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Belt Sander Tips for Wall Cabinet Refinishing

by Greg Keefer

Belt sanders are a great tool to get a lot of sanding done in short order. Belt sanders have also been instrumental in many wall cabinet projects ending up in the fire pit. Using a belt sander successfully requires knowing a few tricks.

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Tips for Using a Belt Sander

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you put this time-saving tool to work on your cabinet refinishing projects.

  • Practice makes perfect. Try the belt sander on junk wood before you start your refinishing project. You'll be surprised at how finicky an otherwise bulky tool can be and what kind of unintended damage it can do.
  • Cord placement. Keep the cord over your shoulder. If you let it dangle, you can get distracted by it, forcing you to stop and move it out of the way.
  • Sand direction should be slightly off center. Moving the sander in exactly the way it's pointed encourages it to grab and shoot forward. Maintain a tiny angle from dead-on in your forward and backward movements.
  • Start the sander flat on the wood. Rest the sander slightly upright with most of the weight off the belt. Start it up and then lay it down gently. Starting the sander and then laying it onto the wood tends to gouge it.
  • Pay attention. A sander left too long in one area can sand it shallow, which means the wall cabinet surface can be rough or uneven. Sanders have a tendency to grab and tilt over which causes grooves and gouges. Keep a firm grip but let the sander do the work.

Properly used belt sanders take the work out of wall cabinet refinishing and make the job a breeze.


About the Author

Greg Keefer has been a do-it-yourselfer with lots of experience in how to do things right and how to do them wrong. He enjoys sharing his experience with the hope of helping others to

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