How To Sand Metal

Rust is the bane of metal surfaces. Rust forms when air, water, and iron are present. These three things are all around us, so it’s no wonder that rust occurs on metal objects. Where metal meets air and moisture, rust will eventually find its way onto the surface.

Luckily enough, there are ways to remove rust from metal without having to sand down the whole surface. Sanders for metal are great for medium sanding jobs which do not require a lot of material removal.

In this article, we will cover how to use a belt disc sander to remove rust from a metal surface.

When to Use a Belt Disc Sander on a Metal

When sanding a metal surface, it is important to know the properties of the material properly. You also have to decide why you are going to sand it. A small finishing touch can also be done by hand, power tools, or hand tools.

A belt disc sander is good for removing rust from a metal surface. It is important to know the different types of sanders that are available and have an idea about what type will work best on the material in question.

For small to medium metal sanding jobs, belt disc combo sanders are a perfect choice. Removing rust or shaping the metal piece can be easily done by it.


Other Ways of Metal Sanding 

  • For larger jobs that require removing a lot of material, grinding will be required using either a pedestal grinder or power tool such as an angle grinder attachment. You can also use a mixture of steel wool and oil to remove rust in certain situations. 
  • Don’t forget about the power washing technique! Using an electric or gas pressure washer, you can blast away all that pesky rust from metal quickly and efficiently without much hassle at all.
  • Metal Sanding can also be done by hand. For that, you can buy metal abrasive paper at any hardware store for a more efficient job! 

How To Sand Metal

Important Reminder

Always remember You should wear protective gear when doing this to avoid injury from flying sparks and powdery substances!

In this article, we will only talk about how to sand a metal surface to remove rust using a power sander.

Step 1: Preparation

The first thing you need to do before using a belt disc sander is getting it set up! You want to make sure that all safety features are enabled so as not to harm yourself while operating the equipment, and also making sure everything else like dust collection systems or other devices such as clamps were installed properly beforehand. 

Once this has been done, your machine should be ready for use!

Prepare your workspace. Make sure you have adequate floor and table surface area for the task at hand (sanding) and make certain that all items in close proximity are safely covered or removed from the working area before the start

Step 2: Follow the Safety measures

Before you start, clean the dust bag properly so that no wood dust particle remains. When sanding, the sander may create sparks & by mixing with the sawdust, it can start a fire. Turn off any power sources near where you plan on working with the belt disc sander. 

Step 3: Choose a proper sanding belt

When choosing a sanding belt, you have got a lot of options available. Be careful in choosing one. The grit needs to be chosen according to the surface condition.

Here are some sandpaper grits options you can go for:

Start with 40 grit, which is ideal if you’re going to be removing rust on metal from a large surface area and want an aggressive finish that removes material quickly.

You can also use 60 grit, which is best used when there are deep scratches or gouges in the metal with rust but not much corrosion present; it offers a smoother finish than other belts while still creating enough heat to remove some of the rougher areas near where cracks have formed. 

Or start with 80 grit, which can provide an effective way to remove heavier levels of corrosion without causing too much damage. Keep increasing the grits for a smoother surface.

Step 4: Start sanding

While sanding, follow these steps properly:

  • Hold the metal piece against the belt. 
  • Rotate the metal piece from where you want to remove the rust. Slowly move the piece forward & backward.
  • Avoid excessive downward pressure.
  • Hold the workpiece firmly with the workpiece pulling away.
  • Change the sandpaper grits if necessary. Make sure the metal piece is completely smooth before you finish.

Step 5: Finish the Job

Clean the sanding area with a damp rag to remove any debris. Use an air compressor and paintbrush, or soapy water for light rust areas to help loosen and flush out contaminants that might have been loosened during sanding. 

Rinse off all soap residue with both clean water and air dry.


Final words

Metal sanding to remove rust is not that much of a hard process but it can be risky. You just have to follow the safety measures properly. It can be done easily by following our vague instructions. 


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