For you to make a decision to buy a belt sander, you need to be sure that that you know how to use it. Even the best belt sander will need to be used on the right project. This is a sander that will be used to remove large pieces of stock and quite fast. As such, you should not make the mistake of buying this model if you are looking for smooth sanding. This may not be common in fine woodworking projects. You will use it to remove pieces of the wood and level it, but not have a smooth finish.
There are different types of sanders and each has its unique uses and you need to know if the belt sander is the one that you need. This guide will address all the uses of a belt sanding machine. I will also show you how to use it properly so as to avoid injuries and have the best results. I have included a step by step guide herein and also will show you how to change the belt of your tool, to continue enjoying great efficiency.
What Can You Use A Belt Sander For?
Belt sanders are known to be used in woodworking projects. There are a number of tasks that you can accomplish with a belt sander, including smoothing or rounding edges. You should note that this tool is quite large and if you do not use it well, you may end up damaging your work or even causing serious injuries. While you may not use the best belt sander offer, there are some specific tasks that can only be executed with this tool.
A belt sander is a right tool to use to form curved shapes on your pieces of work piece. What you need to note is that this is not a tool to be used when you need a smooth finish. However, for any task that you need to remove large pieces of wood, this would be the right tool to use.
How To Use A Belt Sander Step By Step Guide?
Using the best belt sander is a great way to be able to shape your wood and start out on the smoothing tasks. Once you have used this to take off the wood chunks, then you will be in a better position to be smooth your work piece. You can start with this and pick the other sanders for finer finishing. Here are the steps to follow when you need to sand with the belt sander:
STEP 1: Prepare the Stock
Take the piece of wood that you want to be sanding with the belt sander and prepare it. You can clean it using a dry rag and check if there is any grime or dust to clean it. Inspect the piece of wood for any foreign objects like nails, pins, staples or even wood knots and remove them. This is to ensure that you do not damage the shape and the outcome. Once the wood is clean and free of any objects, you should clamp it to the work bench and ensure that the side that is being sanded is facing upwards.
STEP 2: Safety Preparation
Whether you have a new belt sander or an old one, it is important to perform some safety checks. You need to check if there are any pieces of saw dust or debris that are in the sander and also check the condition of the sandpaper. For your personal safety, you need to have gloves, which are thick enough to protect you from any dust and splinter and also enhance your grip.
You will also need to have a dust mask and safety goggle as part of the safety measures that are taken. There is also noise generated by the saw and as such, wear earplugs as well. Ensure that the dust collection system is in place and intact before you can begin sanding.
STEP 3: Start the Belt Sander
With all the preparations in place, it is now time to start the belt sander. However, it is important to do another inspection on all the essential parts and see if they are in a functional state. If everything checks out, start your sander, while holding it away from the work piece. Rev it up several times and allow it to come to full speed before you can start the sanding process.
Step 4: First Touch
Start the sander with the low speed and when it is running, make initial contact with wood, at with the rear part. You need to hold it firmly, as it may try to jump. When the rear part makes contact, move the sander forward gently and bring the front part of the tool down as well. Push the machine forward following the shape of the wood, with a stable motion. Keep moving the sander forwards, without stopping and so not rock it back and forth.
STEP 5: Sanding and Detailing
You will start by removing the top layer, using the top coarse belt. The initial process is what will remove the top part so as to expose the grain of the wood. This will also remove the rough patches and splinters in the wood. When you are done with this, you can start on the detailing. You will need to change the belt with one that has a fine grip and start sanding, at higher speeds. This will eliminate the jagged parts and grooves and gives you a uniformed surface.
How To Change The Belt Sander Belt?
There is a time when you will be forced to change the belt on your sander. This may be when the belt is worn out, or you need to change the grit. Simply put, this is an easy process as all you need to do is to use the release lever to ease the tension and this allows you to change the belt with ease. Here are the steps to follow:
- Unplug the sander from the power source and place it on a flat surface.
- Locate the tension lever, which is on the side of the tool, between the spans which are on tops and at the bottom. Placing the sander on the side makes the lever easily accessible.
- Pull the lever upwards and the two wheels will move towards one another and this causes the belt to slacken.
- Remove the old belt from the rollers and place the new one in the same way as the old one.
- Push the tension lever back downwards and tighten it in the new place. Test the tool and you can go back to the sanding task.
Belt Sander Safety Tips
The fact that you have the best belt sander does not mean that you will not be prone to some accidents. As such, you need to ensure utmost safety is observed. Here are some safety tips that I have put together for you to follow:
- Always ensure that you have a face shield and safety glasses when sanding work pieces.
- All the dust on the vents and the motor should be cleaned often.
- A dust respirator should be worn for extremely dusty operations
- Ensure that all the power cords are clear of the sanding area, to prevent accidents.
- Before connecting the tool to the power port, ensure that it switched off.
- In case you need to change the belt or making any adjustments, disconnect it from the power supply.
- Your hands should always be at a safe distance from the sanding belt, at all times.
- Inspect the belts and other parts of the sander, before commencing the sanding process.
There you have it, now you can be able to use your best belt sander, confidently. With this guide, you should not have any problems operating the sander like a pro. You should pay attention to the safety tips that I have highlighted in this guide so as to ensure that you have the best results and your safety is not compromised. If you have any questions, please let me know and also share this guide and help someone use a belt sander well.