How To Use A Belt Floor Sander

Posted on: 25 January 2016

One of the quickest and most effective ways to sand a floor is by using a belt floor sanding machine.  You can hire one from a good tool hire shop, and it's well-worth the expense if you have a large project to tackle.  Belt floor sanders are pretty easy to use with a little practice and some top tips.  Read on to find out more.

How to use a belt floor sander

  1. Start off by opening up the side of the machine and loading the new belt.  Make sure that the belt is facing in the correct direction; the arrows marked on the inside of the belt should follow the direction of forward travel as the drum.  Slot the belt onto the drum, and make sure that the tensioner is activated to take up any slack.  This is done by tightening a marked toggle.  If the belt is too loose, the sander won't work properly and will leave 'chatter' marks across the floor.  
  2. When you're ready to begin sanding, do not put the sander's drum down when the machine is switched on and stationary.  This will leave a mark on the floor, which you'll have to go over again to remove.  Keep the machine tilted back towards you to keep the drum out of contact with the floor until you're ready to begin moving, and then lower the drum.  This rule applies throughout the sanding process.  For example, when you reach the end of the room, lift up the drum, turn around to make the return pass, and lower the drum again once you're moving forward.    
  3. To start the drum rotating, switch on the machine and pull the drive lever towards you.  Lower the drum to the floor; it should feel as though the sander is pulling you forwards, rather than you having to push it.  If you push the sander too quickly, the finish on the floor will be uneven and you'll have to go over it again.  Walk slowly, allowing the machine to do the work.    
  4. Keep an eye on the dust bag that's attached to the sander.  Empty the bag when it's about half-full.  A full bag could back up into the machine, causing it to clog and stop working properly.  In addition, leaving extra capacity in the bag helps to keep the dust extraction process efficient.  To remove the dust bag, turn off the machine, and unclip the bag from the fixing.  Empty out the debris into a bin-bag and re-fix the dust bag to the machine.

In conclusion

Operating a belt floor sander is a breeze, provided you follow the helpful guide given above.  Save yourself money on hiring a floor sanding contractor to do the job, and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done by carrying out this project yourself.