How to sand veneer and lacquer

When you want to enhance a wood project’s appearance and longevity — like tables, countertops, shelving and ornamental pieces — your best option is to use either veneer or lacquer. Veneer and lacquer each give wood a smooth, professional look while coating it with an additional layer of protection against cosmetic wear. Because these materials are thin and must adhere to various wood types and textures, your project requires some preparation work before applying your preferred topper. One of the most critical steps in this process is sanding.

Sanding your wood before applying veneer or lacquer ensures an even application without splintering pieces or excessive holes that may interfere with the finished product’s look or feel. You can sand wood with sandpaper or sanding equipment, but you must find a balance between over-sanding and under-sanding for optimal results. With the right tools and techniques, sanding your wood before the application can be simple and quick.

At Timesavers, we know the value of your time and craftsmanship. That’s why we offer a range of woodworking sanders with the top materials and designs in the industry, so you can boost your shop’s productivity and feel confident in the final results. All of our machines meet and exceed production requirements, with available representatives ready to answer any questions and provide more insight into your woodworking project.

Read on to learn how to sand veneer and lacquer and how Timesavers can help transform your next project.

Lacquer vs. Veneer — What’s the Difference?

Veneer is a type of thin, delicate wood applied to the outside of thicker wooden pieces. It’s often decorative in nature but also protects internal construction from minor scuffs and scratches while adding more structural stability. Paired with endless design options, these features make it a common choice for furniture pieces and cabinetry.

Lacquer is not a type of wood but a liquid coating that dries quickly when applied to wooden pieces. It creates a hard, durable layer that seals the wood underneath from wear and tear. Lacquer is available in several types and applications, like matte finishes and convenient spray-on coatings, as well as the traditional paint-on method.

If you’re working with a piece of pre-crafted wood, the easiest way to distinguish between a veneer layer and solid wood with a lacquer coating is to check for wood grain consistency, especially around the edges. Lamination lines, opposing wood grain patterns and visible bonds or edging likely indicate a veneer topper. If your piece is solid wood, you’ll know it’s got a lacquer coating — rather than a layer of polyurethane — if it rubs off when you apply acetone.

Can You Sand Veneer?

As you might expect, veneered pieces are very delicate and require careful sanding to avoid irreversible damage. If you sand veneer too much, you may render it unusable. Before you begin sanding, you should carefully inspect the veneer for damage — like air bubbles, lifted corners or peeling — and make repairs as possible. While hand sanding may work for thin pieces and small applications, you should not attempt to sand a large surface area by hand. Industrial sanders are better for handling large-scale veneered pieces, including most furniture.

How to Sand Veneer

Practice patience when hand sanding small veneered pieces. For most veneer types, we recommend starting with nothing coarser than a 100-grit and slowly working your way up to a 220-grit or finer, depending on the piece and desired outcome. All increases and changes should be gradual.

If you’re using an industrial sander, you have your choice between multiple belt sanders, moulding sanders or rotary brush machines. The experts at Timesavers recommend a segmented polisher, like our 2300 Series polisher, for best results on veneered surfaces. The 2300 Series polisher utilizes an electronic segmented polishing pattern that perfectly forms to the wood’s surface, ensuring an even sand that doesn’t go too far. It’s ideal for small and mid-size cabinetry, furniture and millwork plants.

The 2300 Series polisher is fully customizable, and you can outfit it with a range of heads to meet your exact needs, including a:

  • Drum head
  • Combination head
  • Dual-action head
  • Cross-belt head
  • Chevron head.

When sanding veneer, be careful not to sand across the grains and stop if you see yellow at any point — this is a good indicator that you’ve sanded too far. Never use water when working with veneer, as it could cause bubbling or poor adhesion for any final coatings.

Can You Sand Lacquer?

Though less delicate than veneer wood, lacquered coatings can be a challenge to sand if you don’t have the right tools because of the thick layer it creates. It may take more time than sanding veneer since you must wait until each layer of lacquer dries completely before you can begin sanding it. Like veneered wood, you can hand sand lacquer or use an industrial wood sander, depending on the size of the piece and how much sanding your project requires.

How to Sand Lacquer

If you’re hand sanding lacquer, start by wetting the surface lightly and using 320- to 400-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface until you see your desired sheen and finish. For mid-size and larger applications or shops, an industrial sander — like a segmented polisher, rotary brush, wide belt sander or moulding sander — is a better fit than paper. Some projects may require sanding multiple times between applying layers of new lacquer, especially if refinishing a piece. Allow the project time to harden and dry completely when finished.

If you sand lacquer frequently in your woodworking shop, we recommend investing in a compact, versatile machine that meets several of your sanding needs at once. Our 2300 Series rotary brush is a condensed, operator-friendly sanding solution that utilizes eight unique, abrasive brushes to give wood pieces an even, smooth finish. It also works on veneered wood, making it a must-have powerhouse around the shop.

Always wear necessary protective equipment when you’re sanding wood, especially when working with lacquer. Inhaling too much lacquer and dust may cause serious short-term and long-term health ramifications.

Shop Timesavers for Lacquer and Veneer Wood Sanding Equipment

Woodworkers across the nation rely on Timesavers for equipment and industry expertise to complete small- and large-scale projects, including veneered and lacquered wood pieces. Shop our inventory of industrial sanding machines and make an investment that will help your shop be more productive than ever.

Interested in learning more about sanding veneer and lacquer or have a specific question about a challenging project? The team at Timesavers is available with helpful insight and equipment support for all of our top-quality industrial sanding machines. Give us a call at 1-800-537-3611 or contact us online to learn more or find a distributor near you to get started.

