Few things come as handy as a belt disc sander when it is time for a weekend project that involves a wide variety of tasks, from fixing a sticky door, smoothing or sanding large, flat surfaces or wood furniture. So, you have known by now when to know about belt disc sanders.
The strength and speed of these sanders are the reasons why woodworkers love them. The specialty of a belt sander is its ability to take off a sizeable amount of stock from a wooden work piece sooner before you can even know what to expect. Since DIY experts or professionals do not use these tools very often, you need to know about belt disc sanders precisely before thinking of getting one for your next project.
Essential Things To Know About Belt Disc Sanders
How Belt Sanders Work?
The heart of a belt sander is an electric motor designed to turn two drums that accept uninterrupted loops of sanding belts (reinforced abrasive cloth) over them. As the motor powers the rear drum, the front drum starts spinning freely. You can slip the belt onto the pair of drums with the help of a tension-release lever. Most sanders include a knob for tracking adjustment to enable the operator to turn to center the sanding belt.
Being capable of putting a brute action on wood, a belt sander proves to be ideal for use at the beginning of a sanding project. Sometimes, woodworkers prefer these heavy tools as they want some materials removed very quickly. This tools yields even greater results when you use it for removing wood paints or deep finishes. Fit it with a piece of fine grit sand paper, and getting a smooth surface will be a breeze.
Want to know about belt disc sanders in more details? Well, keep reading.
Types of Belt Sanders
The size of a belt sander is the major determiner of its type. Some units can be wide and powerful enough to sand a 4 x 8-foot plywood sheet while some others can sand a 3.11 x 2.4-foot plywood sheet. Depending on the size and type of your work piece, you can choose between two models, such as stationary and handheld models.
Here is a brief discussion of both models to help you know about belt disc sanders.
The sanding belt rests on the top of a stationary sander. Heavier and larger than the handheld counterparts, stationary models are suitable for tackling commercial jobs. You should use this version for movable items instead of static items. You can easily turn a stationary model into a bench sander by mounting it onto your workbench.
The belt sits on the bottom to allow the user to use the sanding surface on a stationary object. For home based projects, you will find this unit more useful than a stationary one. The biggest selling point is that different shapes and sizes are available for accommodating a variety of users tackling different projects.
Some love to call these tools portable sanders. Some manufacturers have brought models with multiple motor speeds to allow users enjoy greater control over the operation. Some models are so versatile that they can mimic the functionality of a stationary model if operated in an upside down manner. No matter, what type you want to use! You must ensure your safety while sanding.
Understanding the Size of a Belt Sander
This tool accepts four different belt sizes, such as,
- 3×18 inch
- 3×21 inch
- 3×24 inch
- 4×24 inch
Among these four sizes, the 3×21-inch has been the most preferable choice among woodworking professionals. When the combination of balance, power, and size is required at the maximum level, 3×18-inch models are convenient even for the beginners.
A Few Quick Facts About a 3×24-Inch Model
3×24-inch models provide more sanding space than 3×21-inch models. But, 3×24-inch models are not very stable and easy to control. For heavy sanding operations, these models are exclusively popular. If you are thinking of starting the trade, try to avoid this size.
Know About Belt Disc Sanders – the User Manual
Here is the step by step instruction to help you work appropriately with a belt sander.
Secure your metal or wood work piece properly on your workbench or table.
Use the essential safety gears like gloves, goggles, and other items. Make sure to keep a sawdust collection bag in place to avoid flying sawdust that could be reason of dropping the tool and a subsequent injury. Some popular sanders include a dust collection hose.
Make sure that you keep the sander at a considerable distance and allow the motor to reach its full speed before bringing in contact with your work piece. It is safe to use a coarse belt and finish the operation with a fine grit.
Keep the sander’s rear part down to your wood. Be sure to hold the back handle firmly because you will have to use the handle for controlling the machine. Move the tool in a forward direction.
Make sure to bring the remaining part of your sander onto your wood as slowly and carefully as possible.
Hold the front handle and guide the sander across your work piece while moving the tool back and forth in even and smooth motions.
How to Change a Belt
Do not forget to disconnect your power cord while changing the belt. There is a release lever on either side of the sander. The lever releases the tension between your sander’s front and back drums. As you release the tension, slide the belt off of the drum. Bring a new belt onto the center of the belt and release the tension lever. Finally, plug your sander in. It’s all set.
By now, you have got to know about belt disc sanders to some considerable extent. You can write to us for more information regarding the buying considerations, proper methods of using a belt sander, safety rules, and other factors.