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HOW TO


STATIONARY POWER SANDERS

Smooth out your sanding jobs with a stationary power sander.
Sanding may be an inevitable part of woodworking, but it doesn't have to be tedious. If you want to make sanding easier, then it's probably time to consider getting some help from a stationary power sander. Power sanders don't eliminate finish or hand sanding, but they do save a lot of time and labor.
A variety of stationary power sanders is available, including belt, edge, disc, and strip sanders. These sanders are often paired together in different combinations to make a power sanding station. The most common combination, which we'll look at here, is the belt-and-disc sander.

Construction
The belt sander consists of a continuous belt that rotates around two rollers. One roller is driven by the motor, while the other is freeturning. The rest of the belt body rests against a flat, hard surface that is the sanding work area.

BUYER'S TIPS
• Get a model large enough for the work you do. Belt sizes range from 4 x 36" to 6 x 48", while discs range, from 6" to 12" in diameter, depending on the model. The largest workpiece you can disc sand will be just a little smaller than half the diameter of the disc.
• Get a stationary sander with a dust collection port.
• Choose a model with a locking tension-release and mechanism, for easy belt changing.
The disc sander is a flat, round sanding plate set up adjacent to the belt sander. It is driven by the same motor as the belt sander. Belt-and-disc sanders have either a single worktable that can be used for both sanders or two separate worktables. Most worktables tilt to any angle between 0° and 45°, and have a miter-gauge slot.

Belt & disc installation
It's important to keep the sanding belt on track and perfectly straight. To check whether a belt tracks straight, quickly turn the power on and off. If the belt shifts to one side, use the tracking adjustment controls to gradually tilt one roller until the belt remains centered.
The method of accessing the sanding belt and releasing belt tension to change a belt varies according to model. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install a belt.
Methods of installing sanding discs also vary from model to model. Some sanding discs are self adhesive, while others require you to apply an adhesive. Check your owner's manual for the proper selection and application of discs.

WORKSHOP TIP
For all sanding use some type of dust removal, a vacuum attacbment, dust collection bags, or a dust collection system. Sawdustposes a health hazard and is extremely flammable. Take the added precaution of wearing a dust mask and goggles.

Basic use
The belt-and-disc sander handles a variety of sanding jobs. Some jobs, like sanding end grain, can be done on either sander. Here's a look at the different ways you can use this tool.

Disc sander. The disc sander is used mostly for sanding end grain and the edges of a workpiece.The circular motion isn't recommended for sanding large items or the face of a workpiece, because it leaves swirl marks on the wood. However, it is a good choice for

sanding smaller workpieces. Disc-sand using the left half, or down side, of the disc only, at or below the disc's center line. The disc's rotation pulls the workpiece down to the table surface, for better sanding control. Use the miter gauge to ensure that you sand the end grain of a workpiece evenly.
1 Hold the workpiece firmly against the miter gauge, then contact the sanding disc. Sand lightly, without forcing the workpiece into the disc. The motor has ample power for most sanding jobs-pushing too hard will burn the wood and wear down your sanding pad fast.
2 Keep the workpiece moving across the sanding surface by sliding the miter gauge along its slot, so the wood doesn't burn.

Round workpieces: The disc sander can also sand the edges of round workpieces. Use this pivotsanding jig to simplify the job.
1 Cut a 15 x 15" auxiliary table from plywood, then cut a 1" dado in the center from front to back.

2 Cut a hardwood strip to fit the dado, then attach a pivot nail 1" from one end, for positioning the workpiece. Cut a second strip of wood that fits the table's miter slot.
3 Attach the second strip to the underside of the jig, so it fits in the miter slot and sets the jig away from, and square to, the sanding disc.
4 Clamp the jig to the table, with the pivot nail centered on the down side of the disc. Center the workpiece on the pivot nail. Slide the workpiece against the sanding surface and rotate it at a steady pace. Reposition the jig occasionally to avoid uneven wear of the sanding disc.


Belt sander. The belt sander works well for sanding large surfaces, parallel to the grain. It can be set in the horizontal position for surface and edge sanding, or in the vertical position for sanding end grain.
You can use the belt sander with a miter gauge or guide fence, or for freehand sanding. Use a guide when you want to ensure flat, even edges. Sand large surfaces parallel to the grain, with the belt sander set in the horizontal position.
1 Set the table perpendicular to the belt, to act as a guide fence.
2 Sand with the end of the workpiece up against the table. Keep the workpiece moving for even sanding.


For long workpieces, keep the belt sander set horizontally, but move the table aside. Clamp a fence to the table, parallel to the belt. (Some models have a housing guard that must be removed first.)
To sand end gram, set the belt sander vertically. With the workpiece flat on the table and flush against the miter gauge, contact the sanding surface. Use the miter slot to keep the workpiece moving.
To sand the edges of a workpiece, set the belt up vertically, with the table perpendicular to the belt. Place the workpiece flat on the worktable and move the edges across the belt surface.




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Updated: 09/2017   copyright 2012 U-Repair.com