Tips For Using A Drum Sander When Refinishing Hardwood Floors

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Are you planning to refinish your hardwood floors on your own rather than hiring a professional? If so, you'll need to use some specialized equipment to get the job done. Sanding the floor is an important part of the hardwood refinishing process, which will require a drum sander. It is heavy-duty enough to sand all of the floors in your home with speed and beats using handheld sanding equipment which is inefficient at such a big task. Here are some tips for using a drum sander:

Wear Protection

A drum sander needs to be handled with more care than the handheld sanders that you may have used in the past. Make sure that you have protective eyewear on so that you do not get dust in your eyes, as well as protective clothing, gloves, and shoes to protect the rest of your body. You'll also want to use hearing protection so that the loud noise of the drum sander does not harm your eardrums.

Prep The Floors

You'll need to get everything off the surface of the floor before you start sanding. You should countersink any nails that are in the floor, which essentially means tapping the heads of the nail so they are below the surface of the wood floor you are refinishing. Cover your HVAC system's ductwork with plastic so that dust does not get into the vents.

Install The Sandpaper 

Your drum sander likely uses sandpaper sleeves or discs, which require that you install them before you start sanding. It is a good idea to always do this with the equipment unplugged from the wall. You do not want the drum sander to accidentally turn on while you're installing the sandpaper. 

Practice On Plywood

If you are operating a drum sander for the first time, it will help to test it out on a piece of plywood. This will give you an idea of how the drum sander works. You can't get back wood that you accidentally sand away, especially if you let the drum sander sit in the same spot for too long. Get a good feel for how the drum sander moves on plywood so that you do not cause damage to your floors once you begin. 

Move With The Grain

You'll always want to move the drum sander with the grain of the wood, making a complete pass by going forward and backward over the wood. You should work across the floor by overlapping the drum sander with the section you just sanded. This will help ensure that all surfaces of your floor are smooth when finished.

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