Shop Timesavers for lacquer and veneer wood sanding equipment

From rolling cabinets in the ER to refrigerator doors, burrs or sharp edges on metal parts can pose a serious risk to both workers and consumers. Whether it’s a snagged jacket or a sliced finger, serious repercussions can stem from these troublesome imperfections.

In years past, it was standard for burrs and sharp edges to be smoothed by hand in production environments, using such tools as abrasive flap wheels (or possibly a belt sander for heavy burrs). The problem with performing this essential step by hand is that the work will be prone to inconsistencies, and manufacturers can end up with unpredictable edge quality, decreasing the reliability of finished products. Lastly, smoothing and improving edge quality by hand is tedious and tiresome work.

We’ve refined every other aspect of the manufacturing process; it’s time now to bring your edge finishing procedures into the present. Don’t get left behind; using a rotary brush machine to improve your edge quality will have a far-reaching positive impact on your manufacturing process.

Save Time with Rotary Brush Machines

Time is money, as the saying goes, and spending hours refinishing your product’s edges is both impractical and inefficient. Timesavers is proud to be a long-leading manufacturer in the deburring and metal finishing technologies arena, and with our array of belt and orbital sanders, slag grinders, straight-grain finishing machines, and dust collection systems, we’ve done more than our fair share to modernize the industry.

Anyone in metalworking knows that burr removal is only one part of proper edge care. When working with products produced by stamping, laser, or flame-cutting operations, you want your finished product to be burr-free and have the highly sought-after straight-line finish. But traditional edge belt sanders leave behind razor-sharp edges, meaning that those who produce materials for the medical or food processing industries need to commit more finishing time to dull these sharp points.

By adding a rotary brush machine to your manufacturing process, you’ll be able to eliminate burrs while smoothing edges at the same time, saving you time and money. After all, that’s what Timesavers is all about.

Inside Rotary Brush Performance

We did not simply stumble upon our innovative rotary brush design. We went through many rounds of trial and error facilitated by years of research to create our current rotary brush design. It was through partnerships with both abrasive suppliers and our sister company in Holland that we were able to come to some surprising conclusions.

First, a barrel-shaped wheel (as opposed to the traditional sanding belt) performs exceptionally well when trying to eliminate sharp edges and burrs. But we learned that solid brushes on the same design leave something to be desired. It was this realization that led our engineers to craft a rotary brush that was comprised of thousands of abrasive flaps, as opposed to one solid mass.

Our next innovation came through observing that when we mounted a few pairs of our new abrasive flap brushes to a carousel assembly over a moving conveyor belt, we were able to feed parts beneath our new brushes, where they would then be hit with abrasion on all sides.

While this method may sound aggressive, the effect is almost disarming in its gentle nature. Plated or film-coated parts can be fed through our rotary brush machines to achieve a smooth and consistent edge break all-around without any damage. There’s no need to sacrifice any measure of handling to achieve the edge quality your products require.

How Rotary Brush Machines Can Work For You

The beauty of a Timesavers rotary brush machine lies in its ability to adapt to your needs. With our rotary brush machines, you have the ability to adjust not only the abrasive grit of the brush’s flaps, but the brush interference, feed speed, and speed of the brushes themselves. Between these many variables, vast levels of edge rounding can be achieved. But beyond edge finishing, our rotary brush machines can produce unique industrial finishing multidirectional touches, like random scratches and other tasteful adornments.

As stated above, while the absence of burrs and sharp edges is one of the most attractive results of our rotary brush machine, its longevity and ability to save you time contribute to its appeal for most manufacturers. Many of our customers, such as Dan Bickel, Operations Manager at Nercon Engineering and Mfg Inc., have been astounded by their Timesavers rotary brush machines. Nercon was faced with a difficult task as their products are often built from irregularly shaped stainless steel parts that are full of internal slots, holes, and edge profiles. The company was spending hundreds of hours manually deburring, but once a Timesavers rotary brush machine was added, their deburring department has been able to go from four employees to just one, and their new Timesavers machine now produces “consistent edge quality, every single time.”

Learn More About Rotary Brush Machines

Industrial finishing doesn’t need to be a tedious and time-consuming task. With the use of a Timesavers rotary brush machine, you can cut down on production time, eradicate burrs, and consistently achieve perfect edges. If you would like to learn more about our rotary brush machines, or any of our other unrivaled metalworking equipment, feel free to reach out to us today. We look forward to working with you to find the perfect edge quality solution that best suits your production needs and goals.

When it comes to cabinet finishing systems, there are numerous actions that need to take place before a cabinet enters the market. From its drawer sides to its toe kicks, every part of a cabinet needs to meet your company’s high standards before it can be released for sale. To bring you the best in cabinet finishing systems, Timesavers has partnered with Dubois. Dubois has been creating leading-edge finishing systems for over 50 years and aspires to the same high standards that Timesavers prides itself on, making the partnership a natural choice.

Through Dubois, we’re able to offer cabinet finishing systems that can handle every step of the cabinet finishing process, including door, drawer side, face frame, end panel, fill strip, and toe kick finishing. With a Dubois cabinet finishing system, you’ll benefit from exceptional quality and consistent finishes. When using a Dubois cabinet finishing system, your products will display beautiful, solid surfaces that reflect industry standards and market desires. Most importantly, Dubois finishing systems offer peerless reliability and boost productivity, delivering more predictable material usage patterns while improving your bottom line.

