When you have just the correct tools, even the most tedious work becomes easy and can even be done faster than you might think. When you are dealing with a rough surface, there are several different tools that you can use for smoothening the surface.
Most common ones being orbital and belt sanders. Below is a comparison between these two sanders including how they operate, the advantages and when you can use them. Let’s start by looking at the belt sander.
The main or the primary reason for which a belt sander was made is simply to smoothen up rough wood surfaces. At least this is what it was designed for. Well, most of us usually confuse this tool and often see it as a finesse machine, which is not the case.
From the name itself, you can just tell that there is some belt involved in the operation of a belt sander, right? Well, this is true, it uses some abrasive coated belts that can be seen revolving around the sander’s metal rollers and between them a flat metal plate usually called a platen.
This is where the back of the belt always rides against. If you look closely, you will notice that the platen seem to be projected outwards a bit more compared to the rollers. When you have a task that involves smoothening of a rough piece of wood, then this should be the first power tool that you should be thinking of.
This paves the way for other tools like the sheet or orbital sanders to finish up the job. You can also use a belt sander to remove any old finish on a wooden surface or even rounding the corners of your furniture or if you are working on a board
How to use a Belt Sander
If this is your first time to use the power tool, you don’t need to worry about anything as using the tool is not as difficult as you might have thought. When you want to use a belt sander, the first thing to do is to choose the correct belt for the job.
It is always recommended that you start with a belt having a coarser grit as this will help you to remove the majority of the scuffs and any other finishes. When this is over, you can then proceed to use a finer grit belt to finish up the project.
When sanding, you also need to make sure the material you are working on is clamped to prevent it from slipping off while you are working. This also calls for some safety measures such as putting on the ventilation mask and safety google to protect you from the debris and dust produced when working. Before you start sanding, you should first turn on the machine and wait for a few seconds to gain momentum and then proceed.
You need to apply steady pressure and work gently while applying even strokes on the material you are working on. Remember to always check your progress continuously as you work to avoid making any mistakes. When you want to replace the belt in your machine with a new one, just look on the side of your sander and release that leaver then place the belt on the wheels and press that leaver again to close it and keep the belt secure. You can also get more information about this tool when you look at some of the best belt sander reviews available online.
Advantages of using a belt sander
Below are a few advantages that you can enjoy when you decide to use a belt sander.
- It is easy to use and operate it.
- Can be used to remove any unwanted residue on the surface of your material and still keep the finish of your material.
- It has the ability to smoothen up surfaces in the shortest time possible.
- They can also be found in different varieties.
- Provide you with a wide range of use.
This is another versatile power tool that you can’t miss in most wood or metal workshops. It is a common tool that can help you have a smooth finish on any project you might be having as long as it involves wood, plastic or metal.
With orbital sanders, you don’t have to worry about having any scratches on your fine piece of furniture. Also known as a random orbital sander or a dual action sander, it operates by spinning a disk used for sanding at very high speed thus enabling you to have almost a swirl free finish as it removes any abrasive particles that might be on your material.
However, when it comes to aggressiveness, the belt sander is still considered the best since an orbital sander can leave behind a few swirl marks. The orbital sander, however, also have an advantage over the belt sander as you can use it to work on your piece of furniture even at the corners where they are joined at a right angle without any difficulties.
For a good quality work, it is recommended to use this powerful tool for secondary surface smoothing after the primary work is done with a belt sander. If you do it this way, you will end up with a fine and smooth surface on your furniture or metal material. You can even use finer sanding grits to give you a more smooth surface.
How to use an orbital sander
Basically, this tool works just the same as the older versions the only difference being that it is much more reliable. This is attributed to the way it oscillates, describing an orbital design thus leaving no chance for any more roughness.
Anyway, when using an orbital sander, you will first need to secure the material you are planning to work on. This will prevent the material from slipping or moving around while working thus enabling you to have a perfect finish and avoid any injuries too.
Also, you need to ensure that the ventilation is turned on so that you maintain the cleanliness of your work area and keep yourself safe too. Make sure that you are comfortable and have a strong grip on the tool before you start working on your material.
When you finally turn it on, make sure to leave it for a few seconds so that it gains the perfect speed for you to use. Make sure to always move it when using it too so that you avoid creating an uneven surface on the material you are working on.
Another tip on how you can use this tool effectively, keep off the edges of your material. Save this for last as working on the edges while also working on the surface can make your material look ugly and might also damage the sander. Remember to also wear your protective gear too before you start working.
Before you can buy the tool, however, I recommend that you do your research and perhaps check on the best orbital sander reviews to help you get more information about the item just to avoid purchasing the wrong thing.
Advantages of using an orbital sander
- Provides a smooth finish.
- Does a great job when it comes to removing materials.
- Easy to change the disk.
- Has a great dust collection technique
- It has a big motor too for even better power.
- Has a good grip which also means less fatigue on your hands.
From what we’ve looked at above, you can clearly tell how and when to use the two tools. we’ve also seen some of the advantages that you can enjoy from using each one of them. In most cases, you can even use both of them together as each one of them has a role to play when trying to make your rough surface smooth. Both of these tools are important however, it is still your decision to make on which tool you want to use. I hope you make the right choice though.