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Power Sanders Are Not Created Equally
Author Name: ruthrobinson
Date added: January 21, 2011 02:35:34 AM
Category: Arts & Humanities

However, proper sanding is crucial especially for wood that will be finished or for surfaces that need to be free of splinters and other imperfections that cause discomfort or even injury. While sandpaper or a sanding block might be sufficient for small tasks or for woodworkers who are only active occasionally and do not wish to invest in power tools, a power sander is practically a must for the serious amateur, and it is a mainstay of any professional carpenter's collection of frequently used power tools. However, belt sanders, finishing sanders, random orbit sanders and disc sanders each are intended for specific tasks, and rarely can one type of power sander be substituted for another. A belt sander is usually the most powerful type of power sander as it operates by moving a belt of abrasive against a wood surface at relatively high speeds. It is used for coarse initial sanding of wood that is often sanded again with a finishing sander before stain or another wood finish is applied. While most belt sanders used for woodwork are hand-held, stationary belt sanders are available for sanding metal and other materials. A finishing sander is usually used after the wood has been sanded at least once with a more powerful sander. It usually operates as an orbital sander, in which the sandpaper vibrates in small circles. The pressure it produces on the wood, as well as the speed of its sanding action, is far gentler than that of a belt sander, especially when a typical fine grain finishing abrasive is used. The random orbit sander differs from a finishing sander in that it uses disk shaped abrasives rather than the rectangles or squares used by typical finishing sanders, and this is so that its powerful motor can spin the sanding disk and move it in an ellipse pattern. Since no part of the abrasive sands the same part of the wood twice, the random orbit sander does not damage the grain of the wood and can be used in any direction as far as the grain is concerned. Therefore, those who own only one sander choose the random orbit sander for its combination of speed and precision. A disc sander is either a bench mounted sander which is used for sanding small pieces of wood, such as those used in furniture making, or it is a disc attachment that is mounted on a drill or similar device that produces similar motion. The latter type of disc sander is usually used only for the roughest work, such as removing old finish from wood or removing rust from metal. While a professional might well use a belt sander, finishing sander and random orbit sander at different times during the process of wood construction and finishing, most amateurs are well served with a high quality random orbit sander that can handle most sanding tasks. AguidetoPowerTools.com Power Sanders, Power Tools


Sanding is probably the most repetitive and least pleasant task which confronts amateur woodworkers and professional carpenters alike.

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