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Portable Belt sanders | Beginner Tools

in today's video we're learning all about the portable belt sander which will include covering some sanding techniques and some other helpful tips portable belt centers are designed to remove material extremely fast and often they're used to rough out wood first before switching over to a random orbital for finishing unlike the random orbital sanders that have round flat sanding pads portable belt Sanders have sanding belts that revolve around two rollers driven by an electric motor portable belt Sanders are classified by both the width and the length of their belt so for example the sander that I have here is a three by twenty one belt sander simply because the belt measures three inches wide by 21 inches long if you stretch it all the way out there are many other sizes on the market today like a three by eighteen oh three by 24 or four by twenty-four how you choose the right Center depends on really what you're going to be doing with it for example if you work on a lot of big projects and you've got to cover a lot of surface area maybe going with a four by twenty-four it might be a good choice but if you're only working on smaller projects and you need something a little less bulky then a three by eighteen might be the better choice or if you're anything like me and you tend to do a little bit of everything going with a three by twenty-one might be the choice for you so let's change gears and talk about the mechanics behind the belt assembly so did you have a better understanding of how to replace the belt and how to adjust it if I release the belt tension lever and remove the belt you can see the two rollers I mentioned earlier the back rollers the drive roller which is attached to the motor and the front roller acts both as a guide and a tracking adjustment moving the roller to the right or to the left before I show you how to install and adjust the belt let's talk real quick about the belt itself there are two types of belts directional belts and bi-directional belts directional belts are made with a scene that only allows the belt to operate in one direction bi-directional belts can be installed and used in any direction it's very easy to know which belt you have by simply looking on the package or if you don't have the original package look on the inside of the belt itself as it will be marked with an arrow if you're installing a directional belt line up the belt arrows with the arrow mark on the sander and if it's a bi-directional then you can install as you wish roughly line up the edge of the belt with the edge of the rollers and lock the tension lever down once this is done plug the sander in and turn it upside down so you have a good view of the belt squeezing the trigger get the belt turning and look to see which direction the belt is tracking is it tracking more to the left or more to the right using the adjustment screw to turn a clockwise or counterclockwise to bring the belt into alignment with the rollers once the belt can maintain is tracking for a few seconds the belt sander is ready to use before I move on the sanding techniques I do want to mention that with most portable belt Sanders the dust collection bags that come with them don't work that well so I always encourage everyone to use some sort of an vac system so if you have any questions about dust collection or air filtration just leave me a comment below belt Sanders are really powerful when it comes to removing material so here are a few techniques to follow so you don't hurt yourself or your work first because of its power and the fact that the belt is always moving in the forward direction the sander is trying to jump out of your hands so be sure to have a firm grip with both hands number two you never want to drop the sander quickly down on the material it's best to let the back roller come down first and then the front then once you're on the material keep the sander always moving because if you keep it one place for too long or more weight on the front roller or the rear roller the sander will gouge your workpiece lastly sand in the direction of the grain overlapping slightly with each pass just like with random orbital sanders it's always good to work through the different levels of sandpaper and if you need more information about that go check out this video right here but before we end the video I want to leave you with two more helpful tips the first one being about safety belt Sanders loved to eat their own cords and they'll do it almost as fast as the saw blade would in order to prevent that from happening be sure to drape the cord in a location that's always out of the way sometimes I've looped the cord over my shoulder so that no matter how I move the quarter is always up and out of the way the last tip is regarding maintenance some belts can get clogged more than others with sawdust which reduces its ability to function properly therefore in order to renew a belt that's full of sawdust use an abrasive belt cleaner like this to clean the belt and you can see it makes quick work of removing old sawdust and bringing new life back to the belt well thanks for hanging out with me today if you have any questions or comments leave them below and I'll see everybody next Tuesday

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