Regardless of what kind of tool you plan to use, you always need to be careful not to get injured by it. Not many people know how to properly use certain tools, so checking out the instructions is always advisable in order to use the tool optimally. Without learning how to use the tool before starting to use it, you are risking making big damages or even hurting yourself.
Belt sanders are commonly used tools today but they still require good handling. Their function and overall design is fairly simple, but there are still a few techniques that people should know about in order to achieve best results with this tool. In order to avoid doing mistakes, read on and learn everything regarding how to prepare and use a belt sander properly.
Preparation and Usage of A Belt Sander
Those woodworkers who are beginners should first go through a few steps for preparation before using a belt sander. That way you will avoid failure and you will get familiar with the tool and what exactly it can do for you. First thing you need to do before using this power tool is checking out whether it functions properly. Check out the components, the belt and the pad, as well as other areas of the sander, and make sure there is no dust or other things that may prevent normal functioning.
Another important thing to do during the preparation stage is to learn about what exactly the belt sander is designed for. They are powerful tools for both commercial and personal projects, and they are designed to help you accomplish everything, ranging from rough to finer finishing. However, only most experienced users of belt sanders should do the fine finishing, and beginners should focus on the rough finishing.
A good thing to know is that a belt sander is much safer tool to use in comparison to a saw or drill for example; however, you may still face some problems if you are not very careful while using it. You always need to protect your ears because these machines are very loud so if you use a belt sander for a longer period of time you are risking hearing damage. Wearing protective gear for the eyes is also advisable because this power tool kicks out dust on all sides, and there is also a risk your eyes to get hurt by a piece of wood that flies towards your face.
Last, but not least thing to do is to get a protective mask that will protect you from inhaling dust if you use a belt sander for an extended period of time. A common sense piece of advice is also not to leave clothes, objects, or other stuff that is on your body within close range to the belt sander.
How to Use a Belt Sander
When the sander is turned on the first thing you must do is to wait for it to achieve top speed before using it. After it reaches top speed you can slowly adjust it according your needs. A couple of things to keep in mind is that lower speeds are better when working on softer types of woods, while the higher speeds are better for hardwoods. Regardless of the speeds you use the sander, always make sure you are using this power tool with both of your hands, because it is unstable if you use just one hand.
Beginners may face problems when using the belt sander for the first time, because they will be surprised of the fact how powerful this tool really is. However, know that you do not have to apply a lot of pressure when using these tools, except in cases if the wood is very dense. If you notice that working with one does not provide you with the desired effects, avoid applying pressure to it with the weight of your body. If you use the belt sander for finishing wood, slowly increase the grade of the grit because if you apply too much pressure then you may have to start all over again with the work.
Due to the fact that constantly checking out the sanding depth is a hard thing to do, you should use a pencil in order to track the places that you have previously sanded. When doing rough sanding, use the belt sander at a good angle to the grain. Also always do a full pass in the places where the machine goes after the end while the remaining level is sanded.
When it comes to ways for using the belt sander, you can place it upside down on a table if you plan to use it for stationary sanding. This way is especially good if you plan to work on smaller woods and if you want to work on the wood edges. However, always have in mind that this way of sanding is not advisable to beginners because it does not provide full accuracy and precision. When placed in this type of position, the belt sander can also serve for rough grinding and sharpening of tools.
Things to Do After Finishing the Work
As soon as you have stopped working with your tool you should do a couple of things necessary for your tool to work optimally next time. Of course, the first thing to do is to unplug the cord when you are done working. Coiling the cord is also advisable in order to avoid creation of tangles and for easier storage.
Remove the sandpaper where you have worked and clean all the dust that has accumulated during your work. Cleaning dust is necessary if you want to increase the lifespan of your tool. At the end, store it in a protected place that is dry, and in a place that has a constant temperature. Another thing to do is to always check whether it is clean before you plug to use it next time.