Sanding is easily my least favorite part of woodworking but I know that it is a very important step because sanding is one of the major steps that determine how you finished project will look. I force myself to take my time and do a good job, but that doesn't make the whole process any less tedious. The one hope I have is that I can come up with some accessories and modifications that can help, even in a small way, to make my sanding at least more bearable.
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Here are a few of the things I do to help make my sanding jobs easier ...
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I sometimes purchase sanding blocks if I think they are unique, but I often just make my own from 2-inch wide stock I have left over from one project or another. I make my sanding blocks, 3/4" x 5-1/4" x 2" and I also cut a slot about 1/4" from one side or the other, about 3/8" deep, although depth really doesn't matter too much as long as you don't go too deep. I use one of the Freud 7-1/4" circular saw blades in my table saw to cut the blanks and especially to cut the slot. I have found that a thinner slot works best for making sure the sandpaper doesn't slide around on the wooden sanding block.
Another thing I learned was that if you attached a small piece of that sticky-backed foam available from many, many different stores, that this also helps improve he quality of my hand sanding.
I seem to be cutting my full sheets of sandpaper into smaller pieces of a fairly regular basis. For this, I made myself a small sandpaper cutter out of a small piece of leftover plywood I had laying around. I simply attached a hacksaw blade to one edge using bolts on each side to secure it to the plywood. I also marked the base of the sandpaper cutter with some lines so that no matter what sandpaper I am cutting, and whether it is vertical or horizontal cuts, I can make a good job of cutting the plywood.
Anti Skid Base
I found years ago, that the rubberized anti skid base that I purchased for my router, works exceedingly well on for my sanding jobs too, whether I am hand sanding or using my random orbital sander I always lay my piece of wood on the anti skid matte and sand away, The material stops the piece I am working on from moving around and protects it from further damage in the sanding process by ensuring it is sitting on a soft, well-protected pad.
Flat Surface Sander
For sanding small pieces it's often much better and easier to use sandpaper that has been glued down to a flat substrate material and more you wood over the sandpaper than the other way around. I use this sanding adaption a lot, especially for smaller pieces, especially for things like door knobs and handles because that way I can keep the ends even and flat and they just sit better when attached to my projects.
Lots of different options when it comes to sanding ...
Copyright Colin Knecht