Safety Precautions When Using a Disc Sander

Disc sanders are power tools that use a circular sanding pad. They come in heavy-duty bench-mounted models or hand-held models. Sanding can be accomplished quickly and smoothly, and some bench-mounted models allow you to choose your angle of work.

Keep in mind the following safety precautions as you work with disc sanders.

Hand-Held Disc Sanders

Wear clothes that fit you well, because loose sleeves or baggy trousers can easily be snagged in the moving disc as you work. A pair of safety goggles, available at any hardware store, will protect your eyes from flying bits of sawdust. Before you plug in the disc sander, check to make sure that it is turned to the off position. Untangle the cord and place it away from the area that you plan to sand. A cord that gets in the way is in danger of being cut by the moving disc as you sand. A split power cord is dangerous to use and may even get severed all the way through, leaving you with a portable sander you can't use. As you work, use two hands to maintain good leverage and control of the sander. When you need to change the sandpaper on the disc, unplug the power cord to avoid accidentally turning on the machine. It only takes a couple of seconds to unplug the sander and then plug it back it, but doing so will give you peace of mind and protect your fingers and other body parts.

Bench Mounted Disc Sanders

As mentioned previously, wear snug clothes and safety goggles as you use a bench-mounted disc sander. If you are purchasing a bench-mounted disc sander, be sure to look for a model that has a safety-key feature. This is an accessory that must be in place for the machine to function. Once you remove it, you will not have to worry about children accidentally turning on the sander. It will also allow you to change the sanding surface without having to worry about the machine receiving power before you finish. As you work with a disc sander, don't allow yourself to become distracted. Conversations and phone calls can wait until you are finished. If they can't wait, take a break, disconnect the sander from its power supply and then go back to work. While sanding, only apply light pressure to the wood or portable sander. The disc sander should be the one working, not you. Applying light pressure allows you to have greater control over the sanding process and will protect your hands and fingers from brusque movements that could result in an accident.