Figure 19-23. Using the belt saner to sand an odd-shaped object.
You can sand three-dimensional or “compound” curves on the soft side of the belt sander. There is no backup plate on this side, and the belt will conform to almost any shape that's pressed against it. This is especially useful when rounding off lathe turnings or softening sharp corners and edges.
Secure the belt sander in the vertical position, without the worktable. Hold the workpiece and touch it to the abrasive belt (Figure 19-23). Use very light pressure. Hold the workpiece with the end you're sanding pointing up. If you feel the belt sander dragging the workpiece up and out of your grasp, back off immediately. Rock the workpiece from side to side and back and forth until you achieve the desired shape.
When you use the soft side of the belt sander, always work in the center 3" of the abrasive belt. If you press against the sides, the belt will creep off center.