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Tame Your Belt Sander Fort Collins CO

Does the prospect of using a belt sander make your palms sweat and your hands shake? I feel your pain. Belt sanders have a bad rap as the quickest way to ruin a project. Use them incorrectly and your project starts to look like the rolling hills of Ireland.

The Home Depot
(970)206-0774
4502 John F Kennedy Pkwy
Fort Collins, CO
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

Woodcraft - Loveland, CO
(970) 292-5940
3718 Draft Horse Drive
Loveland, CO

Data Provided by:
Drake Hardware & Lumber
(970) 221-7225
2160 W Drake Rd Unit A5
Fort Collins, CO
 
Kmart 4471 / Cross Merch
(970) 493-3232
2535 S College Ave
Fort Collins, CO
Store Hours
Miscellaneous
Store Type
Miscellaneous
Hours
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21
Store Features
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21

B M C West Corporation
(970) 842-1510
2100 East Prospect Road Fort Collins, CO, 80525
Fort Collins, CO
 
The Home Depot
(970)224-1239
1251 E Magnolia Street
Fort Collins, CO
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(970)461-9406
1100 Nickel Drive
Loveland, CO
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

Ft Collins - B
(970) 229-1200
205 E Foothills Pkwy
Fort Collins, CO
Store Hours
Sears Stores
Store Type
Sears Stores
Hours
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:10-21
Sun:11-18
Store Features
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:10-21
Sun:11-18

Lowe's- Fort Collins
970-232-7910
4227 Corbett Drive Fort Collins, CO, 80525
Fort Collins, CO
 
Clays' Ace Hardware
(970) 223-9273
1001 E Harmony Rd Unit B
Fort Collins, CO
 
Data Provided by:

Tame Your Belt Sander

Tame Your Belt Sander

Get that menacing belt sander under control with these whip-it-into-shape tips. 

by George Vondriska

Does the prospect of using a belt sander make your palms sweat and your hands shake? I feel your pain. Belt sanders have a bad rap as the quickest way to ruin a project. Use them incorrectly and your project starts to look like the rolling hills of Ireland. But used correctly, they’re a great tool for flattening panels, flushing up trim and face frames and getting to the finish line fast.  

Start by learning the belt-sander rules of the road:

• Keep it moving. The slightest pause can form a gouge.

• Let the weight of the sander to the work. Don’t lean on the machine.

• Use nothing but 120-grit paper until you’re comfortable with the machine. 

• Don’t overextend yourself. Running a belt sander at your reach’s extreme end is a sure way to gouge material.

Handling the Sander

Photo 1: Start with a soft landing. Before you pull the trigger, lift the sander slightly off the workpiece. Squeeze the trigger as you ease the sander down and forward, feathering it into the material. Think of it as an airplane making a smooth landing.

Photo 2: Go over the edge, but only a little. As you sand to an edge, allow the platen to project over the corner, but never by more than half its length or width. This keeps the sander balanced and flat.

Photo 3: End with a smooth take-off. OK, you’ve successfully landed your sander and finished sanding. Now it’s time to take off. On your last stroke, lift the sander as it moves forward. Then release the trigger.

Setting Up

A big part of the battle is won just by taking the time to set up properly. 

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Get the height right. The surface you’re sanding should be slightly lower than your waist. This puts your arms at a comfortable working height. For some projects, like cabinets, it may mean working on a surface other than your workbench. Make sure the piece you’re sanding is secure. It’s also good practice to keep the cord out of the way by draping it over your shoulder. It looks weird, but it prevents frayed cords— and nerves—from belt-sanded wires.

Provide solid stops. You can’t sand a piece that you’re chasing around the shop. Belt sanders are powerful and have a tendency to launch projects off their perches. Be sure your material is trapped against stops that are firmly clamped to the bench. Clamping the material itself to the bench is a hassle because the clamps get in the way. The stops should be thinner than the material you’re working on and wide enough so the sander won’t bump into the clamps. 

Trueing Up

A belt sander can flatten a glued-up panel in no time. 

Photo 1: Sand diagonally first. Flatten a solid wood panel by first sanding at 45 degrees to ...

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