Finishing Doors with Timesavers & Dubois

The door finish is the most apparent feature on most cabinets. Those in the industry know that a well-designed door is what sells a cabinet. From homeowners to designers, anyone shopping for new cabinetry knows the value of a beautiful door finish. Being such an important aspect of a cabinet’s design, the last thing a manufacturer wants is a machine that delivers unpredictable results. You want to know that your finishing system will produce beautiful, easy-to-achieve results, every single time. And that’s exactly what you’ll get with a Dubois cabinet door finishing system.

The Dubois cabinet door finishing system has the ability to take white wood and transform it into any desired finish. This eliminates the possibility of having finished cabinet doors that vary in color or quality, like those you might find when finishing your cabinet doors manually. Additionally, with this technology, if a cabinet door ever needs to be replaced or your customer desires to expand their cabinetry, additional cabinets can be made to match the original order perfectly.

Finishing Your Entire Cabinet System with Timesavers & Dubois

While door finishings are the most visible part of a cabinet system, the behind-the-scenes pieces like drawer sides, face frames, end panels, fill strips, and toe kicks can’t be overlooked. Serious designers and experienced homeowners know that when it comes to their finished cabinet system, every piece is just as important as the next.

While the above-listed pieces may not be as visible as a cabinet door, our Dubois finishing systems treat them all as equally important. Many of the same technologies from the door finishing system are used to create the drawer, face, end panel, fill strip, and toe kick finishing systems. With a high production capacity, any of the Dubois finishing systems are able to run lineal lengths or cut-to-size pieces of white wood through your desired finishing and coating processes with ease.

And like the door finishing systems, you can be assured that your finished cabinet features will come out identically each time. Once the pieces have been run through our finishing systems and have received their solid finish, they’ll be ready for secondary operations and will resist scratching or abrading during the shipping and handling process.

Learn More About Cabinetry Finishing with Timesavers & Dubois Today

With over 120 years of combined experience, Timesavers and Dubois make the perfect team when it comes to cabinet finishing systems. If you’d like to learn more about cabinet finishing, we urge you to give our experienced team of experts a call. Or, if you’re ready to develop a cabinet finishing system that’s right for your needs, the Dubois team would be more than happy to help.

Heavy stock removal is the process of clearing away large amounts of material (or stock) from a workpiece. For wooden pieces, heavy stock removal necessitates robust sanding or planing solutions with the power and durability to tear through the material quickly and evenly. However, the proper heavy stock sanding machine for you depends largely on the specific materials and production systems you’re working with. Moreover, heavy stock removal machines can be customized with different heads to make them more effective for certain applications. With so many variables to account for—including different machine sizes and manufacturing brands—it can be difficult for a woodworking shop to pin down exactly which heavy stock machinery they should invest in. That’s why we’re here to provide some guidance on the subject.

At Timesavers, we’ve been producing leading-edge sanding solutions for metalworking, woodworking and specialty materials for over 70 years. We’ve developed durable, reliable machines for almost every woodworking process you can imagine, including heavy stock removal, so we know a thing or two about the difficulties of choosing the right solution for this demanding application. Today, we’ll be giving you a rundown on a few of our heavy stock removal machines and how they can help you overcome common challenges related to the process.

1. The YIELDSAVER

The YIELDSAVER (knife planer) is a compact and powerful two-headed top/bottom machine that quickly centers each board being processed, eliminating fixed cuts from thin boards and roller splits of material. With a 7” maximum opening height, large cutter head drive motors, and preloaded airbags to mitigate upper frame movement, the YIELDSAVER is a highly reliable planer solution. Its size also helps with one of the most prominent issues affecting woodworking shops: space constraints. This machine enables your team to effortlessly remove heavy stock from pieces without having to rearrange or remove other production systems to accommodate its size.

Another key problem woodworkers encounter during heavy stock removal is limited machine lifespan, especially when they’re working with tougher wood materials. Regrettably, many planing machines on the market aren’t equipped to withstand prolonged production sessions, causing their parts to malfunction or break completely within a short time. The YIELDSAVER features a heavy duty machine frame (made right here in the USA) and strong 7” diameter knife heads with carbide inserts, ensuring that it will endure and thrive in even the most demanding production lines. Put simply, if you’re in need of a machine that offers exceptional yields and a consistent leading-edge finish in small to mid-sized applications, then the YIELDSAVER should be at the top of your list.

2. The 5300 Series

Our 5300 Series (knife planer) solutions are designed and built with large-scale heavy stock removal in mind. These powerhouse machines feature up to four heads, using a powerful cutter head (which includes four-side replaceable carbide inserts) followed by a contact drum and/or combination heads to rip through boards with speed and perfect precision. 5300 Series machines bring a maximum of 125 horsepower on its sanding heads and 60 HP on cutter heads—more than enough to finish virtually any production needs.

Operator safety is another chief concern among woodworkers dealing in heavy stock removal, and that’s an aspect of 5300 Series machines that truly shines. All of these solutions include a hardy infeed safety stop bar and door interlocks to ensure maximum operator protection. Pair these invaluable safety features with infeed anti-kickback fingers, and it’s no surprise why woodworking shops around the country trust in 5300 Series machines to deliver safe and incredibly cost-effective results during heavy stock removal operations.

3. The 3300 Series

Looking for a medium-sized heavy stock removal machine that balances compact size with outstanding horsepower? Look no further than our 3300 Series wide belt sanders. These sanding solutions are ruggedly built to provide a long life of peerless performance. They’re also highly versatile, being capable of completing wide belt sanding and calibrating, panel sanding, and heavy stock removal. The most appealing aspect of the 3300 Series lies in their customization features. You can build your machine with up to four heads, different abrasive belt lengths, bottom head configurations and more, ensuring that it meets and surpasses your exact production needs.

