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    Using a drum sander

    Summary: Learn how to use a drum sander, sand a floor with a drum sander and use a drum sander safely.

    A drum sander is a large, industrial styled sander used for removing old finishes on wooden floors. The power of these machines means that a smooth finish is not the main aim. They are aggressive sanders that are excellent at powering through old varnish and other finishes. For warped, raised floor boards, the drum sander is perfect for making the timber level. You will need to be careful when using this machine as it can cause grooves in the timber if not used correctly.

    How to use a drum sander

    • Start by removing all furniture and other items from the room. Make sure you have total access to all parts of the floor. As the air will become dusty, you may want to remove pictures or ornamental light shades from the room as they will become coated.
    • You should read the manufacturers’ instruction manual before attempting to use a drum sander. Make sure you know what you are doing before you start.
    • Firstly, load the coarse sandpaper onto the drum sander.
    • Plan in your mind which way you are going to go and how you will go about it. It is recommended that you start in a corner of the room and work along the direction of the grain.
    • Turn on the sander with the drum raised off the surface. Lower the drum to the floor and walk backwards from the wall where you have chosen to start.
    • Pull the sander backwards gradually at an even pace. At no point should you let the sander stop in one place while it is still turned on as it will continue to sand through the wood.
    • Once you have removed most of the top layer and are down to the bare wood, change the sandpaper over. Replace the old, coarse one with a medium grade paper and repeat the sanding process.
    • Any areas that cannot be reached with the drum sander should be approached with a smaller type of sander. The edging sander or the corner sander are recommended for best results.
    • Once you have completed sanding, vacuum the dust thoroughly, leaving the floor ready to be stained or varnished.

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