Ace: Needed (Makerhub@georgefox.edu).
Location: Wood Shop
The belt sander is good for sanding large, flat work-pieces. This is a tool that can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to finish a project, but it can be difficult to master. Depending on the speed at which it is ran and the coarseness of the sanding belt used, this tool can remove material very quickly. This tool is best used for rough passes, and is not recommended for finely detailed or delicate work.
Here is an example of this piece of equipment being used.
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For a good introductory overview, watch this video.
In order to use the belt sander, begin by inspecting the sanding belt that it currently has equipped or taking note of the lack thereof. A lever on the side of the equipment will lock or unlock the belt in place using tension. There is also a knob that allows the tracking of the sanding belt to be fine tuned. In order to keep the belt from catching or popping off, the knob should be used to finely adjust the roller angle to keep the sanding belt tracking true. Before sanding, ensure that the sanding belt is not clogged with sawdust, remelted glue, or other gunk. Exercise caution when choosing the sanding grit- it is easy to cause unsightly damage to the workpiece using a belt sander. As a final step in the preparation to sand, ensure that the belt sander is set to run at an optimal speed for the type of wood and type of work to be done on that wood. The speed can be adjusted using the dial located near the hand grip.
Sand the workpiece by working along the grain, and aim to overlap each pass with the the belt sander by about half of the previous passes width (1 1/2 in). The belt sander's own weight will keep it on the workpiece and removing material- it should not take much additional pressure at all to sand the workpiece. Keep the belt sander flat. Rocking back and forth of the belt sander will result in scratches, nicks, and valleys in the surface. Exercise special care when a side of the belt hangs off the work piece, not holding the belt sander flat will result in more material being taken off the edge of the piece than elsewhere. Despite the most careful handling, natural variations in wood can cause some of the wood to be sanded off faster than wood elsewhere. It is often advisable to draw lines of over the area that is to be sanded with a soft leaded pencil. By observing the gradual fading and disappearance of these lines, a flatter surface can be maintained.
When finished with the belt sander, never place it on the workpiece. This is best practice policy. If the belt sander is left to rest on the workpiece and is somehow turned on in an accident, it will mar the wood.
Specific Maintenance Tasks
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