A wide belt sander is a powerful tool that can be used to sand and polish many different surfaces. These machines are often found in woodworking shops, auto body shops, and furniture factories around the world.
One of the most important parts of any workshop is keeping tools clean and well-maintained. This post will provide you with 5 easy steps on how to clean wide belt sander belts, so it lasts for years without breaking down on you!
Why Is It Important To Clean Your Belt Sanders?
If you have been running your belt sander for a while, there is no doubt that it will be getting dirty. In fact, as the machine runs, so will the debris.
This means dust and other elements from the material being cut or shaped are going to accumulate on both sides of the sandpaper belt over time. Particularly if they run next to each other and do not have any separation.
If this is the case, it will soon mean that your belt sander starts to slow down because there is too much friction on one side of the sanding belt.
The problem here is that you will start turning up more material than usual when shaping or cutting items with your machine, which means you will be wasting materials in the process.
You need to stop this from happening. That is why it is so important for you to clean your belt sander regularly and know how to do it properly, which we will explain below!
5 Steps On How To Clean Wide Belt Sander Belts
There are a number of steps to cleaning your belt sander, which you will need to follow precisely in order to get the best results. Here is how it should be done:
1) Turn off the power to your belt sander and remove any material from its surface
First of all, you need to switch off the machine then take away anything that is currently on it. This will prevent damage from being done as this can easily happen if something falls onto a spinning sanding belt which could cause sparks or other issues with heat build-up. Furthermore, removing items such as nails may be dangerous for anyone standing nearby, so best not risk it.
2) Use compressed air to clean the belt sander
Once you have removed any materials from its surface, grab a can of compressed air and start to blow away all debris that has accumulated around the machine itself.
This will include dust or other material on top of it as well as anything between belts if they are close together. Just make sure not to aim at anyone standing next to you!
3) Clean the sanding belts of your belt sander
Now that you have removed all debris from around and on top of your machine, it is time to clear out the sanding belts themselves, which will be covered in a range of materials by now. You can do this with a brush or even compressed air again but make sure not to damage them as they are usually delicate!
You should also use tapered spindles for cleaning between different levels of grits, so you need to remove these first before brushing over the surface. Ensure there’s no pressure when doing this because if there’s too much, you might end up damaging something else inside, such as bearings or other parts made from rubber or metal components.
4) Clean the inside of your belt sander
Now you need to clean the inside of your machine, where debris is likely to have built up over time due to the friction it creates when in use. You can do this with a damp cloth or compressed air again, but do not damage any electrical components by getting water near them!
You should also check around fans and cooling vents as these are known for trapping debris which does nothing good for anyone involved. In fact, if there’s too much dust here, then it might even cause overheating, which would be dangerous, so always go above and beyond when preventing such issues from arising!
5) Reassemble the belt sander
Now that you have finished cleaning your machine, it is time to put all of its parts back where they should be so the whole thing can work properly again. You do not want to find out halfway through cutting or shaping something just how much better things would go if only you had cleaned everything up beforehand!
This includes replacing sanding belts and making sure any tapered spindles are in place before powering on once more. Remember: always unplug first, then follow these steps carefully when cleaning a wide belt sander.
Most people never note what happens inside their machines until there’s an issue with them, which means they might already need new ones altogether. But this doesn’t have to be the case if you clean your belt sander well and follow these five steps every time, ensuring that it functions as well as new.
Do not forget to replace sanding belts and tapered spindles before powering on again.
Remember: always unplug first, then follow these steps carefully when cleaning a wide belt sander, and you will be able to prevent any issues with the machine itself. If you also have a saw blade that also needs cleaning, you can check out our post on how to remove tree sap from the saw blade so you can also clean your saw blade.