Welcome to another FREE Woodworking Resource sponsored by your fellow
woodworkers at Shopsmith

Belt Sander Setup & Features
Abrasive Belts
Belt Sander Safety
Belt Sander Speeds
Surface Sanding
Sanding Large Stock
Edge Sanding
End Grain Sanding
Vertical Belt Sanding
Sanding Miters and Bevels
Sanding Chamfers
Sanding Convex and Concave Curves
Sanding Compound Curves and Odd Shapes
Helpful Wood Sanding Hints

Belt Sander
Click the following for a printer friendly version of Tip
- Pg. 1-4, Pg. 5-8, Pg. 9-13

Helpful Wood Sanding Hints

Getting a smooth, clean surface begins by making sure you hold the stock flat against the abrasive belt, keep the stock moving, and sand all areas evenly. Here are a few additional tips to help you get the best results:

Working in the Center of the Belt--Work in the center of the abrasive belt, especially if you're sanding small workpieces. If you sand on the edges, the belt will drift off center, rub up against the belt sander frame, and begin to fray.

Cleaning Abrasive Belts--As you work with your belt sander, sawdust and other materials will accumulate on the belt, making the abrasive surface smooth and useless. You can extend the life of your abrasive belts by cleaning them occasionally with an abrasive cleaning stick. Simply hold the cleaning stick against the abrasive belt while the machine is running.

Sanding Glue--The belt sander is especially useful in “truing up” glue joints, sanding off high or uneven surfaces and excess glue. But glue will quickly accumulate on the belt, even more quickly than sawdust. And if the glue dries on the belt or melts into the fabric, it will be impossible to remove. To minimize the glue that accumulates on the belt and to safely sand glued-up stock, let all glue joints dry at least 24 hours. Then knock off the largest glue beads with a scraper or chisel before sanding the workpiece. Warning: Let glued-up stock dry at /east 24 hours prior to sanding. Sand the workpieces slowly, apply very light pressure, and don't allow the friction of the belt to melt the glue. Clean the belt with an abrasive cleaning stick immediately after sanding.

Click to see larger view
Figure 19-24. A roller stand and/or a worktable extension provide additional support.

Removing Paints and Other Finishes--The belt sander can also be used to clean up secondhand wood, especially wood that has been painted or finished. But like glue, these substances will quickly accumulate on your abrasive belt and stay there. Remove the majority of the old finish from the wood with a chemical paint remover and/or scraper. If you use a water-based remover, allow the workpiece to dry 24 hours before sanding it. Once the majority of the old finish has been stripped from the wood, sand the surface clean on the belt sander. Warning: Be sure to wear a dust mask and never sand surfaces painted with lead paint. When you've finished, clean the belt with an abrasive cleaning stick.

Click to see larger view
Figure 19-25. Construction details of the worktable extension.

Using Additional Support--Extremely long or odd-shaped workpieces may require additional support in order to sand them safely and accurately. A roller stand and/or a worktable extension provide additional support during sanding operations (Figure 19-24). Construction details for building the extension are shown in Figure 19-25.

As shown in Figure 19-26, the worktable extension can also be used when a drum sander is mounted on the belt

Click to see larger view
Figure 19-26. To save wear and tear on your abrasive belts and idler drum when sanding a lot of concave curves, mount a drum sander on the belt sander auxiliary spindle. The worktable and worktable extension provide support.

sander auxiliary spindle. Position the worktable on the right side of the machine, parallel to but facing away from the belt. Warning: Tape or tie up the table tilt lock so it doesn't contact the belt.

Back to Sanding Compound Curves and Odd Shapes
Back to Introduction



Send For Your FREE Woodworking Fact Kit and "Sawdust Therapy" TV Show.

First Name*:
Last Name*:
Street Address*:

USA Canada

E-mail Address*:

  2009 Shopsmith Inc. All rights reserved.

Policies | Contact Us | Links | Corporate Web Site