Contact Timesavers Today

Would you like to learn more about heavy stock removal and the best machines to complete this process? If so, then be sure to call or message Timesavers. We can connect you with one of our woodworking specialists, who can provide all of the resources and counsel you need to better understand and perform heavy stock removal in your shop. Also, feel free to shoot us a message if you’re interested in finding out more about Timesavers or our wide selection of customization features (ranging from knife heads to steel drums) for heavy stock removal machines. We’re here to help with anything you need to make your team’s production system faster and more profitable.

Whether you’re working on furniture, flooring or any other type of woodworking project, orbital sanders are invaluable tools that can help you achieve a flawless finish. These machines come in a variety of different sizes and styles, allowing you to choose an ideal product for the specific materials and finishes you specialize in. Industrial orbital sanders can also be outfitted with a selection of heads, enabling even greater customization and fostering faster production rates and a consistent finish. However, with so many orbital sanding solutions to choose from, it can be difficult for many woodworkers to determine which of these machines will work best for their production needs and constraints, especially if it’s their first time investing in one of these products. That’s where we come in.

At Timesavers, we’ve spent the past 70+ years manufacturing industry-leading woodworking solutions for woodworkers across the nation. Our wood sanders leverage optimized designs and the most durable components in existence, delivering outstanding power, performance and longevity. Our team also understands the many challenges that modern woodworkers face when selecting and utilizing their sanders, which is why we offer all of the support and counsel our customers need to find and use the right machines for their unique applications. No matter how demanding or specific your production requirements are, Timesavers aspires to set you up with a long-term, efficient and affordable sanding solution that positions you for success. That’s why we’ll be walking you through the differences between handheld and industrial orbital sanders to empower you with the knowledge needed to find the perfect orbital sander and maximize its production potential.

Handheld Orbital Sanders

If you jump online and search for orbital sanders, odds are good that you’ll see a massive variety of handheld machines. These compact solutions aren’t as powerful as belt sanders (making them a poor choice for leveling uneven wood surfaces or altering the shape of a board), but they do excel at smoothing moderately rough surfaces that don’t need to be calibrated. Moreover, handheld orbital sanders are incredibly effective as finish sanders. Because these machines simultaneously spin in circles while vibrating back and forth, they don’t leave noticeable streaks in the wood, resulting in a nice, smooth finish. This unique feature makes handheld orbital sanders very useful for small sections of wood flooring and cabinets. Pair this perk with their dust collection capacity and portability, and it’s not hard to see why many small to mid-sized woodworking shops employ handheld orbital sanders for their applications.

Despite the benefits of handheld orbital sanders and orbital sander sandpaper, they aren’t necessarily the best finishing solutions for your needs. These machines sacrifice power and size for high portability, meaning that they simply don’t have the horsepower or surface area to consistently finish large stretches of flooring, furniture or other big projects. They’re perfect for small-scale projects and detail work, but lack the strength and durability to handle long production runs for operations like cabinet, millwork or furniture production. Consequently, you should think of handheld orbital sanders as tools for finishing small wood pieces and key sections of larger ones.

Industrial Orbital Sanders

Unlike their compact cousins, industrial orbital sanders are incredibly powerful machines that are designed to finish large wood pieces during long production cycles. They excel at removing the cross-grain scratches left behind by wide belt sanders, preventing them from showing through once the wood is stained. Also, bear in mind that industrial orbital sanders are significantly more customizable than handheld orbital sanders, allowing you to use a combination of different head variants and machine options to suit your materials and desired finish types. Here’s a rundown on some of our industrial orbital sanders to give you a better understanding of your options:

The 2300 Series

The 2300 Series Orbital is a compact, resilient machine that combines a dual motion orbital head design with a “quick change” abrasive feature, making it easy to swap out abrasive belts for different production runs. Thanks to these features and a variety of head types (including combination, single pad orbital and brush), this solution is an excellent choice for small to mid-sized cabinet, millwork and furniture plants.

The 3300 Series (Single Pad)

Our 3300 Series Single Pad Orbital uses a combination of up to four drum, orbital or combination heads to optimize the efficiency and profitability of your production processes. This machine is designed to perform and excel in medium to large-sized cabinet, furniture and millwork production lines.

The 3300 Series (Twin Pad)

The 3300 Series Twin Pad Orbital is the fastest feed-through orbital machine we produce, utilizing up to four combination, brush or orbital heads to sand almost any type of wood imaginable. Its power, speed and operator-friendly control features make the Twin Pad Orbital a perfect choice for almost any orbital sanding application.

The 5300 Series

The 5300 Series Twin Pad Orbital is the most powerful orbital sander we’ve ever manufactured. This massive machine uses heavy, highly durable parts and twin 5” orbital pads powered by independent 7.5 HP motors to finish even the toughest types of wood. This combination of raw strength and resilience make the 5300 Series ideal for prolonged use in medium to large-sized cabinet, millwork or furniture plants.

Contact Timesavers Today

Not sure about which orbital sanding machines or techniques you should use to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of your production processes? Then be sure to call or message Timesavers. You can also send us a message if you’re interested in learning more about us or some of our top-quality woodworking solutions. We’re here to provide you with any additional support or resources you need to achieve the best results for your woodworking project.

The woodworking industry is constantly evolving and expanding in response to new practices and products. To keep pace with these exciting changes and ensure that your team is fully leveraging all the tools at its disposal, it’s critical to find reliable educational sources on the field. By staying well informed on shifts and innovations in the world of woodworking, you can capitalize on the latest and greatest production systems before competitors are even aware of them, staying at the forefront of your field through optimal efficiency and product quality. But with so many publications and online resources available, it can be difficult to pin down which sources of information are worth your time and consideration.

