Some people really get into sanding. I mean really. Here are some of the nifty tricks they’ve come up with in their never-ending quest for sanding Nirvana.
If you’re sanding an intricately shaped molding, it can be tough to get into all the nooks and crannies without dulling the corners and sharp edges. One trick is to mold your own custom sanding block. Take a piece of the trim, and fit a piece of wax paper tightly into the profile. Now add successive layers of auto body filler, completely filling the gaps. Let each layer set up a bit before adding more. When it’s dry, you have a sanding block perfectly fitted to the job at hand.
Not into the potential for mess? You could try doing the same thing with foam insulation. Butt the foam against the molding, and trace the profile on the edge. Using a band saw, file, or the tool of your choice, shape the foam as close as possible to the molding profile. To finish off, glue some sandpaper to the molding, grit side up, and rub the foam block back and forth to remove the excess.
But maybe you find your sandpaper is cracking up when folded over your new-fangled custom block. This can be a problem with any block or when sanding curved surfaces. You can minimize this problem in a couple of ways. Before using it, pull the sandpaper — grit side up — back and forth over the edge of the workbench a number of times. This gives the paper a little more flexibility. You can also reinforce the back with duct tape.
More sanding secrets next time.