Belt Sanders come in a variety of different designs and styles. Much unlike the pedestal grinder, that has solid grinding wheels, the belt sander uses a flexible belt impregnated with a grinding medium. Belt sanders have the fundamental function of removing small amounts of material, like wood, plastic or metal.
The main advantage of a belt sander over the pedestal grinder is that soft metals such as; brass, aluminum, and copper may be ground on a belt sander without causing damage to the disk or sanding belt.
Vertical belt sander
There are two basic styles of Vertical Belt Sanders: without ventilation system and with ventilation system. Both incorporate a continuous revolving belt of a wide variety of belt widths that spin on two vertically positioned drums, one stationary the other adjustable for belt tension. And both types are very handy for removing burrs and grinding small amounts of material from the edges of a part. Vertical belt sanders can be mounted on a pedestal, and can be mounted on a table as well.
Hand-held belt sander
A hand-held Belt Sander has a continuous loop or belt of sandpaper that stretches across two wheels. When the drive wheel is engaged, the belt spins and removes stock. It is superb for the initial phases of rough sanding jobs. Since belt sanders remove a lot of material quickly, some of the hand-held belt sanders have variable speed controls, which allow the operator to adjust the sander to run at a comfortable level. The hand-held belt sander is very flexible to handle.
Belt sanders and safety
Do not work with a sander without an exhaust system or a dust collector nearby that is in good working order. Empty the collector when it is 1/4 full. The dust from the belt sander can be a fire and explosion threat. Proper ventilation is also very essential.
Do not apply too much pressure on a moving sander belt. Only light pressure weight on the sander belt/disk is enough for most jobs.
You should not work with unsecured stock unless it is heavy enough to stay in place. Clamp the stock into place or use a stop-block to avoid movement.
Be careful not to overreach; you should always keep proper footing and balance.
And do not cover the air vents of the sander.