Are you looking for the perfect tool for sanding things? Frankly, there are a couple of efficient tools out there for this purpose. But today, we are specifically taking a closer look at belt sanders.
Belt sanders are definitely one of the more advanced sanding tools available in the market. They are used when you need to remove a large amount of material in a short time. That doesn’t mean you should be using it while in a hurry!
So anyway, it is used on large pieces of furniture, shreds of metal, older finishes, etc. Basically, it is a good choice any time you need to get some heavy sanding done.
It is essential to know when to use a belt sander before operating it. In this article, we have tried to address all questions you might have on the topic. Keep reading to find out everything!
What Are Belt Sanders?
A belt sander is a modern sanding device that roughens up wood and similar materials to give those a smooth finish.
In sanding, belt sanders are one of the powered tools. Its operation takes place with the help of an electric motor.
There are two types of belt sanders – stationary and hand-held. These are used for tasks like smoothening the edges of planks, removing older finishes like paint from wood, etc. Since a use had more control over this device, it is quite popular among amateurs and professionals.
When to Use a Belt Sander
Now that you know what belt sanders are, it’s time to find out when to use this practical device.
1. During Rough Sanding
When you need to rub or sand the surface of the material quite roughly, it is best to use a belt sander. The aggression with which it executes the job makes it the perfect device for rough work!
2. For Removal Process
You can use belt sanders for the removal of considerably old finishes. For example, old paint can be removed using it.
3. During Preparation of Finer Sanding
Often, we need to prepare material for finer and smoother sanding afterward. A belt sander is an excellent choice for the initial heavy lifting in such cases.
4. For Heavy Objects
Heavy pieces of wood and metal pieces are often sanded using a belt sander. Its heavy-duty nature allows it to carry out the operation on these objects with ease.
5. During Rush Work
As a user, you might often need to sand large slabs of material within a short span. During such times, using a belt sander might be an ideal choice.
How to Use a Belt Sander
Let’s learn how you can effectively use this device;
Step 1: Choosing the Right Belt
Before starting the main process, it is important to choose the proper belt. Belt sanders typically use clumps of sandpaper to get the job done. Start with a coarse grit to remove the bigger chunks. Then, move on to the finer ones to smoothen up the surface.
Step 2: Securing the Material
You must maintain the security of your material and yourself before sanding. Using clamps, secure the material you intend to sand. By doing so, you will prevent it from sliding off. To maintain your own safety, wear protective coverings on your face and hands.
Step 3: Sanding
At this stage, start the process of sanding. Start with the tougher girts first and remove big chunks of material. Then, follow up with the finer ones and repeat the process gently.
Step 4: Finishing Up
Finishing up is the final stage of the process. Check if everything is alright. If you are satisfied with the result, remove all the wood dust and polish the material. You can use a tack cloth to do so.
All motor-operated tools are dangerous to use. As a user, you must be aware of the safety rules. Here are some tips for maintaining protection while using a belt sander.
- Maintain your sanding motion downwards. Do not sand upwards, as it may pull your component upwards with enormous force.
- Make sure you secure the working area. Use the rest on the machine if necessary.
- Do not make any changes to the device unless it is completely inactive. Refrain from using sanders that have damaged or faulty belts.
- There is a corrosive surface on the sander that does the main job of sanding. Keep your hands away from that surface.
- Do not apply pressure on the belt. Introduce component to the corrosive surface slowly and in a gentle motion
- Ensure that the component to be sanded is more than one inch in length.
- If possible, wear safety gears while using the sander.
Belt Sander vs. Orbital Sander
Although both belt sanders and orbital sanders are powered sanding tools, they are pretty different in terms of features and application. For ease of comparison, we are not discussing random orbital sander here.
Let’s start with the primary purpose of both devices. Belt sanders are generally used to sand out a large chunk of material from the piece. Orbital sanders, on the other hand, work to smoothen and polish the surface.
The main element of sanding is also different for these two sanders. Sandpaper is used in a belt sander, and a sanding disc is used in the orbital sander. Again, the belt sander works better on comparatively smooth, flat areas. Orbital sanders, however, can work on rough surfaces.
Since belt sanders cover large areas, they are suitable for the initial steps of the sanding process. It is a bit difficult to regulate, so one should be wary while using it. Orbital sanders are suitable for detailed work and are also easier to control.
Go Sand That Wood!
Practical, smart, and user-friendly – that’s what belt sanders are. Now that you know when to use a belt sander, you can easily utilize it at all necessary times.
Before using a belt sander, make sure you refer to our article and other similar ones to get a thorough idea. Best of luck!