How to Use a Belt Sander

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There are three different ways to smooth wood: hand-sanding, a belt sander, or a finishing sander. Only a belt sander provides the needed clout for leveling or cleaning a beat-up surface quickly. Using a belt sander is easy. Anyone can learn to properly sand using this amazing power tool.

Things You'll Need

  • Belt Sander
  • Belts
  • Wood

Use a Belt Sander

  • Install a new belt into your belt sander by releasing the lever that slackens the front roller. Install the belt with the arrow on the backing pointing in the clockwise direction, then tighten the lever.

  • Remove minor dents and scratches, lumber stamps, or scribed lines, by using a belt sander with a 100- (2/0) or 120-grit (3/0) belt. Once your wood is smooth you will then switch to a finishing sander or sanding block.

  • Move the belt sander in line with the grain of the wood, forward and back, avoiding rounding the edges. When you get to the end, pick up the sander and begin again, overlapping the previous pass by half.

  • Don't apply pressure when using a belt sander. The weight of the sander is sufficient pressure to get the job done correctly.

  • Empty the dust bag supplied with the sander regularly to prevent the motor from overheating.

Tips & Warnings

  • When using a belt sander always clamp down small materials and keep the belt sander moving forward when in use.
  • Belt sander manufacturers make different sized belts to fit their product; make sure your sander accepts the size belt before you make a purchase.
  • When you are using your belt sander and it has contact with your work, if you do not keep the sander moving forward, it can remove a lot of wood in a short amount of time. You can ruin your project if you stop the sander in one place for even a few seconds.
  • Avoid rounding the edges at the end of the wood to prevent clogging the wood pores.

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