Understanding the Belt Sander

A belt sander has been proven to be a useful tool in shaping, polishing, and applying final touches on woodwork and other materials.

According to an article from Chicago Tribune, it is the perfect tool companion for people who work on construction sites, woodworkers, or simply for homeowners who have a strong passion for woodworks.

Aside from that, it is also one of the handiest tools a homeowner can have at home.

As you go along, you will understand the belt sander and its many uses in helping you make your job easier and fun.

Different Uses of a Belt Sander

Unknown to all is the different types of belt sander there are for various purposes. To properly use the tool, you must first know the task at hand and the best type of belt sander for a particular job. Know that choosing a wrong type of belt sander for a certain job can result in difficulty and inefficiency of the tool.

It is also important to consider comfort in using the tool. According to Fine Home Building, there is no perfect combination of a perfect belt sander. You can improvise different parts for different purposes but always keep in mind that comfort in using should always come first.

Belt sander has many uses, but its primary job is to polish and shape wood and other materials such as metals in a powerful and easy way. Listed below are some of the uses of a belt sander;

  • Flattening – it can flatten sturdy wood by softening the surface or removing extra wood or other materials to make the area flat.
  • Scribing – this is easier and most commonly done using a small, hand-held belt sander. Scribing or marking the wood for a later gauge for cutting.
  • Trimming or cutting – belt sander can also be used to trim those extra woodworks or to attain a certain size.
  • Rounding or Shaping – it can be utilized for turning a simple wood into a work of art. Shaping it to different shapes and sizes.
  • Polishing – to make the wood or metal achieve a smooth surface, this is also the finishing touches of every material for a smooth finish.
  • Sharpening of tools – you can use belt sanders to sharpen your tools or revive those dull metals you once have.

Different Types and Parts of Belt Sander

A belt sander is classified into two categories, the hand-held or the portable, and the fixed/stationary or also called the bench top, since the stationary belt sanders are often attached to a bench.

Belt sander has two major parts that are essential to its purpose, the sandpaper, and the belt. For handheld belt sander, it has the handle, motor, belt, and the sand paper. For the bench top, it has more complicated parts such as the work support, tracking knob, belt tension lever, bevel gauge, and sanding discs.

One of the most important parts of a belt sander is the sandpaper that is attached to the belt. The 2 most common types are the zirconia and the aluminum oxide.

According to the Family Handyman Site, the zirconia is the most preferred type of aluminum oxide among users because of its strong and aggressive nature that is suitable for coursing and shaping.

Although aluminum oxide is also a good choice, the use of belt sander is mainly for polishing and finishing. Moreover, it is cheaper than zirconia.

The belt is another important part that comes in different sizes, power, and functions. You can either choose between 80 – 120 – grit for a powerful finer sanding. In size, there are 3-inches wide belts. There are also some machines with wide and narrow belts for different purposes and for bigger wood materials. Choices can vary from 3×18, 3×21 to a larger 3×24 – inch belt size.

Another important part of a belt sander is the dust bag. Although not all have this, it is important to look for a belt sander with an attached dust bag inside. Not only would it make your job easier in cleaning the aftermath of sanding, but it will also prevent dust everywhere. This prevents the possibility of inhaling it or getting it into your eyes.

How to Maintain Your Belt Sander?

Belt sanders are easy to maintain. Just clean the belt after every use by a belt cleaning stick. This will remove wood that has build-up during sanding. If you’re using a belt sander with dust bag, don’t forget to regularly check your dust bag, see if there’s any clogging or better yet, buy a spare.

Because of all the important things you can use it for, it is important to care for your belt sander at home.

Wrap Up

A belt sander is just one of the powerful tools you can keep at home. This device can help you with a lot of your daily tasks and hobbies, more than you can imagine.

Remember to keep in mind that to use the tool effectively, you have to fully understand it so you can use it to its full potential and always remember to keep safety as your number 1 priority.

If you’re planning to purchase or check out some belt sanders that is available in the market, you might want to check a buying guide review to find out which brand of belt sander to buy.

Author Bio: Anthony is a Home Improvement DIYer, who is interested in different projects of Home Improvement. He blogs at Equipment Area, where he shares tips, guides and reviews of different tools around the house.

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