Even if you don’t have much to do with woodworking, you would surely have heard about sanders. The sander is the most critical item in the list of power tools of a serious woodworker. If you have a small project with small-sized components, then hand sanding would probably work. A power sander may damage the wood in a small-scale project.
For bigger projects with broad, expansive surfaces, power sanders serve as an efficient and time-saving solution. However, you get various types of sanders in the market. Therefore, you would do well to know, to begin with, where you need to use a sander. And if so, you should be aware of what type of sander would do your job best. Hence, here we take a look at the different types of wood sanders that you can use.
Different Types Of Wood Sanders
The first stage of making the surface of wood smooth in any project involves sanding. You need a lot of patience to sand wood, especially if you are doing it by hand. Sometimes, you need to do sanding manually, if the job is delicate or small. However, if you have a big project, you get electric sanders to make your task easier. Here are the various types of sanders that you can use to make the surfaces of your project smooth:
As the name suggests, we hold these lightweight sanders by hand to smoothen out surfaces. Ergonomic design forms a critical part of the construction of these sanders. We move the machine across the surface that we want to sand.
If the size of your job is big, you can soon strain your hands and wrists manually handling sandpaper. A hand sander has a handle and a flat, abrasive surface. Thus, you can hold the handle and work on it, reducing the load on your hands.
The strip sander works on the same principle of the hand sander. However, the construction of the strip sander is that it resembles a wood plane tool. But, instead of a blade on the face, it has an abrasive surface, instead.
Here, you can smoothen a curved edge. This sander has a wooden frame shaped like a hacksaw. However, instead of a blade, there is a flat strip of sandpaper. You smoothen the contoured edges by running the bow back and forth across the contour.
You get both electric as well as pneumatic file sanders. The file sander has a narrow sandpaper belt extended outwards. It looks somewhat like a chainsaw. The advantage of a file sander is that you can fit into constricted spaces.
This sander gets its name from the fact that it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. It has a profile a bit like an angle grinder – only there is a disc of fine sandpaper on the business end. We use a palm sander for making surfaces smooth before applying a finish.
Belt Sander – Hand Held
This sander provides similar benefits to a palm sander but has a rotating belt. This sander is designed to be operated with two hands and usually has a “trigger” that’s operated with the index finger of one hand while the other is placed on the forward handle. This type of sander is good for rough sanding larger boards, removing scribe edges. They can handle coarse grits for rough sanding as well as hand shaping and beveling edges but due to weight and size are harder to handle than the palm sander.
Bench sanders are bench-mounted machines. Their construction varies depending on the requirement of the job. The common factor, however, is that these are stationary machines, and we hold the workpiece onto these sanders.
Oscillating Spindle Sander
This type of sander belongs to the family of drum sanders. It consists of a vertical drum that you can place on a tabletop. The drum has spindles that protrude above it. These spindles are covered with sandpaper, and they oscillate vertically upwards and downwards as they spin. You hold the job against the moving sandpaper. You can also fit a sandpaper belt between two spinning spindles for sanding flat surfaces.
This type of sander is best-suited for shaping wood. It has a rotating disc on a workbench. You get a clearly defined working edge so you can see what you are working on. Being a table tool, you can see what you are working in with a disc sander.
We can best describe the drum sander as a horizontal static arm with sandpaper wrapped over it. It contains a horizontal spindle enclosed in sandpaper, which in turn, is surrounded by a metallic guard. You hold the workpiece over the gap on the guard to sand it.
Belt Sander -Standup
The belt sander looks a bit like the handheld file sander, and only, it sits on a stand. You can lower and raise the moving sandpaper belt and vary the angle as well.
Typically, heavy machines, floor sanders usually have wheels, and we push them along floor surfaces. We use these types of sanders for smoothening wooden floors. You need a fair degree of skill to operate a floor sander, and at least two people to carry it around.
Floor Drum Sander
A floor drum sander, like all floor sanders, is a heavy machine. It looks like an upright vacuum cleaner with a rotating sandpaper disc on the bottom surface. You can move the tool across a hardwood floor to give it a smooth finish.
The edging sander is a variation of a drum sander, where the sandpaper disc protrudes. We use an edging sander to work on surfaces that aren’t accessible with a drum sander like floor edges and stairs.
The most basic form of an abrasive tool, you can hold sandpaper in your hand and start working. You get sandpaper of different levels of roughness, called the grit. The number allocated to the grit, the finer the sandpaper.
We went into detail about the different types of wood sanders in this article and where each one is best suited. By now, it will be apparent to you how crucial a wood sander is for using on woodworking projects. Preparing the surfaces of your components properly can make the difference between a smart job and a shoddy job.
You need one to prepare surfaces if you are to paint, stain or varnish them. Hence a good quality sander will contribute to a great finishing touch to your woodworking projects. By knowing how to use the right type of wood sander, you can turn out some very professional-looking projects.
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