How To Use A Belt Sander

How To Use A Belt Sander

In this article, I will be sharing the steps you need to follow in order to use your belt sander.

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Key Takeaways

  • Select the correct sanding belt size for your sander.
  • Ensure your tool is isolated and unplugged before changing the sandpaper.
  • Test your belt sander on a piece of wood, always sanding with the grain for a smooth finish.

Selecting the Sanding Belt

To start using the belt sander, the first step is to select the appropriate sanding belt.

The size of the sanding belt required for the sander can usually be found on a metal plate located on the sander.

For instance, the sanding belts required for the mitao belt sander are 100 Mil by 610 mil.

When buying a new sanding belt, it is crucial to ensure that the directional arrow on the belt lines up with the directional arrow on the belt sander. This ensures that the belt is placed in the correct position. Additionally, the inside of the sanding belt usually indicates how rough the sandpaper is. For example, a 40 grit belt sanding paper is quite rough.

Before changing the sanding belt, it is essential to isolate the tool and ensure that the trigger is not pressed. This prevents the tool from accidentally starting when it is powered up again.

To remove the old sandpaper, lift the lever in the middle of the belt sander to release the tension from the sanding belt. Slide off the old sandpaper and replace it with the new one. Ensure that the directional arrows on the sanding belt and the belt sander align.

Position the sandpaper in the middle of the metal plate and adjust it with the adjustment knob. It is crucial to ensure that the sandpaper is not too close to the body of the tool. Otherwise, it will start to catch, causing damage to the sandpaper and the tool.

Once the new sanding belt is in place, check that the tool is off, and plug it in. We can then test the belt sander by placing a piece of wood on it and sanding it with the grain. Always hold the belt sander securely with one hand at the back and one hand on the knob. Let the belt sander do the work and keep passing over the wood in a slow, controlled fashion.

After sanding the wood, check that the sanding belt is still in the right position. If it has shifted, adjust it with the adjustment knob. Always make sure that the sandpaper is central in the belt sander to prevent damage to the sanding belt.

Removing the Old Sandpaper

Before we start changing the sanding belt, we need to isolate our tool and make sure it’s unplugged. We don’t want the tool to start automatically when we plug it in. Once we’ve done that, we can remove the old sandpaper.

To remove the old sandpaper, we need to lift the lever in the middle of the belt sander. This removes the tension from the sanding belt and allows us to slide off the old sandpaper. We can then dispose of the old sandpaper.

Now that we’ve removed the old sandpaper, we can prepare to install the new sandpaper.

Installing the New Sandpaper

To install the new sandpaper, the first step is to select the sanding belt according to the size mentioned on the metal plate of the belt sander. In my case, I need a sanding belt of 100 Mil by 610 mil.

After buying the new sanding belt, I need to isolate the tool and ensure that the trigger isn’t pressed. Next, I need to remove the old sandpaper by lifting the lever in the middle of the belt sander, which removes the tension from the sanding belt and allows me to slide off the old sandpaper.

Now, I can take the new sandpaper and ensure that the directional arrows on the sandpaper and the tool are aligned. Then, I can slot the sandpaper over the top and turn the sander around to ensure that the sandpaper is located in the middle of the metal plate. It’s important not to place the sandpaper too close to the body of the tool, as it may start to catch.

Once the new sandpaper is in place, I can plug in the tool and check if the blade runs smoothly. Next, I need to make sure that the belt is running true by turning the sander upside down. If the belt veers to the left, I can use the adjustment knob to bring the sandpaper in and get it to run through the middle.

Finally, I need to test the new sanding belt on a piece of wood, ensuring that I go with the grain and hold the belt sander securely with one hand at the back and one hand on the knob. After sanding, I can check that the sandpaper is still in the correct position and adjust the adjustment knob if necessary. It’s important to always check that the sandpaper is centered in the belt sander, as this is the most common cause of damaged sanding belts.

Checking the Tool’s Safety

Before using the belt sander, it is important to ensure that the tool is safe to use. Here are the steps I follow to check the safety of my belt sander:

  1. Isolate the tool: Before changing the sanding belt or performing any maintenance on the tool, make sure it is unplugged and that the trigger or buttons are not pressed.
  2. Select the correct sanding belt: The size of the sanding belt needed for your belt sander should be indicated on a metal plate attached to the tool. Make sure to select the correct size and grit of sanding belt.
  3. Install the sanding belt: Align the directional arrow on the sanding belt with the directional arrow on the tool and slide the belt over the tool. Make sure the sandpaper is located in the middle of the metal plate and not too close to the body of the tool.
  4. Check the alignment of the sanding belt: Turn the tool upside down to check if the sanding belt is running true. Use the adjustment knob to center the belt and make sure it is running towards the outer side of the tool.
  5. Test the tool: Once the sanding belt is installed and aligned, plug in the tool and turn it on to test that the belt runs smoothly and there are no issues with the tool.
  6. Use the tool safely: When using the tool, always sand with the grain and hold the tool securely with one hand at the back and one hand on the knob. Do not apply too much pressure and let the tool do the work.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your belt sander is safe to use and ready for your next project.

