Love to create masterpieces with your favorite Dixie Belle Chalk Paints? Well, we can't blame ya! We do too! so to help you with your next project, here are some genius sanding tips mostly from Family Handyman that can save you some time and hassle.
1. Clean It First
Before you start your work, make sure to clean your sanding tool first. Get a sneaker, start your power sander and slowly press the rubber sole along the sandpaper. And viola...! It will be good as new in no time!
2. Double Sanders for Double Productivity
Put both hands to work and sand twice as fast with two sanders! Just always remember to put the sanders together all the time so that your hands will not wander apart into separate surfaces. Keeping the two sanders as one single machine in one territory avoids oversanding and missing some spots.
3. Drum-Sander Dust Collector Hack
Capture the dust that ﬂies off a sanding drum before it ﬁlls your shop and lungs! All you need is your shop vacuum, a 3 x 2-in. PVC reducing coupling and a pot magnet. Bolt the magnet to the coupling and put the coupling over the end of the vacuum hose. A 2-1/4 in. dia. shop vacuum hose ﬁts snugly inside the coupling’s smaller end without clamps or glue. Then just set the hose on the drill press’s metal table and let the shop vacuum eat your dust. You can use this setup on any power tool with a metal table.
4. Stack and Sand
Gang sanding with a random orbit or belt sander lets you smooth a bunch of edges in one pass. As a bonus, the wider surface prevents the sander from grinding too deep in one spot or tilting and rounding over the edges. This trick also makes sanding a self-correcting process; all the parts will end up exactly the same.
5. Prevent Glue Spots
Masking tape saves the day. Glue spots are cruel. When you think all the tedious sanding is done and you apply stain or even varnish, they will appear like bleached smudges. Getting rid of them means more sanding. On a flat surface, glue drips aren't a big deal. You will remove them automatically as you run through the normal sanding process. But is hard-to-sand spots like inside corners, prevention is the best strategy, and a little masking tape will save you a lot of hassle.
6. Music Makes the Job Easier
Sanding Syndrome is a psychological disorder caused by fussy attention to detail combined with brain-rotting boredom. Symptoms include drooling on the project, hearing voices in the whine of a belt sander and seeing cartoon characters in wood grain patterns. There’s no sure way to prevent Sanding Syndrome, but a little entertainment helps. Earmuffs or earplugs with built-in speakers block out power-tool noise while reducing boredom. Search online for “stereo earmuffs” or “noise isolating earbuds” to browse a huge selection. Prices range from $25 to $200.
7. Radiator Hose for Contours
The “hose sander” is another great tool for sanding the curvy contours of your woodworking projects. Saw off a straight piece of discarded radiator hose with a hacksaw, clean it inside and out, and wrap a piece of adhesive-backed sandpaper around it. It works great when you bear down for coarser sanding and is just right for lighter-touch finish sanding, too.
8. Thick-skinned Sandpaper
Put duct tape on the back of sandpaper and cut it into custom-sized strips for sanding in tight spots. The tape’s tough hide lets you sand without tearing the paper. The strips work great for sanding lathe turnings, cleaning dried glue from project parts, and doing any other job that requires a ﬁrm yet delicate sanding touch. Use a sharp utility knife and a straightedge to cut the strips.
9. Custom Sanding Bow
Screw strips cut from cloth-backed sanding belts to shop-made wood bows of different thicknesses and use ’em to shape and smooth furniture parts and lathe- turned projects. The coarser grits remove wood quickly, and the ﬁner grits will shine up curved surfaces in a jiff. You can screw the sandpaper strips on with varying tension to best ﬁt the job at hand.
10. Avoid Over Sanding
Power-sand the tops of plywood edge-bandings with ultra-light pressure, use ﬁne-grit sandpaper, and rub a pencil ﬁrmly along the glue joint before sanding to help monitor where, and how fast, the surface is being sanded away. If you press the sander more to the banding side, go slow and keep a hawkeye on the disappearing graphite. You’ll never waste a 4x8 sheet of expensive plywood—or two hours ﬁtting and gluing on bandings—with an irreversible mistake.
11. Pencil Visual Aid
Here’s a great old tip that’s worth revisiting. Can’t tell where you’ve sanded and where you haven’t? Scribble light pencil lines over the surface, and then sand away until they’re gone. You’ll sand the entire surface without missing a spot, even out hard-to-see high and low areas, and know when to switch to a finer grit of sandpaper. The finer the grit, the lighter the pencil lines should be. It’ll take for-ever to sand off dark lines with fine grits.
12. Carpet Cushion
Don’t scratch up the workpiece you just sanded by flipping it over on a dinged up workbench. Next time you sand a project, lay down a scrap piece of carpet to protect the wood, keep it stationary as you sand and dampen the sander vibrations on your hands. No scrap carpet around? A 2 x 6-ft. washable runner ($8 at a home center) works great—just shake it out between jobs and roll it up for storage.