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How to use a hand sander

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Wonkee donkee's guide to using a hand sander To use a hand sander, simply follow these quick and easy steps:
Choose the right sandpaper grit size

Step 1 – Choose sandpaper

Before you begin sanding, you must choose the sandpaper grit size that best suits the job in hand.

Coarse sandpaper will leave scratches on your workpiece Starting with a grit size that is too coarse will mean extra work later to remove the scratches caused by the heavy grit. On the other hand, starting with a grit that is too fine will probably mean it takes longer than necessary to sand down the surface.
Position the sandpaper on the base of the hand sander

Step 2 – Position sandpaper

Position the sandpaper or pre-cut sanding sheet on the base of the sander. Bend the edges of the sandpaper over either end of the base to make sure it fits.

 Donkee says 'Make sure the sandpaper fits the sander before clamping in place'
Clamp the sandpaper down to hold it in place

Step 3 – Clamp sandpaper

The sandpaper can then be held in place by using the clamps at either end of the sander. Simply loosen the clamps, insert the edges of the sandpaper beneath the holders, then tighten the clamps until the sandpaper is securely attached.

Grip the hand sander's handle in a comfortable position

Step 4 – Grip handle

Grip the handle, making sure your hand is in a comfortable position.

Push sander back and forth to sand down material

Step 5 – Sand

Sand down your material by pushing the sander forwards and backwards in a continuous motion.

Make sure to sand along the grain on wooden surfaces If you are sanding a wooden surface, it is important to sand with the grain – moving the sander in the direction in which the wood fibres are pointing. Any scratches which occur will be disguised by the wood grain, leaving a neat finish. Sanding against the grain, on the other hand, will lift and tear the fibres, leaving messy scratches on the wood which defeats the purpose of sanding.
Wonkee Donkee tip on sanding If your surface area has a more complex design, for example with protruding parts, you may wish to sand these by hand using a loose piece of sandpaper.
Keep sanding until all unwanted material has gone Keep sanding until you have removed all unwanted material. Once you have completed your initial sanding, you may wish to replace the original sandpaper with a finer one, and repeat the steps again for a finishing touch. Ideally, you should progress from macro grits to micro grits, changing one grade at a time.