Sanding your floors, walls and other surfaces can be a tough task. Though sanding is a fantastic step to consider when taking on house projects to ensure a smooth and fine finish, this doesn’t make sanding any easier especially when you are doing it manually (by rubbing the sandpaper against the surface with your hands).
One of the top inventions that have really made woodwork and painting easier and more effective is the sander. Sanders are mechanical tools that can be operated manually or require electricity. Sanders come in different sizes, shapes, and have diverse uses.
How to Add Sandpaper On A Sander?
To do this, you need:
- The required sandpaper
- A sander
- A protective mask.
1.Lift The Clamp
You need to lift the clamp. To do this, you need to press the levers. Usually, a sander has two levers. One at the front and another at the back.
You need to push both levers to release the clamp. The clamp is what is holding the sandpaper firmly to the sander. So, push the lever “in and up” in that order and this would release the clamp. Do the lever at the front than the one at the back.
2.Fit The Sandpaper Into Opening
After you have lowered the clamp, you now fit in the sandpaper into the opening. Be sure to use sandpaper shaped and suited for the sander.
Disregarding this rule would give you a bad job. For instance, finishing sanders use sandpaper that ranges from 120-grit to 220-grit. For a more fine finish, you can use 240, 320, or higher grits. Random orbital sanders largely use round-shaped sandpaper.
3.Release The Clamp
To fit in the sandpaper, you can start from the back of your sander. Gently fit in the sandpaper. Be cautious not to fit it in wrongly.
The abrasive side is what you need to sand. When you put the sandpaper in, release the clamp at the back since you are starting from the back so the clamp holds the sandpaper in place. To release the clamp, simply return the lever to its original position.
Then fold the sandpaper around the surface of the sander and pull it firmly to the other end (the front) of your sander. The reason for pulling the sandpaper is to ensure it is firmly tucked in.
Insert the sandpaper into the opening at the front and tuck it in nicely. Then release the clamp too so it holds your sandpaper in place.
4.Check The Dust Hole
This step is for sanders that have a dust collection sack. If yours doesn’t have, skip this step. What you do here is to add the holes in your sandpaper. So, place the punch down on a flat surface with the sharp side turned upwards.
The punch is a plastic or metallic object that puts holes into the sandpaper. Place the sander on the punch and press it down.
This punctures the sandpaper creating small holes that allow dust to pass through them into the dust-collecting sack. When you press the sander down on the punch, you should hear a loud “click” sound.
5. Start Sanding
you are ready to start sanding. Place your sander on the surface you want to sand and move it around evenly. Do not apply too much pressure.
The steps above should work perfectly for just about any sander. However, you may encounter other types of sanders that will require a different method to put sandpaper on them.
To use sandpaper on these types of sander, you may need to consult the manual or the guide that comes with your sander.
Why do you need to add sandpaper to your sander?
Using a sander requires adding sandpaper to make your work more efficient. Also, while using your sander, you might need to change your sandpaper time after time due to the required grit and grade of sandpaper you want.
Just like sanders, sandpapers also come in variations based on the shape and texture of the grit. The grit is the abrasive side that comes with your sandpaper and is what does the sanding. Replacing your grit while working is almost inevitable if the previous grit doesn’t give you the desired level of smoothness you were hoping for.
Also, different sandpapers are required for different surfaces and sanders. While sanding your wood, you might need a more aggressive grit when you are starting and fine grit for the finish.
As stated earlier, different sandpapers are required for different sanders, so before you learn how to apply sandpapers to sanders, you might want to learn the various types of sanders and their uses.
Different Types Of Sanders Require Different Sandpaper
There are basically four types of sanders:
Each of these Sanders or methods has its own guide, procedures for usage, and more importantly, their specific purposes.
- The belt sanders: this sander is described as the most aggressive. It removes matter faster than any other sander. However, you need to be careful not to apply too much weight or pressure on it. Pressing it down too much can really damage the wood underneath. Remember, it’s a really powerful tool. If you do not have any experience using it, you might want to learn its usage first before going ahead with your task. Different belt sanders require different sizes of belts. One of the most common belt sander is the Makita 3″ x 24″ belt sander.
- Disc sander: while the belt sander is the muscle when it comes to sanders, the disc sander can be said to be multifunctional. The distinct feature of the disc sander is its disc-shaped surface. The disc sander also has variations. A particular type of disc sander is the “angle sander”. This tool has an extra advantage over other sanders. It gives users the luxury of getting into small corners and crevices effectively. Larger sanders like the belt sander will be incapable of doing this. The disc sander is relatively easier to use when compared to the belt sander. A common type of this sander is the Makita 5″ disc sander.
- The random orbital sander: This sander is also suited for big surface areas. It is less aggressive than the belt sander and more aggressive than most disc sanders. It is suitable for removing dents and splinters. Remarkably, the random orbital sander leaves almost no mark on your surface. It is almost “lady-like” in its application. A popular type of random orbital sander is the Milwaukee 5″ sander.
- Finishing sander: as the name connotes, this type of sander is more suited for finishes. This sander ensures a high-quality finishing look on any type of wood. It’s a close contender on the random orbital sander’s “lady-like” title. A common type of finishing sander is the Milwaukee 1/4 sheet palm sander.
There you go. Follow the steps above and you are ready to start sanding. Remember, different sanders require different sandpapers. Don’t just put any sandpaper on your sander. The result wouldn’t be pleasant.