Picking the right sander for the job

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From removing old peeling paint to putting a glass-smooth finish on a new cabinet, sanding is a part of life for any do-it-yourselfer. It can be a tedious and dusty proposition at times, but luckily over the years many manufacturers have introduced power sanders to make the task easier and less messy. Here's a look at the four main types of power sanders, along with some shopping tips for finding the one that works best for your specific applications. Belt Sander: A belt sander is the largest and the most heavy-duty of the different power sanders. A belt sander utilizes a continuous sanding belt that is stretched over two drums, one of which is rotated by a powerful electric motor. The belt lays flat against the bottom of the sander as it rotates, creating a long, wide sanding surface that sands quickly and lessens the chance of gouging into the wood. Belt sanders are best suited for fast stock removal and also leveling out imperfections, and are used with the direction of...