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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

Surface Sanding

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Figure 19-6. Use the belt sander in the horizontal position for general surface sanding.

Surface sanding is best done with the belt sander in the horizontal position (Figure 19-6). Install the worktable and lock it in place no farther than 1/16" above the abrasive belt.

Take a comfortable stance on either side of the belt sander. Your position is determined by whatever gives you the most control over the workpiece you're about to sand.

Check the sander to see that nothing is resting on the belt; then turn it on. Hold the stock against the abrasive belt and sand with the grain.

The drag on the machine increases with the pressure of the stock against the belt, causing the motor to labor. Excessive pressure will also heat up the abrasive belt and the backup plate. The belt will wear out faster, and the backup plate will warp slightly, making it difficult to sand a flat surface. So put just enough pressure on the stock to keep it firmly in position. Let the belt sander do the work.

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Figure 19-7. Small, fully assembled projects can be sanded as shown. The worktable acts as a stop.

If the workpiece is shorter than 14", use the worktable as a back stop. When sanding longer stock, secure the worktable parallel to the belt. Use the worktable as much as possible. The additional support adds safety and accuracy to your sanding operations. Even completely assembled projects can be sanded on all sides if you work as shown in Figure 19-7.

Hold the stock snugly against the worktable and flat against the belt. Move it slowly back and forth so that the entire surface is evenly sanded. If you don't keep the stock constantly moving, it may heat up and start to “burn.” And be careful not to apply more pressure or dwell longer on one area of the workpiece than another; this will make the sanded surface uneven.

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Figure 19-8. Small, fully assembled projects can be sanded as shown. The worktable acts as a stop.

When you need to remove a lot of material or when the stock surface is very rough, start by sanding across the grain. Position the worktable so that it straddles the belt; then pass the stock across the belt sander using the worktable as a backup (Figure 19-8). The wood grain should be perpendicu~ar to the belt direction. When you've sanded away most of the stock you wish to remove, finish the operation by sanding with the grain. This will remove any blemishes caused by cross-grain sanding and leave a smooth surface on the workpiece.

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Figure 19-9. Using a diagonal feed with the belt sander in the horizontal position.

The use of a diagonal feed with the belt sander in the horizontal position, as shown in Figure 19-9, permits the surfacing of a workpiece wider than the normal capacity of the belt. It gives a smoother finish than the method shown in Figure 19-8. A table extension is used to support the stock. Figure 19-25 shows how to make the extension. The angle of the fence should be kept as small as possible to minimize crossgrain sanding. A diagonal feed will always result in some cross-grain scratches on the workpiece surface. Therefore, this operation must always be followed by straight with-the-grain sanding until the scratches are removed and the surface is smooth.

Continue to Sanding Large Stock
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