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6 Pro Tips for Proper and Safe Sanding Techniques to Follow When Operating Belt Sanders

Jun 29, 2020 | News

Belt sanders are great power tools for removing old finishes, like paint and varnish, from furniture. Coming in different shapes and sizes, the same mechanical principle is used for all belt sander models. A battery powered, electrical or air tool rotates two drums upon which are mounted a sandpaper belt. This provides quick stock removal and can be either incredibly helpful to a skilled woodworker or cause devastation to another’s piece if not used correctly.

While belt sanders can be mounted to a workbench, commonly known as a bench sander, they can also be used handheld which offers a more flexible sanding experience and can cover a wider surface area. Belts for belt sanders come in an array of materials to suit different applications. Aluminium oxide and Zirconia Alumina are the most popular. While the highest quality Aluminium Oxide belts are deep reddish-brown colour and have a wide range of grit sizes, Zirconia Belts come in a vibrant blue and are limited to coarser grades. Of course, either type of material, along with many others, can be used by Abcon to custom manufacture a belt tailored to your specific belt sander and application.

It’s also crucial to remember these six points of proper and safe sanding techniques that must be adhered to when operating belt sanders.

• Always wear a dust mask and protective eyewear when sanding with a belt sander, even if there is a dust extractor fitted to the machine.
• Don’t push down on the sander. Let it do its work by using its weight and cutting ability.
• Make sure to sand the surface evenly and overlap between runs, a pro tip is to mark a pencil line randomly through the piece and to make sure that there are no markings visible when finished sanding.
• Allow, at most, half of the belt over the edge after each pass, but make sure not to let it dip down as this will cause the edging to become chamfered in an unwanted position.
• If you are using a corded belt sander, this must be out of the way to avoid tripping or in a worst-case scenario, electrocution.
• Clean your belt regularly with a cleaning stick to prolong its working life and avoid serious clogging problems. Especially when sanding veneers and other glued surfaces.

If you’re in need of a belt sander or a replacement sanding belt for any of your belt sanders, regardless of size or material, contact our expert technical sales team today on (049) 555 2340, sales@abconireland.com or fill out our Belt Enquiry Form to find out what type of belt suits your application best!

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