How to Use a Sander

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Sanding can be a messy job. It can also be dangerous if you aren't careful. Here's how to use a sander with safety in mind.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair Clips
  • Belt Sanders
  • Finishing Sanders
  • Orbital Sanders
  • Rotary Sanders
  • Safety Glasses
  • Sandpaper
  • Pay attention to what you're doing at all times. Don't allow yourself to become distracted or daydream; this is when accidents are most likely to occur.

  • Be sure the workpiece is secured on the work surface. Use clamps if necessary.

  • Start a power sander before placing it on the workpiece.

  • Use both hands to control the sander.

  • Don't set the sander down until it has stopped moving.

  • Empty the dust bag frequently.

  • Do grinding work at a slight angle, with just the top third of the disk in contact with the workpiece.

  • Use light pressure, and don't lean into or onto the sander.

  • Keep the sander level as you move it across the workpiece.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be especially cautious when switching from wood to metal surfaces - wood dust could be ignited by sparks from the metal.
  • Always wear eye protection when using a sander.
  • Keep long hair tied back and take all of your jewelry off.

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