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Video:How to Use an Orbital Sander

with Alex Nice

One of the best tools that you can have as a homeowner is the orbital sander. Whether you are prepping your walls for paint or refinishing an old piece of furniture, an orbital sander will make the job a snap. So how to use an orbital sander.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Use an Orbital Sander

Hi this is Alex Nice with About.com. One of the best tools that you can have as a homeowner is the orbital sander. It's called an orbital sander because it has a round base. Whether you are prepping your walls for paint or refinishing an old door or piece of furniture, this little guy is going to save you plenty of time. I'm going to show you how to use an orbital sander.

What You'll Need

What you're going to need is some sanding pads, your orbital sander and a good dust mask. The round base of your orbital sander is where you're going to stick your sanding pads. What you're going to do is line up the holes that are on your sander and the holes that are on your sanding pad and you stick it on, kind of like Velcro.

Choosing Sanding Paper

Sanding paper and sanding pads have different size grits to them. In the store, these are labeled by number, usually between 60 and 240. You can see the difference in texture as well. For a rough piece of wood, you want to use about a 60. If you're prepping a wall for paint, or painting a patch of dry wall you want to use between 100 and 150. If you're doing very fine work, you want the number to be even higher, 220 to 240. Let's say if you were refinishing your cabinet in your kitchen.

Positioning the Orbital Sander for Use

Your orbital sander plugs into any standard outlet. Before you sand anything, you're probably going to kick up a lot of dust so just get yourself a dust mask and protect your lungs. Whatever you're sanding, you want to make sure you have it held down firm and flat. Then you lay the base of your sander on top of whatever you're sanding and then you turn it on.

Sand in Slow Circles

When you're sanding, make sure you're putting on medium pressure, and you can sand in long slow circles moving across whatever you're sanding and back. When you're done sanding, turn off your orbital sander holding it flat and don't let go of it till it stops running. Now you can unplug your sander and if you want to use that sanding pad later you can just peel that off of there.

Sweeping Up

Looks like I've got some sweeping to do. But now that you know how to use your orbital sander, you can start refinishing that old door or that old table downstairs.

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