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Belt Sander Setup & Features
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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

Tip #35
Belt Sander

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The belt sander is extremely useful for doing many different sanding jobs. It will produce a smooth surface on a board in less time and with less work than hand sanding.

The belt sander also offers an important advantage over disc sanders: The abrasive belt travels in one direction only, leaving no swirl marks. With a belt sander, you can sand parallel to the grain of the wood. This will produce a smooth finish free of scratches and tiny blemishes.

In addition, the belt sander has capabilities which permit you to sand end, miter, and bevel cuts quickly and accurately, sand convex and concave shapes, “round over” the edges and the ends of workpieces, and create compound curves in wood. You can also use the belt sander to sharpen tools.

The belt sander works by driving a continuous abrasive belt over two drums: a drive drum and an idler drum. The drive drum is covered by a nonslip rubber sleeve and drives the belt continuously in one direction. The idler drum is spring loaded to automatically tension the belt. The tension knob on the left side of this drum releases a torsion spring that presses the drum forward to tension the belt. The tracking knob (behind the tension knob on the left side of the belt sander) changes the angle of the idler drum in relation to the drive drum. This, in turn, centers the abrasive belt on the backup plate. Since the abrasive belt moves in a straight line, the machine is particularly suitable for sanding parallel to the wood grain. In some particular instances, especially when a lot of material must be removed, crossgrain or diagonal sanding techniques may be used.

The belt width doesn't limit how wide stock must be in order to be sanded. Repeat passes and special procedures permit smoothing materials that are wider than the belt itself..

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