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  • Stocking Stuffers for Woodworkers!

    Do you have a loved one who spends hours in a workshop, garage, or shed? Are you having trouble finding stocking stuffers for them? Fear not! Below, we will show you some inexpensive and easy to purchase specialty sanding products and sanding accessories you can drop into their stocking!

    Sanding Detailer Sticks

    Sanding Detailer Stick 24 Pc Standard Kit Sanding Detailer Stick 24 Pc Standard Kit


    Sanding detailer sticks are great for hard to reach spots with three working areas: tapered, flat and round. With the belt rotating easily, the entire abrasive will be used. Each of our sanding detailer stick kits come with 5 replacements belts for each grit.

    Sanding Disc Holders

    Hook and Loop Sanding Disc Holder Hook and Loop Sanding Disc Holder


    Disc Holders with hook and loop pads help make sanding with sanding discs easier, because they enable quicker changes! Some projects, like bowl sanding, require different sanding discs with different grits, by sanding from lower grit through higher grit sanding discs. 2Sand provides both R-type and Hook and Loop disc holders. We carry various sizes so that you don't go through sanding discs as quickly, as 3" sanding discs have twice the surface area of 2" sanding discs.


    Non-Woven Hand Pad Assortment

    6x9 Non-Woven Hand Pad Assortment - 2 pads of each color 6x9 Non-Woven Hand Pad Assortment - 2 pads of each color

    Our 6x9 non-metallic, non-woven abrasive hand pads are versatile and perfect gifts, as they can be used for several types of projects. They can be used for furniture stripping, wash down, and final rub-out of finishes in between coats of sanding sealer and finishes. The pads can also be used to remove rust and clean metal, and can perform all these functions without leaving metal fibers behind on the work surface. Shown here is the assortment pack, which is great as a gift, as you may not know which exact one your beloved woodworker needs!

    We hope you were able to find some ideas to fill stockings this year! If these aren't quite what you are looking for, feel free to check out our other sanding accessories and specialty sanding products! We can also provide custom sandpaper, like sanding discs, sanding belts, and more. Happy Holidays from all of us at 2Sand.com!

  • A Gift of Plans for Your Gifts

    As of this writing, there are 42 shop (not shopping) days until Christmas. If you are organized and on top of your game, you have everything finished and waiting to be wrapped. If you are like me, you are still scrambling for ideas!

    As an early gift to you, we are passing along a number of sources for free or inexpensive plans. With time short, we will concentrate on reasonably simple projects that can be completed in the time left!

    Normal Sanding Resources

    Your first stop probably should be the websites of your favorite woodworking magazines. Most have all sorts of free plans available for download, as well as a great many more in their online stores. I have made several gifts over the years from the pages of Wood, ShopNotes and Woodworker's Journal.

    Lots of personal and business websites feature plans as well.  Minwax too has free plans they publish to encourage customers to try new projects. (using Minwax products of course!)

    This time of year, your poor mailman is overloaded delivering extra Holiday sale flyers and catalogs. These can be an excellent source for inspiration as well. Ralph from ConsultingWoodworker.com, who writes freelance articles for woodworking magazines says that this is one of his best sources for inspiration. The Lee Valley Christmas Catalog is always a great source of cool gift ideas (for them AND you) as is Sky Mall if you happen to be traveling by air this season.

    Sanding Products

    Of course, this would not be the 2Sand.com blog if we did not remind you to stock up on the sanding supplies--like sanding discs, sanding belts, sandpaper rolls, and even sanding accessories--you need to finish your gift projects! You do NOT want to find yourself on Christmas Eve with no more 220 grit! (Don't ask me how I know this)

    As ever, we welcome your comments, suggestions and questions. You can share them by commenting here on this blog, on our Facebook page, or via Twitter. -2Sand.com

  • The Sanding Disc Shuffle

    Using 2It's not a new dance craze. The Sanding Disc Shuffle is the process of working through the grits with hook and loop sanding discs. I typically start with 80 or 100 grit, then move on to 120 or 150, and if needed will work up to 220 or 320.

    Long time readers of this blog know that we are big on dust control, so properly aligning the holes in the sanding disc with the holes in your Random Orbit Sander does make a difference. But when sanding a large number of parts and swapping sanding discs as you work through the pile, this can eat up a lot of time. There is a pretty easy way to help automate this process.

    Mark the Sanding Disc holes Mark the Sanding Disc holes

    It is nothing more complicated than a board with some strategically placed dowel pins. The pins hold the sanding discs in place but also function as guides for the sander, insuring hole alignment with every sanding disc change. Start by ripping a plywood scrap a bit wider than your sanding disc, in this case, 6 inches wide for 5 inch sanding discs. Cross cut it to accommodate two or three sanding discs side by side with a bit of space between. This one is for two discs so it ended up 12 inches long, a three disc version should be around 18 inches.

    Drill a hole for the dowel Drill a hole for the dowel

    Lay the discs out and mark the center of two holes in each disc, then drill 3/8" holes in those locations for a short section of dowel. Glue dowel segments in place so that they protrude only about 1/4 inch above the board face.  Taper the top ends of the dowel pins to insure that the sanding discs and the sander can drop smoothly over them. And that is all there is to it.

    Easily put the sanding disc on the Sander Easily put the sanding disc on the Sander

    In use, a sanding disc of each grit being used is placed over the dowels with the hook and loop side up. When switching grits, one disc is peeled off the sander and placed in it's spot back on the board, then the Random Orbit Sander base is lowered onto the dowels holding the next grit in order. The dowel assure the holes in the sanding disc are perfectly aligned with those on the sander and you can get right back to work. On a big sanding job, you should find this trick saves a lot of time and improves your dust collection as well. And no more need to bend over retrieving sanding discs that get knocked to the floor!

