Monday, February 26, 2018

Double-Sided Sandpaper -- Woodworking Tip #21

I'd say at this point in my woodworking career I've folded 17,635 pieces of sandpaper for the purpose of hand-sanding. By hand-sanding I mean just that, nothing more than hand and sandpaper. Technically, of course, using a sanding block is hand-sanding, but so often more precision is required for such tasks as smoothing a joint, removing a blemish or scratch, especially smoothing curves or contours, etc. Nothing like fingers and a little piece of folded sandpaper does the trick. Doubling the sandpaper by folding it in half seems natural and provides better purchase. Years ago I thought wouldn't hand-sanding be easier if the two smooth sides were not always slipping and sliding about? This could be accomplished merely by gluing the fold together. As is often the case with our own best interests this fine approach to sanding was defiantly deferred. Until last week. I finally took the typical quarter sheet strip of sandpaper (2.75”x 9”) used on a standard sanding block, cut it in half, creased the pieces in two, sprayed the backsides with light duty adhesive and then folded the tacky surfaces together.  VoilĂ !  Using three sanding block strips I made a half dozen of these all at once.

The grip provided by the well-attached double surface allows use of every bit of the sandpaper right to the edges and corners. Five of these double-sided sandpapers proved sufficient to rough sand very effectively 10 of my wooden teaspoons. Even the hardest part, sanding the bowl of the spoon, went quite smoothly. While this specialty type of sandpaper is produced commercially, it is not commonly available. Gluing your own is quick, easy, inexpensive and right out of your own stock of sandpaper. In this case I am using Norton ProSand 180 grit, one of my own favorites. My regret is not doing this with piece #1 vs #17635. Try it yourself; you will be pleasantly pleased!

No comments: