Thursday, February 2, 2012

Make a Sanding Block

I recently patched a bit of the subfloor in our kitchen.  To level the repair, I spread some putty, and needed to quickly sand it flat before gluing the resilient tile down.  I have a couple of rubber sanding blocks, but I wanted something really flat and solid, so I made a wooden block.  I think I'll make a few more, so I can keep them loaded with a range of grits.
Basically, it's a chunk of wood with a couple of raised ridges on the back.  You can either cut out the wood between the ridges, like I did, or glue two strips on top.  Then you wrap sandpaper around the block and clamp it down by screwing a retainer piece between the strips.  I made mine flat, but you could make it curved to fit your hand.  Flat stacks better for storage.
Another note on rubber sanding blocks: I originally got a black one at Home Depot.  It sucks.  The rubber is too stiff to bend the flaps back for loading.  I got a couple of red natural rubber ones at Rockler that are far better.
Sandpaper sheets are a standard size.  Plan for that when you make a block.  Also, here's a little jig I made to quickly cut sandpaper.  Just lay it abrasive side down an cut it with a razor blade, following the edge of the jig to make a nice straight line.
Standard sandpaper sheets are 9x11 My block is 5 x 2.75

Soft rubber commercial block on the left, my homemade wooden block on the right