At Timesavers, we pride ourselves in helping you maximize the efficiency, safety and profitability of your woodworking operations. That’s why we produce some of the most powerful and reliable wood sanding solutions the industry has to offer. We’re also passionate about providing all of the guidance and support you need to better understand and thrive in the field of woodworking. So today, let’s discuss five of our favorite educational sources on woodworking. You can rely on these resources for invaluable industry updates and advice on how to make your production processes even more effective.

1. Woodworking Network

Woodworking Network is a great resource for woodworkers to discover and discuss new technologies, supplies, techniques and sources of inspiration with fellow professionals. Regardless of the size or specialty of your shop, you’re sure to find fresh ideas and insights here. Woodworking Network is one our favorite ways to keep tabs on changes in the industry. The site posts several articles on recent woodworking news each day, meaning that there’s never a shortage of exciting content to digest. Whether you’re looking to study up on a particular type of woodworking, discuss your craft with other experts, admire fun creative projects or simply stay briefed on industry changes, Woodworking Network is the place to be.

2. The Wood Whisperer

The Wood Whisperer produces educational videos, podcasts and blogs on a massive variety of woodworking topics. Its founder and leading contributor, Marc J. Spagnuolo, is an expert woodworker with years of experience in creating and refinishing studio furniture and standard cabinetry. His insights into the world of woodworking range from tips and tricks on equipment maintenance to optimal sanding and finishing techniques. Our favorite aspect of The Wood Whisperer’s content is that it’s lighthearted and lively, a far cry from the many dry and dull videos and guides on woodworking plaguing the net. On top of his wealth of professional content, Spagnuolo occasionally throws in random creative projects that are very entertaining. We highly recommend The Wood Whisperer to any woodworkers looking for compelling advice and inspiration for new projects.

3. WOOD Magazine

WOOD Magazine offers a variety of woodworking how-to guides, project plans and information on wood materials and supplies. The magazine’s website provides hundreds of professional articles on wood finishing techniques, veneer and inlay, sanding and abrasives, glues and adhesives, dust collection and more. This site even features professional and subscriber reviews on a selection of woodworking tools and machines, allowing you to discover and research prospective additions to your shop. WOOD Magazine is a fantastic source for woodworkers seeking creative project plans and lessons on how to make their production systems safer and more efficient.

4. Popular Woodworking Magazine

Popular Woodworking Magazine is essentially a collection of professional articles and insights from some of America’s finest woodworkers. It collaborates with industry experts, like Roy Underhill from The Woodwright’s Shop, to introduce readers to fresh woodworking techniques and technologies. One of the most interesting facets of Popular Woodworking Magazine is that it emphasizes the philosophy of hybrid woodworking, which marries hand tool and power tool techniques to make beautiful, unique projects. This source also provides “SketchUp” models for almost every project, allowing readers to study and emulate them with incredible accuracy. We recommend checking out the Popular Woodworking Magazine website if you’d like to discover wood finishing tips, tricks and projects from some the industry’s best and brightest.

5. Fine Woodworking

Fine Woodworking is a popular publication from The Taunton Press. The magazine’s website features over 900 tips, tools and techniques. Fine Woodworking also hosts in-depth interviews and professionally produced videos of leading woodworking experts discussing their favorite machines and processes. The most impressive aspect of this source is its content diversity. Fine Woodworking provides comprehensive information on carving, furniture production, inlay and veneering, joinery, materials, milling, shaping, sharpening and much more, making it a valuable educational resource for virtually any type of woodworker.

Contact Timesavers Today

Interested in finding other reliable and compelling sources on woodworking? Then don’t hesitate to call or message Timesavers. You can also reach out to us for additional information on some of our industry-leading industrial woodworker tools and wood sander models. We’re here to help with anything you need.

Heavy slag (also known as dross) is an issue usually associated with flame cutting or plasma cutting plate steel. A machine configured for slag grinding is capable of removing this difficult burr in a single pass! This refined slag removal process can save your operators significant time and boost their overall efficiency while simultaneously increasing the quality and consistency of your finished parts, substantially boosting your bottom line. However, if you want to fully capitalize on the benefits these systems offer, you’ll need to invest in a high-quality machine that aligns seamlessly with your current production requirements.

At Timesavers, we specialize in designing and manufacturing industry-leading sanding machinery for both wood and metal fabricators. Over the last 70 years, we’ve collaborated with metalworkers of every size and specialty to implement smart, cost-effective solutions for their specific applications. Our overarching goal is to provide the resources your team needs to meet and exceed its production goals, no matter how ambitious or demanding they are. We also understand that it can be tough to pin down which machine your shop should invest in to achieve maximum value with its slag removal operations. That’s why we’ll be taking a few minutes today to help you find the optimal slag grinder for your metalwork production line. But before that, let’s take a moment to review why these machines are the best choice for large-scale slag removal.

A Rundown on Slag Grinders

Slag grinders are durable machines that grind metal parts as they’re fed through, removing all heavy slag quickly and effectively. These machines use a series of grinding belts and brushes to effortlessly tear through even the heaviest dross accumulations. When an unfinished part is first fed through, its heavy burrs are knocked down by a high speed drum. From there, a highly flexible, diamond-profiled roller is activated, rounding off the edges of the parts. After this grinding process is complete, parts are passed over by high-density steel wire brush, removing any remaining sharp edges and leaving behind a beautifully finished product every time.

