Belt/Disc Sander

The belt and disc sander are widely used in woodworking.  The disc sander is primarily used for rough shaping, as well as, creating outside curves, while the belt sander is mainly used to sand the wood or material being utilized. 

This sheet contains methods to properly sand wood in order to create the optimal piece of merchandise that is desired.  For other operations, or more in depth procedures for the operation of these handheld tools, please contact the supervisor or refer to one of the many texts available.

Controls: The few controls that are utilized on this equipment, consist of the following:

*Note: There are other controls on various accessories used with the sander, but for this discussion, the aforementioned materials are all that are necessary to complete this procedure.

Procedures Required for Safe Operation of the Sander: Sanding is the process used to abrade the piece of wood that is being worked.  The instructions are as follows:

  1. The switch must be off before the sander is plugged in.
  2. Keep the electrical cord a safe distance from both you and the ssander.
  3. The operating controls must be in proper working condition.
  4. The abrasive paper must not be worn and securely attached to the machine.
  5. Sanders must be kept clean at all times.
  6. When not in use, unplug the electrical cord.
Procedures to Begin Sanding:  Now that you are ready, follow these simple steps to begin the process involved with sanding:
  1. Place the piece of wood on the sander.
  2. Securely hold your work piece.
  3. Do not apply a great deal of pressure onto the piece of wood.
  4. Finally, let the sander do the work.
*Note: There are several other operations that can be done using a belt/disc sander, however, for the purpose of this procedure, only the previously mentioned operations are needed.  For more information about other procedures, contact your instructor, and/or refer to one of the many references available. 
Always sand the stock on the down- side of the rotational disc to prevent kickbacks.  *Note the position of the stock.  It is located on the down-side of the rotational disc, where the arrow is pointing. This is the other side of the belt/disc sander.  This flat belt helps you utilize both fence guards to allow your stock to be flat against the abrasive paper.

Potential Hazards: Due to the rapid rotation of the belts, the following potential hazards pose a risk and should thus be avoided:

Safety Pratices:  Due to the potential hazards involved with the operating of this equipment the following safety rules must be adhered to:


Spence, William P., Griffiths, Duane L., (1981). Woodworking Tools, Materials. Americcan Technical Publishers, Inc., Alsip, IL.

Feirer, John L. (1988). Cabinetmaking and Millwork. Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Peoria, IL.

ITT 252 - Materials Processing
Department of Technology
University of Southern Maine
Prepared by Joey Soucy, 9/25/2001