THE DO'S AND DON'TS FOR BELT SANDERS

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THE DO’S AND DON’TS FOR
BELT SANDERS
To prevent an abrasive belt breakage and personal injury, please review and comply with the
following list of Do’s and Don’ts.
Do’s
• Do comply with OSHA law, lock out and tag all machines before working on them.
• Do be sure the machine has an adequate exhaust/dust collector system so that airborne
particulates caused by the abrading operation do not exceed government and industry
threshold limit values.
• Do wear proper personal protection such as ANSI approved impact-resistant eye and face
protection, arm guards, apron, gloves, safety shoes, hearing protection, etc.
• Do store abrasive belts at 35-50% relative humidity and 60-80° F (15 to 29° C).
• Do rotate stock. Use belts on a first in, first out basis.
• Do store belts in their original containers. Remove belts from containers and allow them to
come to moisture equilibrium before using.
• Do comply with ANSI B7.7, OSHA and all safety materials provided with the belts, machines
and the tools.
• Do check all belts for damage such as nicks, cuts, creases, or handling damage.
• Do select an abrasive belt suitable for your application.
• Do inspect the abrasive belt joint (splice) for adequate bonding and proper alignment.
• Do install belts with direction arrows, in the running direction of the contact wheel.
• Do use only on properly guarded machines with enclosures for the abrasive belt, idler
assembly and contact wheel. A metal adjustable deflector must be installed within ¼ inch of
the working surface of the abrasive belt.
• Do check contact wheel for balance, face trueness, and run-out.
• Do check the grinder spindle for run-out (wobble).
• Do check the machine’s idler pulley spindle for run-out and balance.
• Do check to ensure that the belt and contact wheel have matching widths (they must be the
same size).
• Do mount belts with the machine tensioner retracted and the steering device in a
center position.
• Do install belts without applying forces that might cause edge tears or cracking.
• Do use proper type and size contact wheel for your application.
• Do tension belt properly (too tight or too loose can lead to belt breakages).
• Do jog machine to start abrasive belt tracking.
• Do check the sound of a running belt for ticking sounds, bumping noise or any other unusual
sounds. Stop machine, locate cause for noise, and correct problem before resuming test.
• Do allow newly install belts to operate for one minute before standing in line with or in front of
an abrasive belt.
• Do use work-piece fixture whenever possible.
• Do frequently recheck the belt and machine during use for proper tracking, and damage
to the belt.
• Do abrade materials against the contact wheel (proper support of the belt).
• Do maintain your tools as if your life depends on it.
• Do shield bystanders and any flammable materials from the spark stream (shower).
• Do review all applicable MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) before using this product.
• Do visit the abrasive manufacturer’s website for additional safety information.
• Do contact your abrasive manufacturer if you have any safety questions.
Don’ts continued
• Don’t store abrasive belts on concrete floors, near open windows, in direct sunlight, or near
heat sources such as radiators or steam pipes.
• Don’t use belts that appear brittle, curled or damaged in any way.
• Don’t wear any loose clothing, jewelry, or any item that may snag onto moving equipment,
work-piece, or coated abrasive belt.
• Don’t use coated abrasives belts and tools unless you have been trained and know how
to use them.
• Don’t exceed the maximum RPM marked on the contact wheel.
• Don’t install a belt onto a machine NOT in good working condition.
• Don’t alter a belt. Never cut-down an abrasive belt.
• Don’t use a narrow belt on a wide contact wheel (belt and wheel must be the same size).
• Don’t use a wide belt on a narrow contact wheel (belt and wheel must be the same size).
• Don’t use a worn out or damaged contact wheel.
• Don’t full power start a belt during belt tracking. Full power could cause the belt to track
off the machine.
• Don’t mix wood and metal swarf (it is a major fire hazard).
• Don’t create a fire hazard. Shield any nearby flammable materials to prevent ignition from
the spark stream (shower).
• Don’t jam the work into the abrasive belt.
• Don’t abrade the work-piece in areas of the belt not supported by the contact wheel.
• Don’t allow the belt to “load up” with the material you are abrading.
• Don’t use this abrasive belt if you have not reviewed all of the safety materials and have not
been properly trained in the use of the tool and belt.
Remember, abrasive belt grinding can be hazardous to operators and bystanders. If an abrasive
belt breaks in operation, there can be serious injury to eyes, face or other parts of the body not
protected by adequate equipment. Grinding sparks and dust particles may also cause serious
injury by contact or inhalation.
For additional information on this topic or if you need any other abrasive safety information,
please review ANSI, OSHA and all literature provided by the abrasive wheel and machine
manufacturer. You may contact the Saint-Gobain Product Safety Department at (508) 795-2317,
Fax (508) 795-5120, or contact your Saint-Gobain Abrasives representative with any safety
related questions.
Roger Cloutier
Senior Product Safety Engineer, Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc.
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