Bench Sander | Types | Accessories | Belts

A bench sander is a stationery powered workshop tool that is used to smooth surfaces of constructed materials. It is simply mounted on specially constructed bench. It is not necessary that it has to be used in a workshop; it can as well be used at home. Although a bench sander is mostly used to smooth wooden surfaces, it can also be used to smooth metallic alloy surfaces. That which is used on metallic alloy surfaces however has minor variations.

Various types of bench sander are available and each operates differently:

  • Flap bench sander – This type is mounted on a bench grinder and is designed to be used for smoothing curved surfaces.
  • Belt sander – This can be handheld or mounted on a bench and smoothens via a belt that has sandpaper attached to it.
  • Disc bench sander – This type features sandpaper that is attached to a rotating wheel. The sandpaper can be of varied sanding grit, meaning that the sander can provide for rough, medium or fine sanding.
  • Oscillating sander – Instead of being mounted on a bench, this type is mounted on a rotating and oscillating spindle. It is very useful in sanding curves that cannot be sanded with other types of sanders.
  • Straight-line sander – This type of sander is designed to provide straight line sanding instead of in a circular motion.

Other types of sanders are available and are suitable for different sanding needs. They are however not bench-mounted but handheld instead. A bench sander can be pneumatic or electric, although electric sanders are the most popular. Pneumatic handheld sanders are mostly used in the automotive industries for smoothing auto bodies.

In choosing a bench sander, it is important to consider the material(s) to be sanded. Most people go for a belt sander for its capability to work quickly on large pieces of wooden, metallic or plastic material(s). A bench sander is not only useful for its sanding capability; it can be used to remove paint and varnish from surfaces.

A bench sander mainly uses sandpaper attached to it and various types of sandpapers are available. They are made of different materials and have different grit, providing for varied smoothness. Sandpaper should always be monitored to check on the quality of grits. That with reduced grit should be replaced immediately. This allows for effective sanding.

A bench sander features a bag that is useful in trapping all the dust that the sander produces. The bag does not trap all the dust produces and it is necessary for one to wear protective gear to safeguard the eyes and hands. It is very dangerous to work on a bench sander with loose clothing. One should wear appropriate clothing that cannot easily be entangled in the sander.

A bench sander produces a large amount of dust. The dust can easily infiltrate the sander’s motor and damage it. It is therefore important to clean the sander after every session of usage to remove all the dust.

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