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An edge sander is a belt sanding machine where the idler pulley and drive rollers sit perpendicular to the belt. This is the main characteristic that differentiates it from normal belt sanding machines, where these components are horizontally arranged.
The purpose of an edge sander
Just like normal belt sanding machines, edge sanders are used to chamfer, break and deburr the cut and break points of a workpiece. The vertical arrangement of the sanding unit allows for precise processing. The level of precision can be increased even further by equipping the work table with an adjustable stop. Particularly easy to use edge sanders contain a tilted sanding unit; these high-end machines allow for angled chamfers to be precisely sanded.
Areas of application for an edge sander
Edge sanders are commonly used for manually post-processing wood. Solid wood, plywood, veneer and chipboard are all types of solid wood products that can be processed using an edging sander. The only materials that cannot be processed on a edge sanding machine are pasty and greasy semi-finished materials like rubber or other soft, organic materials. The stickiness of these materials means that the sanding paper quickly looses its effectiveness. Additionally, a paste-like adhesive contaminant would quickly reappear. Generally, metal can be processed on an edge grinder, and particularly soft metals like aluminium or copper are easily processed on belt grinding machines. However, safety precautions should always be taken into account. For example, if breathed in, metals like zinc and lead can lead to health problems.
Uses of a an edge sander
The main strength of this machine lies in sanding panel-shaped components. Floors, side walls, mouldings out of solid wood, beams and frames are best processed on an edge belt sander. The edges can be bevelled in any desired form and the component’s size can be reduced or it can be shortened. Entire components can be fitted onto the edge sander if the sanding belt is wide enough. This is commonly used for drawers and doors, in order to form them into the exact shape required.
The structure of an edge sander
An edge sander is most commonly formed out several components. There is a stable work table, upon which the motor and the sanding unit are built. This consists of an idler pulley and a drive roller. The drive roller is powered by an electric motor. This generally has a 220V power supply. The idler pulley is mounted within an oblong hole. If the sanding belt is switched, the idler pulley is loosened and moved within the oblong hole. If the idler pulley is pushed towards the drive roller, then the sanding belt is loosened to the extent that it can be taken out. There is a variation of the edge sanding machine, which is hand-held. This device is used for permanently installed corners or particularly large components. Instead of a sanding belt, these electric hand-held machines contain an exchangeable slip ring.
Working with an edge sander
Switching the sanding belt requires experience and sensitivity. If the belt is fixed in too tightly, then it could rip. Sanding edges always wears down the sanding belt to some extent, and it can be damaged quickly. If the belt is inserted too loosely, then it can slip through the drive rollers when in operation. This will interrupt the sanding process because the movement of the belt would suddenly stop. Choosing the right sanding belt also requires knowledge and experience. The choice of sanding belts range from extremely course to very fine belts. Course sanding belts are used for stripping and roughing, and to remove excess material. Fine sanding paper is used to polish, round and deburr edges, corners and surfaces. In order to obtain the ideal conditions through adjustment work, it is recommended to use several different grain sizes. The adjustment work should only be done in an area of several millimetres in size. Pieces that can be sawn, planed or milled should be processed with the appropriate tools. Thick workpieces to be sanded create a high level of wear and tear on the sanding belt, as well as posing a fire hazard. Due to the heating up of material, this could lead to discolouration and charring at the point where it is being sanded. After the material has cooled off, these need to be sanded off again. Unnecessary additional costs occur when trying to sand a workpiece evenly over several centimetres. Belt sanders develop a high force, which is directly brought upon the workpiece at a specific point. The workpiece needs to be held tightly, so that it doesn’t jump off the work table and cause injuries. It is particularly important to always keep fingers and other body parts away from the sanding belt. An operating sanding machine is particularly abrasive. If it is unintentionally touched, it could very quickly lead to severe injuries. To make matters worse, injuries resulting from edge belt sanders always have a high infection rate. Therefore, it is recommended to seek medical assistance, after being injured by this machine. High-end edge sanders contain a stop and a guide, and ideally a tool carriage. The workpiece is placed into the carriage and then guided along the sanding belt. Edge sanders for sale are equipped with the necessary tools to ensure safe operation, and to keep the risk of injury to a minimum. Edge sanders are very loud and emit a lot of dust. Therefore, an appropriate hearing and respiratory protection should be worn. An additional extraction unit increases the health & safety aspect of an edge sander for sale. For these machines, this can be easily achieved by using a common industrial vacuum cleaner and a streamlined design for collecting the dust. It is particularly important to ensure that there is no ground dust flying around when processing metals. Metal dust can damage electrical components, causing them to short circuit. The sanding belt itself needs to be well covered. There should be no opportunities to access the belt from outside of the work table’s area. A temperature sensitive safety switch with a bimetal fuse ensures that the machine switches off automatically before it overheats. Finally, the mechanics of a sanding belt’s operation needs to be laid out in such a way, that the sanding belt comes to a halt no more than ten seconds after the electricity is cut off. Working with a sanding machine is generally not so demanding. Briefing and the opportunity to practice on scrap material should be enough to allow assistants to operate an edge sander, and more specifically, to use a used edge sander.
Suppliers of edge sanders
Hand-held edge sanders for construction sites and for processing large workpieces are sold by the companies SKI-MAN and ELA LACHNER. Simple table-top units are available from WEGOMA, HOLZMANN, UNILEV and BERNARDO. Particularly high-end edge sanders that are very well equipped are sold by the companies SCHMIDT, WEIBERT, SCHEPPACH and LANGZAUNER. LANGZAUNER also offers a double-sided edge sander for sale, which can highly increases a company’s efficiency.