Tool Tips: How to use a Benchtop Belt Sander to Improve Your Woodworking Results

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A benchtop belt sander is a great tool to have in your workshop and can be used for a variety of tasks, from truing miters to rounding corners and edges.

To get the most out of your sander, it’s important to understand how to use it properly. Here are some tips on how to use a benchtop belt sander effectively:


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Before you start

  1.  Secure the sander to the bench/work surface before turning it on. This will prevent it from moving around while you’re using it and will help you get a more consistent sanding job.
  2. Install sandpaper and adjust the tension according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Adjust/check the angle of the table on the disc sander or the belt sander itself if appropriate. If you need to sand at a different angle than a right angle, set the table or the sander to the setting you want.
  4. Adjust the miter gauge to the desired angle if needed.
  5. Always wear safety goggles when using a belt sander. The wood can fly off quickly and could potentially cause injury if it hits you in the face.
  6. Use a piece of scrap wood to test the sander before use on the project piece. This way, you can get a feel for how the sander works and avoid any mistakes.
A man showing How to Use a Benchtop Belt Sander

how to use a benchtop belt sander step by step

  1. Always start the sander before bringing it into contact with the workpiece. Once you’ve turned it on, guide it smoothly and evenly along the surface of the wood. Make sure to keep your hands clear of the sanding belt or disc at all times.
  2. Hold the workpiece firmly against the belt as you guide it on the sander. Use light pressure to avoid gouging or removing too much material at once.
  3. Start sanding with a light touch and move the wood back and forth across the belt or disc. Don’t apply too much pressure, as this can cause the sander to bog down and potentially damage the workpiece.
  4. Check your work frequently to ensure you’re getting an even sanding job. Adjust your pressure or angle accordingly if you see any areas not being sanded evenly.
  5. If using a disc sander on the combo sander, use only the part of the disc that rotates downwards toward the table.
  6. Inspect the workpiece for any areas that may have been missed or not sanded evenly. Then, if necessary, go over those areas again with the sander.
  7. After you’ve finished sanding, turn off the sander and unplug it from the power source. Next, clean off any sawdust from the surface of the sander and work area.

So, there you have it – our top tips for using a benchtop belt sander. We hope you found this post helpful and that you will be able to put our advice into practice when working on your next woodworking project.

Remember, always take your time and be patient when using a belt sander; it’s better to go slowly and get the job done right than to try to rush through it and end up with a botched finish.

Finally, have fun with your projects, and happy sanding!

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