you should keep in mind is to keep your clothing at a distance. You should begin by letting the motor run at its full speed and then using both hands, you can put the sander on the wood in a little forward motion.
Make sure that the roller on the rear side touches wood before the rest of the sander. Use light pressure and move the belt sander to achieve the required results.
2. As a Stationary Tool
A belt sander can also be used as a stationary tool where the sander is clamped to the table and then used. This is most commonly used to work on smaller pieces or to form shapes on the edge of the wood. Make sure that the trigger is perfectly locked.
Step by Step Guide to Use A Belt Sander
Are you eager to know how to use a belt sander? Given below is a step by step guide to making the process simpler for you.
· Choose the Right Belt
The first step before using a belt sander for any purpose is to ensure that you are using the right belt. It is always advised to begin by using a belt with a coarser grit. (40,80,100). This helps in removing scuffs. You can then use a belt that has a finer grit to complete the project according to your likings.
· Securing the Clamp Material
The next step is to clamp the material in place. This will ensure that the board does not slip when you are sanding it. You will have to secure the board properly in places with the use of clamps. It is also advisable that you wear your safety goggles and also a ventilation mask before starting the sanding.
· Begin the Sanding process
After you have secured the material in place and looked at all the safety measures, it is time to start the actual sanding process. The best way is to switch on the sander and let the motor run for quite some time. Start by putting the rear end of the sander on the wood and then the rest.
Start with long and even strokes. Use little pressure as too much force can gauge the material. Keep checking your progress in between to get the best results.
· Finishing Touch
After you have completed the task, slowly get the belt sander away from the board. Check the dust collected in the ventilator bag. If the bag is full, remove it and then empty all the debris. After this, you can reattach the bag to the sander again. Now work with the finer grit till the time you achieve the desired results.
Now that we know how to use a belt sander, there are various safety tips that you should keep in mind.
- Wear loose clothes and maintain the desired distance.
- Always use safety glasses and a dust mask as the sanding process generates a lot of dust and nobody wants to encounter that.
- It is also advised to use hearing protection as belt sanders do make a lot of noise.
- Before changing belts or emptying the ventilator bag, make sure that the sander is unplugged.
- Use the clamps properly so that the material stays in place.
- Switch off the trigger before you plug in the sander.
Summing It Up
A belt sander can come in handy in various tasks and are a good investment for every woodworker. From creating curves at the edges of the wood, removing paint from the surface, and smoothen the surface, belt sanders are total performers. We hope that with the help of this guide, you will now be able to clear all your doubts about how to use belt sand.
Buy the perfect belt sand for yourself and unleash your creative side.
Bonus video: How To Use A Belt Sander
Thank you for reading!