Customization is Key

Every type of metal and part shape bears unique properties and limitations, meaning that a slag removal process that works flawlessly for one of your products could damage or destroy another. That’s why it’s essential to choose a slag grinder that can be configured to create a great finish for your specific applications. Thankfully, high-quality slag grinders—like the ones we produce at Timesavers—include a number of unique, operator-friendly features that can be used to further optimize your slag removal operations. For example, the special machine execution we’ve implemented for our 2200 Series machines includes transport speed adjustments, precise material thickness settings, belt tracking regulators and grinding pressure adjustment, allowing you to tweak your slag removal system to fit your exact specifications. Moreover, these machines offer convenient transport extensions, making it even easier to incorporate them into your current production system. Pair these outstanding features with their simple belt changing features, and it’s no surprise why thousands of metal fabricators across the nation invest in Timesavers heavy slag removal solutions when they need to optimize their metalworking operations.

Prioritizing Operator Safety

Above all else, the safety of your team members is at the forefront of every decision. After all, without proper safety systems in place, the process of slag grinding can be highly dangerous for operators. One lapse in concentration is all it takes for a worker to experience a severe injury if their hands get too close to the machine while feeding parts down the line. Fortunately, quality machines like ours are outfitted with a wealth of safety features to mitigate these threats. Timesaver slag grinder machines are equipped with many safety features, including: interlocked doors, emergency stop push buttons in all 4 corners, overthick sensing device, disc brakes on sanding heads, etc. All of this in addition to separating the operator from the actual grinding process, abrasives, sparks, dust, and reducing operator fatigue/repetitive motion injuries.

Contact Timesavers Today

Would you like to learn more about Timesavers or some of the unrivaled metalworking equipment we manufacture? Then be sure to call or message us. You can also reach out to us if you have more specific questions about heavy slag removal or need help with choosing a slag grinding system that meshes with your current production line. We want to work with you to find the perfect solution for your dross removal application.

If you specialize in metalworking, you already understand the importance of proper dust collection. Not only can the metal contaminants released during use of a sander pollute the air and dirty up your shop, but they also have the potential to cause dangerous thermal events that can harm employees and equipment. That’s where high-quality dust collectors come in. These machines gather metal grindings and store them in a secure containment space. However, to ensure that your dust collection process is as efficient and safe as possible, you’ll need to understand the best ways to operate and maintain these invaluable machines. And that’s where we come in.

At Timesavers, we produce the best woodworking and metalworking finishing machines in the industry. Our team has spent the past 70+ years engineering and manufacturing innovative finishing solutions. Above all else, our goal is to provide all of the guidance and support your shop needs to maximize production efficiency, safety and ROI. That’s why we’ll be taking a few minutes today to discuss the best way to use dust collectors for metalworking. But before we jump in, let’s take a moment to review how dust collectors function in the context of metalworking.

How Do Metalworking Dust Collectors Work?

Whenever you debur, finish or grind a ferrous or non-ferrous metal, it releases metal grinding debris into the air. This dust can create a number of issues regarding regulatory compliance, worker health and plant cleanliness. Airborne metal debris can also be combustible, resulting in hazardous fires and even explosions. To maintain employee safety, sanitation and air quality, metalworking shops will often invest in metalworking dust collectors to contain and control the dust generated by their finishing machines.

It’s important to note that there are two primary types of dust collection filtration systems: dry and wet. Dry filtration machines are essentially giant vacuum cleaners, simply sucking up and containing metal debris until they reach maximum capacity. Wet filtration models force all of the grinding debris into a tank of water, capturing and cooling it to mitigate the risk of fires and explosions. Because of this extra safety precaution, we generally recommend that metalworkers invest in wet filtration systems. Moreover, wet dust collection machines are relatively simple to operate and clean, making them an excellent choice for a range of metalworking operations.

Using & Maintaining a Wet Dust Collector

Now that you have a solid understanding of the benefits of wet dust collectors, let’s dive a bit deeper into how these machines are used and maintained. To begin, operators will connect their industrial grinding machine to the collector through ductwork. These pipes will transport the air—along with any airborne dust—into the wet dust collector, pushing them both directly into the water tank. This system will trap and neutralize any dangerous particulates. After production ends, operators will use a scoop to manually pull debris up and out of the water tank, leaving it prepared for the next run.

Beyond these simple operation steps, there are two vital factors that enable wet dust collectors to function correctly. CFM (cubic feet per minute) measures the volume of air being moved, and static pressure (Inches of Water) is the force of the air being moved. Without adequate CFM and static pressure, dust particles won’t be suspended effectively or conveyed to the dust collector. Fortunately Timesavers can help provide you with specific CFM and static pressure requirements for your specific machines and production systems.

If you’re looking to replace or upgrade your debris filtration machinery, be sure to look through our selection of dust collectors. We offer both portable and full-sized machines that are powerful and durable enough to meet and exceed your production requirements, no matter how demanding or ambitious they are. Also, be sure to check out this video on dust collection if you’re interested in learning more about how these incredible solutions work.

Contact Timesavers Today

Have any additional questions about dust collectors or metal finishing in general? Then be sure to call or message Timesavers. You can also contact us if you would like to learn more about our dust collection machines and how they can boost the efficacy of your metalworking projects. As always, we’re here to provide any resources you need to thrive.

Wide belt sanders are highly versatile machines that work well for a variety of woodworking applications. These powerful industrial solutions make use of combinations of contact drums and platens to finish wooden surfaces, holding tight tolerances while providing an exceptional end product. However, wide belt sanders come in a range of different sizes and designs to better suit specific types of woodworking projects, making it difficult to determine which specific sanding machine will work best for your unique production needs. Fortunately, the Timesavers team is here to ensure that this important investment pays dividends for your shop.

