These tips and tricks for using sandpaper will help keep any project running smoothly.
When sanding, start with rough grit sandpaper, then move toward fine grit sandpaper. The larger the number is, the finer the grit paper. How fine the grit depends on the project – 220-grit paper is about as fine as needed when hand-sanding.
Remember, always sand with the grain of the wood, not against.
Use a block of wood when hand-sanding, rather than holding the paper against your hand. (Sandpaper tends to conform to the hand, preventing you from achieving a good surface with the wood.) Staple the paper to the block to keep it in place. Once the paper has been exhausted it can be easily removed.
Purchase sanding blocks at a hardware store or home center. Certain types of block have pins inside to lock the sandpaper in place. Pull one end of the block apart to remove the paper and replace it with a new piece.
A contouring sponge has sanding surfaces on all four sides, allowing access to the corners.
If power tools are preferred for sanding, a belt sander is a serious power selection. (Take care not to burn the material while using a belt sander.) The down-side to a belt sander is that it can't get into tight spaces; another tool will be needed for that.
A detail sander is a power tool that allows access into corners that a belt sander can't. It has a pointed end and the sanding pad goes past the body of the sander in order to get into the corner. The sanding pads have hook and loop tape on the back for easy removal.
For really odd-shaped edges, make some sanding sticks. Choose differently shaped dowels and attach sandpaper to them with staples or double-sided tape.
Sponge-backed sandpapers are helpful when working with pieces that have round or uneven edges. If sponge-backed sandpaper is not an option, use a deck of cards to help sand contoured edges. Take the cards out of the box and wrap a piece of sandpaper around them. While sanding, the deck of cards will conform to the contour and allow access to those difficult spaces.
Tips on Using a Spokeshave
Spokeshaves can be used to shape chair spindles and round surfaces. Use these tips to make the most effective cuts.
Tips on Using Cutting Guides
Cutting a long piece of wood can be difficult unless you have a great tool to assist you. Check out these guides that can make getting the perfect cut easy.
Tips on Using a Router Table
Router tables allow users to run wood over the router instead of running the tool over the wood. Here are a few tips on using a router table, ensuring safety and accuracy.
Stationary Power Tool Tips
There are three crucial pieces of equipment in a woodshop: the jointer, table saw and the band saw. Check out tips and advice on using and placing these core power tools.
Tips on Choosing the Right Router
Follow these tips from DIY experts and it'll be easy to choose and use a router.
Sandpaper Storage Tips
Almost every project uses some sort of sandpaper or sanding device. Check out these tips for storing and organizing sandpaper.
These expert tips and hands-on techniques from Restoration Realities can be used in many of your restoration projects.
Tips for Using Fasteners as Temporary Joints
Knock-down fasteners create temporary joints for furniture. They long have been used on projects ranging from store-bought bookcases to decks.
Finishing Machine Tips
A finishing machine – a combination belt and disc sander – makes sanding and finishing projects a lot less time-consuming.
When making carefully crafted parts for furniture or cutting the same design into several pieces of wood at once, the band saw is the tool of choice -- and one of the most versatile tools available.
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