How to Use A Belt Sander

It’s undeniable that belt sanders, or dual-purpose sanders, are a must-have tool for most DIY enthusiasts. But actually, most belt sanders, even if they’re handheld or stationary, are being used differently. As a multipurpose tool, knowing how to use a belt sander is a compulsory thing since you’ll use it in DIY or carpentry works.

FYI, most belt sanders can run around 3,000 surface feet per minute. Due to the vast speed range, it could be devastating if a proper procedure is not followed.

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How to Use A Belt Sander

How to Use A Belt Sander

After preparing tools, attach a specific coarse grit in the sander and secure the wood through clamps. Maintained safety warnings and began to sand by turning the belt sander on. Use little pressure and work on the surface.

A belt sander (also known as strip sander) is a handy item that can shape wood material ideally. Working with the electric motor, its sandpaper runs in a nonstop loop to sand the surface. Also, we have given a few belt sander tips tricks so that you can apply them in real-time.

Before you find out how to use a belt sander on hardwood floors, deck, or tabletop in an accurate way, be sure to read the safety cautions to avoid errors, and next comes the most important ones.

Follow Safety Warnings

  1. Use belt sander slowly.
  2. Clean the sander if you locate dust stuck in the belt.
  3. Change your clothing with old attire.  
  4. Turn on the dust collection system.
  5. Don’t use it on metal or plastic materials.
  6. Keep your finger away from the disc and belt.
  7. Always use it on the left side of the disc.

Prepare Yourself Before Using Belt Sander

Gather all the tools which will be required to be ready for the application of the belt sander. And for that, be sure not to miss any of the following items. 

  • A piece of wood.
  • Safety goggles and gloves. 
  • Dust mask. 
  • Belt sander.
  • Sanding belt (40, 80, 100, or 180 grit).
  • Fine belt (120 or 220-grit).

Wear All the Safety Gadget

You can’t use the belt sander if not wearing enough safety items such as goggles, gloves, and dust masks. Most experts suggest wearing these for avoiding dust attacks during usage. However, if the sander contains a dust collection system, then you can skip this step.

Pick a Sanding Belt

Confirm the sanding belt which is suitable for your working purpose. The best item would be the coarse belt which contains 40-grit, 80-grit, and 100-grit for small to medium wood projects. Yet, it is suggested to use a 180-grit coarse belt for big projects.

Insert the Sanding Belt

To do so, just pull out the lever located on the side of the belt sander. Next, place the sanding belt inside the wheels. And then, you have to close the lever to secure it well.

Clamp the Wood Material

Afterward, secure the wood material (which you are going to sand down) inside the sander. For that, use the clamps to lock it.

Turn On the Belt Sander

Before you ask how to use a belt sander properly, switch it on and keep it like that for 5 seconds to reach the speed level. And then, you can use it in the wood material. 

Be sure to contact the rear side of the belt sander on the surface and apply less pressure. Also, move the sander slowly and make movements in forward-to-backward motion. As continuous sanding on one area of wood will cause damage to the surface, so avoid doing that.  

Complete Sanding the Wood Surface

Detach the previous sanding belt and attach the finer grit to sand down the surface again. That way you can achieve a nice wood finish.

Once you have done sanding, it’s time to check the dust collective bag (if your belt sander includes it). If it’s full, take out the bag and open the mouth. 

Then, empty the bag and insert it back on the sander. Turn off the switch to finish the work.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a belt sander used for?

A belt sander is used for taking out the roughness and unevenness from the wood surface. It is a powerful tool that does a great job for finishing and woodwork purposes.   

Can you go back and forth with a belt sander?

Yes, you can! But it is suggested to not be aggressive when moving the belt sander backward and then toward the front sides. That way the surface will get damaged. 

How much wood can you remove with a belt sander?

If you are an expert in these things, you can take out 1/16” wood using a belt sander. Yet, if the sandpaper is 150-grit or 180-grit, then you can remove around 1/32” in the first stroke.

Wrapping Up

It’s good to have a complete idea about how to use a belt sander. This way you can avoid making silly mistakes as you know all the cautious and prep points.  

By and large, the procedure is pretty less effort demanding. Hope this guide has cleared everything about the usage of the belt sander. Now, go ahead and start your pending sanding projects. Best of Luck!

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