For the past 70+ years, Timesavers has led the industry in industrial sanding solutions for wood. We offer unrivaled service, support and products, which is why we have over 50,000 wide belt sanders in operation today. Above all else, our goal is to provide each customer we serve with all of the resources and support they need to optimize the quality and profitability of their woodworking processes. One of the most important steps in establishing an ideal production system is finding a wide belt sander that consistently delivers the high-quality finish you and your clients expect. So today, we’ll be diving into four important things you need to know before putting money down on a new wide belt sander.

1. Does Your Wide Belt Sander Allow for Fast Belt Changing?

Quick and easy belt changing plays a critical role in saving time and ensuring smooth operations during your shop’s sanding. If an abrasive belt breaks or wears down in the middle of a production run, this feature will keep your team on track toward its daily goals and prevent a simple belt issue from shutting down your operations for hours on end. Convenient belt changing can also be a huge boon for woodworking shops that work with a wide range of materials. If your wide belt sander needs to deliver multiple finish types, then it’s essential for the machine to be capable of swapping out to different abrasive belts quickly. It might seem insignificant at first glance, but this key feature will save your team hours of production time in the long term, fostering higher ROI.

2. Does Your Wide Belt Sander Include a Digital Readout?

Even if your new wide belt sander uses the most powerful and durable parts on the market, it won’t deliver exceptional results without the help of a digital thickness gauge. This invaluable readout can give operators exact measurements in inches (with optional fractions or millimeters), enabling them to perform incredibly accurate finishing at a glance. The accuracy of these solutions can measure within a thousandth of an inch, giving your finish a level of precision that few competitors can match. Most importantly, wide belt sanders with a digital thickness gauge are easy to calibrate and automatically retain memory ensuring consistency across multiple operators.

3. Is Your Wide Belt Sander Portable?

Portability is an absolute must for wide belt sanders that operate in complex or fast-paced production environments. This feature allows operators to quickly re-adjust the positioning of their machine or move it off of the production floor for maintenance. Luckily, some portable sanders feature unique designs with low weight distribution, providing solid stability when being moved from spot to spot. Portable wide belt sanders also make use of heavy-duty casters that swivel quickly and smoothly—such as the Timesavers SpeedSander—allowing for effortless maneuverability no matter how frantic your shop becomes.

4. Is Your Wide Belt Sander Safe?

The most important aspect of a wide belt sander is operator safety. Machines without proper safety precautions can put the well-being of your employees and equipment at risk. Fortunately, there are sanding machines with robust safety precautions to keep your employees and machinery in top form. The safest sanders are equipped with several standard and emergency stops that are strategically located within the operator’s reach, granting them total control and ensuring that your team members won’t be harmed by a slip-up or a momentary lapse in focus. Consequently, we highly recommend investing in wide belt sanders with high-quality emergency brake systems and other safety features.

Find the Perfect Wide Belt Sander Today

Look here if you’re interested in exploring our range of unrivaled solutions for wide belt sanding and calibrating. We offer a huge selection of fully customizable wide belt sanders and calibrating machines for almost any woodworking project imaginable. If you don’t find a sanding machine that meets your team’s exact needs and constraints, then don’t hesitate to call or message Timesavers. We can connect you with one of our Solutions Engineers to find a machine that works perfectly for your application.

Last but not least, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns about finding a wide belt sander for your woodworking shop. Whether you need information, support, quotes, parts, special services or just an expert source of advice, our team here at Timesavers is ready and willing to help.

Whether you specialize in producing doors, cabinets, metal parts or any other type of product, determining which sander is right for the job can be exceptionally challenging. After all, there are thousands of sanding machines at your disposal, and many of these models can be outfitted with a variety of different head types and abrasives to achieve specific results. Moreover, each type of substrate has unique properties that can have unexpected results when automating the sanding process, meaning that a sander that works beautifully for one product might damage or destroy another.

Here at Timesavers, we take pride in providing you with all of the resources you need to find the best machine for your application. That’s why we design and manufacture a massive selection of high-quality wet and dry woodworking and metalworking equipment, including finishing machinery, deburring machines, calibrating grinders, wide belt sanders, brush sanders and more. We’re also passionate about saving you time and money by giving you advice and direction on choosing the best machinery for your specific needs. Today, we’ll be teaching more about different sanders and how to find the perfect machine for the products you produce.

Wide Belt Sanders for the Woodworking Industry

Wide belt sanders are some of the most popular woodworking machines on the market. They’re designed to remove material from the top of wooden pieces until they reach a specified finish and thickness. These machines can be used with solid wood materials and composite boards (like plywood). Here are a few models of wide belt sanders that we offer and which types of products they work well with.

1. The SpeedSander

Timesavers Speedsander

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2. The 2300 Series Wide Belt

Our 2300 Series machines are durable workhorses that feature 75” or 103” abrasive belts for longer abrasive belt lives. They can be used for wide belt sanding and calibrating or finish sanding. Most importantly, the 2300 Series can be outfitted with up to four heads (either drum or combination heads), making them ideal for a number of woodworking projects. This line is perfect for use in mid-sized cabinet, millwork and furniture plants.

3. The 3300 Series Wide Belt

If you need a wide belt sanding machine that offers maximum performance during heavy use, then look no further than the 3300 Series. These machines are built to match the exact needs of each customer, and their components are large and durable enough for a long life of 24/7 production. 3300 machines can be equipped with contact drum, combination, brush, or orbital sanding heads, and each features a motorized feed speed and motorized lift for optimized efficiency and easy use. Most importantly, all 3300s utilize an in-feed safety stop bar and door interlocks to protect operators from harm. As a result of their extensive customization options, these machines can be used for almost any woodworking project, including panel sanding, heavy stock removal and wide belt sanding and calibrating.

