Smart Jig Makes a Stack of Sanding Blocks
I encounter lots of odd smoothing, trimming, and chamfering tasks that are a challenge for a block plane or a chisel. Also, I don’t like to slow down to sharpen hand tools. In these situations most folks use sandpaper wrapped around a block, but I don’t like the way the sandpaper ripples and tears when used this way. That led me to develop a better sanding block. The paper is glued on, which keeps it flat and rigid for very accurate use. Also, the blocks have square, smooth edges so I can sand inside corners without damaging the adjacent surface. I make these blocks in several grits, from 80 to 220.
I use the blocks for sanding inside edges, smoothing surfaces too small for a block plane, making small chamfers on the inside edges of boxes and frames, sanding edges with difficult grain, cleaning up tenon cheeks, and even leveling and smoothing exotic inlays.
You need stacks of these blocks, because they must be discarded when dull. So I developed a simple jig that produces eight blocks at a time, perfectly sized to use one sheet of regular 9×11 sandpaper. After the glue cures, remove the blocks from the jig and cut them apart from the back, using a razor knife.
Michael Fortune, Warsaw, None