Learn the Proper Techniques for Using a Sanding Machine

Person using a sander

There’s a deep, innate satisfaction in working with your hands, crafting something out of raw materials into a finished product of which you can be proud. It is vital to have the right tools for the job. Having a good foundation of safety and knowledge of how these powerful tools can be operated is both efficient and reduces the risk of injury. 

For starters, always have proper eye and ear protection in place before starting a project. Make sure there are no loose pieces of fabric near any of the moving parts, as they can easily become tangled and cause a serious hazard. 

Make sure you have the right tools on hand for the job in front of you. 

How do you know which sander to use? Which one goes best with what kind of job? 

Size makes a difference.

If the project takes up a lot of room, use a sander that covers more area with fewer passes. This will prevent uneven surfaces and will be more efficient in the long run. If a bigger sander can be used for the majority of a project, especially if the surface will be horizontally positioned, you’ll be able to work more quickly and evenly. Consider using breathing protection to keep from inhaling too much exhaust or tiny wood particles when working in enclosed areas. 

The importance of a sanding frame.

Consider building or purchasing a sanding frame, especially as you’re getting more familiar with sanders, how they work, and how powerful they can be. A frame can ensure the right pressure on a wooden surface without grinding too deeply and keeps the sander in the right position without tilting forward or backward. 

Using a belt sander.

When using a belt sander, or another small corded sander, remember to work with the grain of the wood, not against it. It’s essential that you don’t use a coarser grade of sandpaper than is absolutely necessary. Using too coarse a grade of paper can whittle a surface down too quickly to be noticed before it’s too late. Belt sanders also can be positioned upside down in clamps to be used as a stationary sander. Just make sure the trigger lock is in place and that any loose clothing is out of the way. 

Securing the material being sanded.

Make sure the material being sanded is secured into place. Pushing a motorized sander across a large piece of wood that isn’t being held in place is an accident or injury waiting to happen. It also ensures more control and, again, a more event surface after the sanding is done. 

Debbie’s Staffing Can Help Find You the Right Workshop

Take your time and practice. Especially when you’re new, it’s going to take a little trial and error to match the right tool and the right grit of sandpaper to match the project. Don’t try to rush into a choice; consider what’s available and the task at hand before diving in. 

When you have a little sawdust under your fingernails and the right tools in your toolbox, Debbie’s Staffing can help find the right workshop for you. Give them a call to find an apprenticeship opportunity that matches your skillset and interests and start to build your career.