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Many of us must have seen the sanding belts but still don’t know what it comprises of and how does it works. A belt sander or a sanding belt is a power tool and has two drums parallel to each other at the bottom which is spun with the help of a motor. A constant loop of sanding belt or a sandpaper is hauled around the drums in order to level the wood or any other materials. There are many types of sanders available, among which, sanding belts are the toughest and rougher tool which are useful for specific kind of work that requires leveling of very rough surfaces. The belt sanders are also used to get rid of paints or other materials.

 

Most of the belt sanders use 3″ or 4 ” wide belts. The wider the sander belts are, the greater is the working surface on the materials. But these types of belt sanders are little tricky to control. If you are not specialized in handling the belt sanders, it’s quite easy to make mistakes while working on it. You can easily lose control on sanding belts and remove more materials than required. This is true with motor size as well.  You will have to control more power with more amps. Therefore, it is vital that the operators are cautious while handling the belt sanders. These bulky tools are designed for the rougher surface rather than to achieve a fine sanding.

 

Maintenance of Belt Sanders

 

Most often the maintenance of belt sanders is simple task – you just need to take care that the two drums on which the sanding belt sits are on proper alignment. If the rollers are not parallel to each other, the belt will not be able to adjust in the center and will fall off. Therefore, every time you change the belt ensure that you adjust the rollers as well. This can be easily done with the manual tracking knob which is present on the side of the tool. If the drums are not placed correctly then either the rollers will slip off altogether or will push towards inside. A poorly aligned roller can also cause the belt to push towards housing which can damage both the belt and the housing.

 

Also, you need to take care of any dents, scratches or wear which might be present in platen while changing the belt. A platen sits between the sander’s shoe and the sanding belt. The belts rubs on the platen, therefore check out for any kind of wear on the platen. If the platen is damaged it needs to be removed. You may also change the platen periodically in order to be certain that the cork is still intact.

 

The working of belt sanders can be tough if you don’t know how to operate it properly. Just be cautious when you work with it and don’t be in a hurry to complete the work. A belt sander is very useful tools in a lot of wood shop applications, therefore, use it wisely. This tool is unbeatable for quick leveling and removal of unwanted materials.

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