|When setting up the drum with a single grit for stock wider than 9", you'll get better results cutting the paper at an angle where they meet. Otherwise you'll end up with a line at the joint between the paper. I have a 1" overlap here, but even just a 1/4" is enough.||
The main safety rules for operation are to never operate the machine without the guard and the operator's hands never pass under the guard. Since the rotation of the drum is against the feed, it wants to throw the stock back at the operator, but it doesn't have the force you would see in a kickback situation at the table saw. Be aware that short stock can sometimes very quickly get turned around and come back at you if you aren't pushing it through in line with where the sanding action is taking place, which tends to happen with stock that isn't flat.
I use a push block to help feed the stock for the last several inches. I have a couple of these blocks with different thicknesses.
There is a tendency for snipe at the end of the cut if you don't apply a little bit of down pressure at the back at the end of the pass. The key to a good result is the technique in maintaining a constant feed rate. The idea is not to push the stock through as quickly as possible, but to maintain a constant slow speed. Typically I am using both hands at the front of the machine until the end of the stock reaches the front edge of the table. Then I transition to using using the push block in my right hand while continuing to push with my left. Then I switch to doing all the pushing with my right hand as I reach over the machine with my left. On thinner stock that you can grasp the edges of with one hand it's not necessary to use the push block, you can just pull it through, but I usually use the push block anyway as I feel it gives more consistent results.
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