One of the quickest and most effective ways to sand a floor is by using a belt floor sanding machine. If you fancy taking the DIY route and tackling a small project yourself, you can hire one from a good tool hire shop. Although the specifics of each machine vary, the basic principles of operation are the same.
How to use a belt floor sander
Start off by opening up the side of the machine and loading the new belt. Make sure that the belt is facing in the correct direction - the arrows marked on the inside of the belt should follow the same direction of forward travel as the drum. Slot the belt onto the drum, and make sure that the tensioner is activated to take up any slack. This is usually done by tightening a marked toggle. If the belt is too loose, the sander won’t work properly and will leave ‘chatter’ marks across the floor.
When you’re ready to begin sanding, DO NOT put the sander’s drum down
when the machine is switched on and stationary. This will leave a mark on the floor, which you’ll have to go
over again to remove. Keep the machine tilted back towards you to keep the drum out of contact with the
floor until you’re ready to begin moving, and then lower the drum. When you reach the end of the room, lift up
the drum, turn around to make the return pass, and lower the drum again once you’re moving forward.
To start the drum rotating, switch on the machine and pull the drive lever towards you. Lower the drum to the
floor; it should feel as though the sander is pulling you forwards, rather than you having to push it. Walk
slowly, allowing the machine to do the work.
Keep an eye on the dust bag that’s attached to the sander. Empty the bag when it’s about half-full. A full bag
could back up into the machine, causing it to clog and stop working properly. In addition, leaving extra
capacity in the bag helps to keep the dust extraction process efficient. To remove the dust bag, turn off the
machine, and unclip the bag from the fixing. Empty out the debris into a bin-bag and re-fix the dust bag to
Operating a belt floor sander is pretty straightforward provided that you follow the supplier’s instructions that will be provided by the tool hire shop, and take note of the helpful tips given above.