So, you’re almost done with your woodworking project and ready to finish it in a while. The first thing now is to get it completely smooth. However, hand sanding is tedious and time-consuming, but an electric sander can save you from both. If you love working with wood, here’s our guide to show you how to use an electric sander on wood.
Basically, an electric sander gets rid of little blunders in the wood, evens out uneven or rough surfaces, and allows for very easier staining or painting the wood surface. There are several kinds of sanders, and each of them has its own use cases. Depending on your project, you can use a sander in following steps –
1. Choose the most suitable electric sander
There are many kinds of sanders to pick from, and each one has its respective benefits and drawbacks. As a fact of matter, there might be multiple sanders that you need for your project. Because each of them has respective usages. Here are some types of sanders:
Belt sanders have sandpaper spread over rollers, these powerful sanders can get through large tasks in an instant. For large tasks like for doors, tabletops sanding or, removing paint and corner sanding of the timber floors, these are a very good option. They are so well fit for furniture or jobs that require a shimmering finish.
Sanders Belt speed is set in surface feet per minute and which can be from 900 as minimum and up to 1,600 as the maximum. The greater the speed, the faster the sander runs.
These sanders usually weight between 2.5 to 10 kilograms. You can add a belt sander to your workbench for an easier use and not have to carry the weight load.
Orbital finishing sanders
The most suitable electric sander for newbies, orbital sanders are super easy to use, silent and light. It’s got holding braces to keep the sandpaper tightly held against the pad, and it shakes in small circles while using. These sanders are perfect to create the smoothest finishing touches. It is also great for smoothing plaster, varnish or paint.
This category is great for all the random tasks. It has a round pad which makes ultra-smooth sanding a breeze. And it can easily remove stock with it. Although it isn’t that heavy-duty like a belt sander or has easy controls like an orbital finishing sander, it is absolutely the most adaptable sander.
2. Fit the right belt
Make sure to have the correct size belt for your sander. If you’re a beginner then small sized belt is a good choice. It has more control and stability. But if you want to exchange stability for extra sanding surface, then go for larger belts.
3. Get the correct sandpaper grit
Get the correct grit of sandpaper that your sanding needs. Otherwise, the sander won’t be of much use. Different types of sander need multiple kinds of sandpapers. So before buying, read the user manual of your sander and see which grit it works with.
Then check the grit or severity of the sandpaper. The larger the sandpaper grit number is, the smoother the sandpaper will be. It’s best to start rough and move toward granular grits. 40-grit, which is on the harsher side, is highly useful in getting rid of blemishes on the wood and polishing out uneven surfaces. The finer ones, like 600-grit, will give you super smoothness.
4. Use the correct sanding motions
Electric sanders don’t require much from their workers because their oscillations make it simple to run the sander over the wood. You don’t need to apply much force because its own movement is nearly enough for the wood.
If you get cramps in your hands then maybe you’re pushing too hard. You should always stand parallel to the wood grain because this will help you bypass any cross-grain cuts.
5. Stay safe when using an electric sander
You should take some cautions before using a sander. It is best if the sander has a dust pocket to store the dust particles or you should use a safety mask. It will save you from the little dust particles getting through your nostrils.
Moreover, wearing safety goggles will protect your eyes from floating particles. And protection gloves are always critical when working with power tools.
Once you have sanded the wood, turn the sander off and remove the holding clamps to separate the coarse paper. Progressively install finer grades of sandpaper and proceed till the desired finish is arrived. If applying a polish, use a wet cloth to eliminate all sand and dust bits from the wood.
So hopefully, after going through the steps mentioned here you’ll know how to use an electric sander on wood effectively and efficiently. Good luck with your woodworking!