How a Floor Sanding Edger WorksPrint
How a Floor Sanding Edger Works
When using a floor drum sander, it isn't possible to sand directly next to the wall. That is where the floor edger comes into play. Let's explore a few features of a floor edger which make is such an effective machine.
Floor sanding edgers generally use 5 Inch or 7 Inch sanding discs, with the 7 Inch being the most common size. Depending on the brand of edger, it might have a 5/16" or 7/8" center hole to accommodate a the arbor on the unit. For instance, an Essex Silverline SL7 Edger will likely use a 5/16" center hole and a Clarke Super 7 or Super 7R uses a disc with a 7/8" hole in the center.
The disc driver pad on the bottom where the sanding discs are attached is mounted at a slight angle. There are wheels at the back of the unit. In this configuration, only the front part of the discs come in contact with the floor. Because of this, for the proper operation and to reduce the chance of damaging the floor, the discs and the wheels should always be in contact with the floor. A floor edger should not be used on stairs or narrow areas.
For best practice, you should start the sander as it is tipped back on its wheels. Once it is as full speed, firmly lower the sander and keep both hands on the side handles, moving it as close to the walls as possible. Do not turn the machine off and let is sit as it can quickly make an undesirable and deep impression in the floor. If you are intimidated by the edger, start in an inconspicuous area, perhaps behind a door, just in case there is a glitch. Because it is a round disc, you will need to hand sand in the corners.
Concerning grits, you will need to use the same or very close grits as you use on the drum sander. If you start with 36 grit drum sandpaper, use 36 grit on the edger. Otherwise, you can get swirl marks and the floor will not be sanded to the same thickness as the drum sander sands.
Lastly, the edger combined with a drum sander does allow sanding within 1/4" of the walls or baseboards. Keeping in mind that it is best to remove at least the quarter round (base shoe) molding prior to sanding, which will be reinstalled after the finish is completed. This will cover up the very minimal area that the edger can't reach. As always, proper planning and prep prior to the project will lead to great results.