Belt Sanders really are the workhorses of the sanding process. They’re great for
sanding rough timber ready for finishing, or for sanding laminate edging, or
even for shaping curves in timber (like our Squatter’s Chair).
This tool is robust and well balanced, with a good-sized dust bag to help
minimise clean up and keep the air clean.
Step 1: Secure your work in a vice, or clamp it to a bench or workhorses.
Step 2: For really rough surfaces you can remove the bulk of material quickly by
cross sanding at 45º in one direction, then the other. When you’re happy that
the surface is flat, finish-off by using long strokes in the direction of the
Step 3: To get a smooth flat surface, keep your sander flat, and keep it moving.
Resist the temptation to gouge out imperfections by tipping or tilting the
sander. As always, start with a coarse grit abrasive belt, and work up to fine
Changing sanding belts is easy: flip the lever; slip off the old belt; check the
rotation-direction of the new belt; slip it back on; flip the lever; adjust the
tracking. Old belts can be reused on the machine if still in good condition, or
you can tear them into block-sized pieces to use for hand sanding.
Always use your PPE (personal
protective equipment) when using belt sanders. The dust mask and earmuffs for
obvious reasons, but the glasses (or goggles) help keep irritating dust out of
Ryobi tools are available at all good hardware stores.