Condo Blues: How to Clean Sandpaper on a Belt Sander

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How to Clean Sandpaper on a Belt Sander

Sandpaper lasts me quite awhile because I rarely have a project where I bust open a new sanding belt and sand all the grit off the belt before it is time to switch to a different grit during the project.

Needing to change a still gritty sanding belt because it is clogged and gunked up with sawdust is a different matter.

Why does it always happen when you’ve got just a little bit left to sand and you’re out of new sanding belts? Is it some DIY conspiracy I don’t know about? Possibly.

3 ways to clean beltsander

Did you know you can clean sandpaper and prolong its life? Yep, you can! Cleaning a sanding belt is a cheap and easy thing to do. You might already have just what you need to do it too.

3 Cheap and Easy Ways to Clean Sanding Belts and Prolong Their Life

You will need one of the following:

Sanding Belt Cleaner Pad

Big Rubber Eraser

Corks – Natural and synthetic corks work equally well for this project

The technique is the same no matter which cleaning tool use you use to clean a belt sander although you will probably need more than one wine cork depending upon the condition of your belt and how sawdust free you want it.

Warning: Please take all precautions when cleaning a belt sander as you would when you use the belt sander to sand something. Wearing a dust mask, eye, and hearing protection is a good idea too.

1.  While the sander is on a low speed push the sanding cleaner pad, rubber eraser, or cork against the belt. Be careful not to accidentally sand your fingers!

clean belt sander with cork
I unplugged my sander for the photos in this post.

2.   Continue cleaning until the sanding belt is free of sawdust to your liking. You may need to replace the  cleaning tool based on which type you use.

clean sandpaper with cork
I keep the rare synthetic wine corks around the workshop for sander cleaning and use the natural wine corks for decorative projects.

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