Hardy flooring for beach houses

How to Change the Sandpaper on a Palm Sander

A palm finishing sander is a great piece of kit that can save you a lot of time and pretty much guarantees a professional-looking finish to any sanding job. However, changing the paper on a palm sander can be a little fiddly until you become more practised, especially if you're a DIY beginner. Here's how to do it.

What you'll need

  • sandpaper
  • sharp utility scissors
  • a pencil

How to do it

  1. All makes of sander vary slightly in their construction, but the same basic method of removing and attaching the sandpaper is the same. First of all, inspect your sander to locate the retaining clamps.  These are usually sited at either side of the rectangular base of the sander. Have a look to see how the mechanism works; it should be a simple push-down, pull-up clip. If you're not sure how it works, check the manufacturer's guide for more information.  
  2. Lay out a sheet of sandpaper face down on a flat surface and place the sander on top of it. Move the sander into a position whereby you cover as much of the sandpaper as possible. This trick helps you to cut down on waste. Make sure that you have enough sandpaper to cover the whole base of the sander with a small overlap at either end.  
  3. Trace around the edge of the piece of sandpaper with a pencil.  
  4. Remove the sander and cut the sandpaper to size using your utility scissors and following your pencil guide.  
  5. Put the sander onto the sandpaper with the smooth side of the paper facing the base of the sander.  Trim away any excess paper from the sides of the sander's base so that the paper lies flush with it.  
  6. Undo the clamping mechanism on one end of the sander as indicated on the machine and attach one end of the sandpaper piece to it.   
  7. Wrap the remainder of the paper around the sander base, lifting the loose end of the paper up to the clamp at the opposite end of the sander.  
  8. Open the second clamp and attach the end of the sandpaper to it. Make sure that you pull the paper tight as you fasten it; you don't want any slack left over. If the sandpaper isn't fitted tightly enough, the sanding surface won't be as effective.  
  9. Plug the sander in to a power outlet and switch it on to test it.

In conclusion

Using a palm sander is a simple and very effective means of saving you time and elbow grease on floor sanding jobs. Changing the sandpaper is a quick and easy task if you follow the guidelines above.