How To Repair Your Sander

Sanders are very useful for a wide range of projects. They can be used to make fine adjustments to the shape and37 thickness of materials or achieve a perfect, smooth finish. Over time, however, even the most high-quality sanders might experience problems. While you should always trust power tool repairs to a professional if you are in doubt, there may be some problems and repairs that a practical person might easily deal with.

Some of the most common problems that sanders might experience include:

Worn Parts

If you examine your sander, you may find that some parts are worn out or damaged. If you are confident in partially dismantling your sander, try looking internally as well as externally. It will usually be quite obvious if a worn part is related to or causing the problem, rather than being coincidental. Simply purchasing a replacement part and fitting it to your sander may restore it to perfect working condition.

Motor brushes are a particular offender on older sanders, and are frequently the worn part at the root of the problem. Because it relates to the motor that powers the sander, this particular worn part will often result in your sander ceasing to function entirely rather than simply affecting its performance. However, there may have been some indications of wear for a while such as a sander that is slow to get going. Sanders that are used for long periods at a time are particularly vulnerable to motor brush wear, and domestic models tend to be more vulnerable than more heavy-duty industrial and professional models.

Hot Running

Another common problem with sanders is a motor that starts to run hot. It is very common for older sanders to run hotter than they used to, and this is often ignored as a simple side effect of the item’s age. However, it is often possible to solve the problem and restore the sander to a running condition much closer to that of a new item. This can not only improve the performance of your sander but significantly lengthen its lifespan.

When a motor in a sander is running hot, it is usually a lubrication problem. Specifically, it is likely that the lubrication in the gear box is old and is no longer working as well as it should. Some sanders are advertised as being lubricated with heavy-duty grease that will not need replacing, but this only refers to the product’s expected lifetime. It is entirely possible for a sander to survive far beyond this period, in which case the gear box lubrication may need to be renewed after all. Put fresh grease into all of the gaps between the gear teeth, but try not to fill the gear box with excessive amounts of grease.

Loud Sanders

A sander may become very loud as well as, or instead of, running hot as it gets older. Again, this is often ignored and accepted as a sign of an older sander. However, attending to the problem can once again restore the sander’s performance and lengthen its lifespan. This may once again be a problem with lubrication. Alternatively, in a belt sander it is likely to indicate that the belt needs realigning or replacing. Realignment is as simple as checking it visually and then adjusting it by hand if it seems to be wonky. If this does not make a difference, then the current belt has probably worn down and is no longer providing the right amount of tension. In this case, it will likely be necessary to purchase a new belt to replace the existing one entirely.

Fitting a new belt to a belt sander will usually eliminate excessive running noise. For the most part, it is as simple as removing the old belt and putting the new one in its place. However, it is important to take care that the belt is fitted properly, and there are some checks that will be necessary in order to ensure this. After installation, use your hands to squeeze the belt in order to check it has the proper amount of tension. If it is correctly installed, it should show roughly a quarter of an inch (6-7mm) of “give.”

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