3 Common Wide Belt Sander Problems

Although wide belt sanders are generally reliable machines, you’ll probably run into an issue while using one at one point or another. Whether it’s a problem with the belt or a visual defect in your workpiece, these problems are often easy to notice. However, isolating the root causes of these issues and fixing them can be much more difficult if you don’t have extensive knowledge of the machine.

Below, we’ll discuss several common wide belt sander problems and provide some tips on how to fix them and prevent them in the future:

1. Damaged or Broken Belt

If you’re constantly noticing frayed edges, tears or broken joints on sanding belts that are not near the end of their life span, there is probably something wrong. Some common causes of these issues include the following possibilities.

Excessive Loading

One of the most common causes for broken belts is excessive loading, which can result from foreign particles stuck in your machine or a workpiece that varies greatly in thickness. To prevent this, do the following:

  • Clean the workpieces: Make sure they’re free of dirt and other debris before you run them through the sander.
  • Ensure workpieces have the same thickness: Making sure they all have the same thickness will be much easier on your belt.
  • Double-check the grit sequence: Make sure you’re using the correct one so your machine can run correctly.

Bad Belt Joints

Bad belt joints can be caused by various things, including faulty manufacturing, which makes the joint pop and separate when under pressure. However, the most common cause is simply normal wear and tear. Over time, belt joints become weak and break. To prevent your belt from breaking prematurely, check the recommended belt direction.

Belts often have joints that can work well in both directions, whereas others can only go in one direction. If the belt you use is unidirectional, ensure it is going in the recommended direction.

Damage During Storing, Packing or Shipping

To maintain a belt’s integrity, you must pack and unpack it carefully. When storing a belt, don’t put it on the floor, as this will cause it to absorb moisture. Instead, hang it up.

Improper Tracking

If your belt has not been tracking correctly on your machine, it will slide off its rollers or become misaligned during operation, which will likely lead to a tear. There are various causes of improper tracking, which we’ll cover in the following section on wide belt sander maintenance.

2. Improper Belt Tracking

A belt that doesn't track properly will misalign during operation or slide off its rollers

A belt that doesn’t track properly will misalign during operation or slide off its rollers. Improper tracking can also lead to premature wearing or breaking of the belt. Improper tracking can result from various issues related to laser eye, belt cut, incorrect abrasive storage, uneven rollers or tension pressure.

Below, we’ll discuss each possible cause and show you how to perform wide belt sander troubleshooting:

  • Obstructed laser eye: A blocked laser eye can lead to belt tracking issues. To fix and prevent this issue, wipe the eye to make sure it’s clean and dust-free.
  • Improper tension pressure: Belt tracking problems can also be caused by improper tension — if the tension isn’t high enough, there will not be sufficient pull for the belt to stay in line. If the tension is excessively high, this can overwhelm the tracking cylinder. Always make sure the tension pressure is set to the value recommended by your manufacturer.
  • Removal rate problems: If you’re continually experiencing belt tracking problems, this may also be because you’re trying to take too much material out in a single pass. Higher removal rates can dislodge the belt.
  • Incorrectly cut belt: If your sanding belt wasn’t cut properly, this could also cause tracking issues. You can easily tell whether this has happened by visually inspecting the belt.
  • Improper storage of abrasive material: As we mentioned above, belts can absorb moisture, which will cause them to change shape. For this reason, store your belts by hanging them. Don’t put them on the floor — especially if it’s concrete.
  • Unparallel or uneven rollers: Improper belt tracking can also be caused by unparallel or uneven rollers. To determine whether your rollers are parallel, you can measure with a digital indicator and make adjustments accordingly. You can tell whether rollers are uneven by looking at them. If they are uneven, you will need to flatten or recoat them and then reinstall them.

3. Overloading or Belt Burning

Excessive loading means you will probably have to replace the belt frequently, which can quickly become costly. If there is excessive loading or your belt is burning and marking up your workpiece, there are likely process or technical problems you can address to solve the issue. We’ll discuss each of them below:

  • Worn-out belt: The burning or high loading you’re experiencing could simply be because the belt is worn out. However, if your belt is wearing out prematurely, you likely have another problem on your hands.
  • Removal rate problems: Removing too much material in a single pass can also cause burn or load problems. Each grit is designed to take out a certain amount at a time, and you should never skip more than one grit in a sequence.
  • Incorrect abrasive storage: Again, when storing your belts, hang them so they won’t absorb moisture and lose their shape.
  • Buildup of resin: Examine your workpieces to ensure they have no glue or resin accumulating on them before you run them through your machine. The glue or resin may melt onto your belt from the heat created by friction during the sanding. Accumulation on the belt may then cause burning and load problems.
  • Sanding in one place: If you’re using the same entry point every time you sand, consider varying it more. Using the same place on your belt can wear down that part quickly.
  • Inconsistent workpiece quality: If your workpieces aren’t dry or don’t have enough edge milling, this can lead to loading problems or burnt belts. Examine your workpieces before you put them in your sander to ensure the quality is consistent.

Find a High-Quality Sander at Timesavers

For over seven decades, Timesavers has been providing a wide variety of high-quality sanding machinery, including:

  • Wide belt finish sanders
  • Feed-through orbitals
  • Abrasive planers
  • Rough-lumber planers
  • Seal sanders
  • Brush sanders
  • Molding sanders
  • Veneer polishers

We also produce a variety of wet and dry metalworking machines, including finishing machinery, slag grinding machines, deburring machines and more.

To find a distributor near you, check out our Distributor Locator on our site. You can also reach out to us with questions using our form.

Find a High-Quality Sander at Timesavers