Adjusting the Sandpaper Position

To adjust the sandpaper position on my belt sander, I first need to make sure that the tool is isolated and unplugged. I also need to ensure that the trigger or buttons are not pressed.

Next, I lift the lever in the middle of the belt sander to remove the tension from the sanding belt. Then, I slide off the old sandpaper and replace it with a new sanding belt that has directional arrows. I make sure that the arrows on the sanding belt line up with the directional arrows on the tool.

After that, I turn the belt sander around and ensure that the sandpaper is located in the middle of the metal plate. I adjust the sandpaper position with the adjustment knob so that it’s not too close to the body of the tool and doesn’t catch. I always make sure that the belt is going towards the outer side of the belt sander on my final tweak to avoid the sandpaper becoming jagged on the edge and peeling apart.

Once I’m happy with the sandpaper position, I can test it on a piece of wood. I always use my belt sander with the grain and hold it securely with one hand at the back and one hand on the knob. I let the belt sander do the work and keep passing over the wood in a slow control fashion without applying too much pressure.

After sanding the piece of wood, I check that the sandpaper is still in the right position and adjust the adjustment knob if necessary. It’s essential to check that the sandpaper is central in the belt sander because it’s the most common cause of damage to sanding belts.

Sanding Techniques

To effectively use a belt sander, the first step is to select the correct sanding belt. The size of the sanding belt required for a particular sander can usually be found on a metal plate located on the sander. For example, the sanding belts needed for the Mitao belt sander are 100mm by 610mm. Once a new sanding belt has been purchased, it should be installed in the sander, ensuring that the directional arrow on the belt aligns with the directional arrow on the sander.

Before changing the sanding belt, it is important to isolate the tool and ensure that the trigger or buttons are not pressed. Once the tool is unplugged and the buttons are off, the old sanding belt can be removed by lifting the lever in the middle of the sander to release the tension on the belt. The new sanding belt can then be placed on the sander, ensuring that it is centred on the metal plate and not too close to the body of the tool, as this can cause it to catch.

To ensure that the sanding belt runs smoothly, it is important to check that it is running true. This can be done by turning the sander upside down and observing whether the belt veers to the left or right. If necessary, the adjustment knob can be used to centre the sanding belt and ensure that it runs straight. It is important to ensure that the belt is adjusted so that it has a slight tendency to drift outwards, rather than inwards towards the body of the tool.

When using the belt sander, it is important to hold it securely with one hand at the back and one hand on the knob. The sander should be allowed to do the work, with a slow and controlled motion over the wood. It is important to go with the grain of the wood, as sanding across the grain can cause it to fur up and take longer to smooth out.

After sanding a piece of wood, it is always a good idea to check that the sanding belt is still in the correct position. If necessary, the adjustment knob can be used to centre the sanding belt once again. Checking that the sandpaper is central in the sander is crucial, as it is the most common cause of damage to sanding belts.

Maintaining the Sandpaper Position

After selecting the appropriate sanding belt, the next step is to ensure that the sandpaper is correctly positioned on the belt sander. To do this, I first isolate the tool and ensure that the trigger is not pressed or any buttons are on. Then, I lift the lever in the middle of the belt sander, which removes the tension from the sanding belt and allows me to slide off the old sandpaper.

Once the old sandpaper is removed, I take the new sandpaper and ensure that the directional arrows on the sandpaper line up with the arrows on the tool. I then slide the new sandpaper over the top and turn the sander around to ensure that the sandpaper is located in the middle of the metal plate. It’s important to line up the sandpaper in the middle to prevent it from catching on the body of the tool.

If necessary, the position of the sandpaper can be adjusted later using the adjustment knob. After ensuring that the sandpaper is in the correct position, I plug in the tool and test the belt sander to ensure that the belt runs smoothly.

If the belt starts to veer off to one side, I use the adjustment knob to bring the sandpaper in and get it to run through the middle. When making adjustments, I always ensure that the sandpaper has a slight tendency to drift outwards, rather than inwards towards the body of the tool. This prevents the sandpaper from becoming jagged and peeling apart.

Once the sandpaper is correctly positioned and running smoothly, I can begin sanding my piece of wood. It’s important to always sand with the grain to prevent the wood from furrowing up. After sanding, I check that the sandpaper is still in the correct position and make any necessary adjustments using the adjustment knob.

By following these steps, I can maintain the sandpaper position and ensure that my belt sander runs smoothly and efficiently.

Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

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