DIY Network

Sandpaper Storage Tips

Almost every project uses some sort of sandpaper or sanding device. Check out these tips for storing and organizing sandpaper.

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storage system for sandpaper is easy to build

Sandpaper comes in three basic forms:

  • Sanding sheets
  • Sanding belts for belt-sanders
  • Sanding discs for orbital sanders

Sandpaper also comes in a variety of "grits" or grades of texture, from extra fine to extra course. There are also types for sanding wood or for other materials such as metal. To keep the varieties and grades of sandpaper organized and easy to access, consider building a sandpaper storage shelf.

Sandpaper Storage System
This handy storage system is easy to build, consisting of a simple wooden box with shelves.

Slots are dado-cut into the side pieces to accommodate individual shelves.

Begin with five pieces of wood to form the box. The pieces are miter-cut at their ends so that they can be glued together.

Before the box is assembled, slots are dado-cut in the two side pieces at regular intervals. To make sure that the slots match exactly in the opposing sides, make the dado cuts in a single piece of wood before cutting it in half to form the two sides. Then position the side pieces so that the slots line up, and glue and clamp the assembly.

Sanding Squares
Tip: Palm sanders require small squares to cover their sanding surface. Rather than buying sanding squares, consider making them. For building a sandpaper filing system like the one described here, consider marking a template on the top of the storage unit for tearing pieces to size. Here are the steps:

Place the palm sander on top of the box to get the proper placement and dimensions. Scribe two lines on top of the box -- one for the length of the sander surface, and one for the width. Mount an old hacksaw blade along the edge of the box to serve as a tearing aid (like the ones on everyday aluminum foil rolls). Use the marks and the blade along the edge to tear standard sheets of sandpaper into the squares needed for the palm sander.

Other Storage Options
Another handy storage tip for organizing and storing sandpaper is to use an ordinary three-ring binder. Gallon-sized zip-lock bags are the perfect size for holding standard sheets of sandpaper. Simply use a three-hole punch to make holes in the edges of these zip-locks so they can be used like leaves in a notebook. Store the sheets of sandpaper in the individual bags according to variety and grit-number. The zip-lock bags will also help protect the sandpaper from moisture.

The discs used for rotary sanders can also be stored in this way. Orbital sanding discs have a backing that helps them adhere to the sander. These discs are not cheap, and storing them carefully in this manner will help prevent their getting lost or damaged.

Belts for a belt sander are fairly expensive as well. To prevent loss or damage to belt material, store it safely on a hook or on a pegboard.

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