Mansfield Custom Homes
September 24, 2020
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Belt Sander - Ideal for Work and Pleasure

Author: Administrator
The belt sander is obviously used by industry professionals but did you know that it is preferred by hobbyists as well? While it is an invaluable tool for preparing various types of material for finishing it is also capable of wrapping up the job. One of the lesser known facts about it is that it was one of the first power tools to be used in the growing recreation of power tool racing.

In the realm of power tool racing, belt sanders compete in either their stock form or modified form with the stock form being right off the shelf and the modified form being customized as per individual requirements. Either ways these tools are placed in a track, or channel, specifically designed for drag racing and are equipped with extra long extension cords to get them to the finish line. Belt sander racers may be slow or fast, depending on how powerful the motor is with maximum speed being 5 miles per hour.

For everyday use there are two basic varieties of belt sanders namely the hand held and the stationary. The hand held is held by the operator and guided over the material to be sanded while the stationary belt sander is secured on a platform and the material is guided over the sanding surface of the same. Buyers have a choice in shapes and sizes as well with some being large enough to accommodate a full sheet of plywood.

Vertical free belt sanding, otherwise known as slack belt sanding, occurs when the belt sander is allowed "slack" without "backing" beneath the belt. Since convex shapes are made possible in this manner it is commonly found in precision wood working shops such as those crafting guitars.

Sandpaper plays a key role in getting the intended results out of a belt sander. The harder the material used for the grit, the more aggressive will be the bite. Some of the more common materials used for sandpaper grit are Garnet (wood), Emery (metal), Aluminum Oxide (wood or metal) and Silicon Carbide (Wet applications).

A typical belt sander is made up of a motor, rotating rollers and some type of tracking screw and spring set up for tension to keep the belt in place. The motor turns the rollers which propel the sand belt with enough power to create quite an aggressive sanding force that facilitates quick removal of material. They are often used for stripping the old finish of wood and other surfaces and can be combined with a fine grade sand belt as well.

As compared to other types of sanders the belt sander is considered superior courtesy of its design - the sanding belt does not typically become clogged with the material debris. When the sand belt goes around the rollers the material collected is shed and therefore does not clog the sand paper. Some belt sanders are also equipped with either a filter bag, such as on the hand held belt sanders, or a vacuum system such as found on larger belt sanders.

Like in case of any power tool, safety is always a foremost concern. It is a good idea to secure the material being sanded when using a hand sander and if need be to ensure that it remains stationary. Similarly, the operator should maintain firm hold over the material when using a stationary sander to avoid material becoming airborne and causing possible damage.

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