Using a Drum Floor Sander – Why and How?
Sanding your wooden floor is not always a simple task. In fact, in years gone by it would have been unthinkable to consider doing the work yourself, having no choice but to hire a professional to do the job for you. However, it has become more and more practical in recent years to hire the machines and do the work yourself, but as a novice, what machines do you need? While there are a variety of options available, one machine stands out as being the most important: The drum sander
What is the drum sander?
Perhaps the largest and most powerful sander commercially available for hire and even then not all shops will have this so it is worth checking and booking ahead of time. It is essentially composed of three main parts, the sander itself, and the drum (which is a large part of the machine) where long sections of sandpaper are attached in sheets, and the dust bag. It is worth remembering that the drum sander is heavy so you will need too people to lift it, and a vehicle to transport it. In addition, any time you rent a drum sander you will want a good selection of sandpaper gradients, and to overbuy on the amount as it is better to have too much than too little to work with.
Why do I need a drum sander?
When doing any job, you will always get the best results by using the most appropriate tool for the task at hand, and this is no different. The drum sander will remove layers from the wood quickly and with ease allowing you to get the results you need. Given how powerful it is it means it will remove everything, so be it a stain, or a bad spot it will be effective.
Some caution needed
Obviously with any powerful machine there are some pitfalls to its use which you would be wise to avoid. For example, as it removes everything from the floor if it is not used properly it can create divots or gouges in the wood, which may require some fine sanding by hand or with a vibrating sander to rectify. This is more likely if you haven’t used this machine before, so it is something that with practice will get easier. You can also lessen the likelihood of this happening by sending some time practising on a less visible area of the floor (possibly somewhere that is normally covered by furniture) or on a piece of scrap wood. This will give you an opportunity to get used to the weight and mobility (or at times lack thereof) of the drum sander so you can be completely comfortable using it on the main body of the floor.
In my opinion the drum sander is the most crucial piece of machinery you will need if you want to successfully sand your hardwood floors. It is heavy, and takes some getting used to, but it will do the job far better than any other machine available for commercial hire.
See our previous post on drum sander tips for more information.