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Woodworking Tips and Tricks sandpaper


When doing a lot of hand sanding, you know that sometimes the sandpaper can be a bit of a chore to hold on to.  If it’s a 1/4 sheet, the back is smooth and you have to grip it tight over the edge to make it stay in your hand.  If you want to hold the sandpaper flat against the wood, your hand will slip off because the back has no grip.  If you fold it over a half sheet so there is grit on both sides, it will really slip around because the 2 smooth sides are against each other.

This is a simple trick to make holding on to a piece of sandpaper a little easier.

Take a full sheet and tear it in half (crosswise is easier), using a straightedge to help keep the tear straight.

Take one piece and fold it in half.

Then contact cement the back side of this piece, fold it over and press.  This gives a 2 sided piece of sandpaper that will not slip around in your hand no matter how you hold it.

One addition I would make to this is if you are sanding a lot of corners, glue a piece of tyvek in between.  This will keep the sandpaper from tearing and holes from being poked in it from the corners you are sanding, thus making the sandpaper last long enough to wear out.  Tyvek can be had from white postal mailers;  it’s the type that are impossible to tear.  I have found this trick to be very useful on large repetitive corner sanding jobs

Since I’m a cheap guy, one other source of hand sandpaper is the piece on your vibrator sander.  After the grit is worn to where it’s not doing much good, take it off and glue it the same as I mention above.  Where the paper rolled over and was clamped, it is still new and there is a lot of life left in that piece.  You may think this an unnecessary thing to do but sandpaper is expensive.  And, there are times when you need a piece that isn’t new but kinda worn out, and these work perfect for this purpose.

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