    We hope you find this tip useful and encourage you to share with us your tips. You can contact us by commenting here on the blog, our Facebook Page, or via Twitter. -2Sand.com


  • Hanging Sanding Belts

    Hanging Sanding Belts Hanging Sanding Belts

    Having designed and built the hangers for my sanding disks, the next objective was to organize and store my sanding belts. These shown are sized for Porter Cable's 371 belt sander. Larger belts will work on the same system adjusted in size for whatever belts you use. Originally, I was planning to have a simple horizontal piece with slots to slip the belts into, but found that they did not always stay put, especially when the sanding station was being used or moved.

    Sanding Belt Holders

    Sanding Belt Holders Sanding Belt Holders

    I tried to keep it very simple. A 1/2" ply rib attached to a 1/4" masonite hanger plate holds the belts while a 1/2" cap strip overhangs at the top to keep the belts from slipping off. Since the cap strip keeps the belts in place via gravity, you can size the ply rib short enough to make removing the belt(s) easy. Too long and it is hard to remove the belts, but too short and they can curl when not in use. Build a sample for your belts to get the right proportions before making a bunch of them.

    Organized wood shop Organized wood shop

    Note that I kept the hanger plates fairly narrow. I wanted them wide enough to hang flat on the pegboard, but not so wide that too much space was wasted. I also rounded the edges of the cap strip to make getting the belts off easier. These were simple to make once the dimensions were worked out, and I made up enough to store each grit that I keep on hand.

    I am designing these as I go, figuring out what will work with the sanding station I laid out in the first post of this series. I certainly invite you to add your thoughts or send along ideas that have worked well for you. Please feel free to add your comments here on the blog, on our Facebook page, or via Twitter. Let us know what you think!  -2Sand.com

  • Sanding Small Mouldings

    Sanding Small Mouldings

    Sanding small moldings is always a challenge. Smoothing the wood without disturbing the detail can be tough. One method I have used in the past is an old idea that still works, the deck of cards.

    Sanding Small Mouldings Sanding Small Mouldings

    A standard deck of playing cards can conform to the profile, and hold the profile as you sand. Drop the deck edge on to the moulding, and the individual cards will rest on the moulding. Clamp or hold them tightly, then wrap a piece of sandpaper around the deck to sand the part.

    Obviously, this works best when the backer on the sandpaper is thin and flexible. You can also improve the fit by rolling and unrolling the paper to loosen the backer making it more flexible.

    What tricks do you use for profile sanding? Share them with others by commenting here or on our Facebook Page.

  • Quality Shows (especially with stain)

    Not all grit sizes are created equal, and as with most things, you get what you pay for with sandpaper.  The grit number indicates the size of the particles used to abrade the surface, but the more consistent the size, the fewer "high points" there will be.

    Sandpaper "scratches" the work surface to reduce irregularities and high spots. If all the scratches are the same depth and width, the result looks smoother than before.  A few particles that are larger than the rest will scratch more deeply into the surface leaving marks. You might not even see these marks, but you can bet that staining the part will highlight every one of them.

    Separating and sorting the abrasive particles when making sandpaper requires care, and that costs money. Cheap brands are likely to cause frustration and rework, so be careful about the sanding supplies you choose.

    But we all find ourselves under the gun and sometimes the only sandpaper available is an unknown quality. Here's a tip: Run your sander lightly on a clean section of concrete floor or wall. This "pre-wear" will tend to knock off the high points first, leaving a more level surface for sanding. Try it, it works! Check out the different types of sandpaper sheets we carry! Our other blog about types of sandpaper will help you decide between silicon carbide sandpaper and aluminum oxide sandpaper! We can also provide you with custom sandpaper sheets, discs, rolls, and more, with various grits, widths, etc.

  • Abrasive and Sandpaper Types

    Sandpaper Types Sandpaper Types

    Many, many materials have been used to make sandpaper. As discussed before, ground glass was one of the early commercial grits, which is why the English still refer to "abrasive sheets" as "Glasspaper".

    Aluminum Oxide Sandpaper

    Today, there are a number of standard materials used to make sandpaper. Perhaps the most commonly used to make sandpaper, and most likely what you will find at hardware stores and home centers, is aluminum oxide sandpaper. It is commonly used for sanding wood and metal. Garnet can also be found although it is not as common. It is traditionally preferred for woodworking and you may hear older woodworkers refer to "garnet paper".

    Silicon Carbide Sandpaper

    Silicon Carbide Sandpaper is pretty common as well. You'll recognize it as the black "wet/dry" sandpaper, with a plastic sheet backer. Very fine grades of sandpaper may use chromium oxide, usually in 600 grit or finer.

    The sheets shown above are Aluminum Oxide (tan), Garnet (red), and Silicone Carbide (black).

  • American vs English Woodworking Dictionary

    We had mentioned on Facebook and Twitter that the English still refer to sandpaper as glasspaper, since the first commercially viable sandpaper made used ground glass as the abrasive.

    Remove rust from tools Sanding to Remove Rust

    This quickly led to a spirited, if slightly tongue in cheek, conversation of the many differences between American woodworking terms and English terms for the same things:

    "Kari Hultman I wondered about that. Glass paper is referred to in the book I'm reading: The Essential Woodworker.
    2Sand Kari, I had seen the reference too, and so I looked it up. It is funny how many terms are different between English and American woodworkers. They refer to "cramps" which we call clamps!"
    And then Kari added the terms "Rabbet and Rebate".
    Rick Waters piped in with:
    "Rick Waters American=Planer, English= Thicknesser and,  American:=Jointer, English=Planer"
    So, what terms have you come across to add to our dictionary? Please feel free to add your comment here, or jump in on Facebook or Twitter. Don't forget to browse our website for sanding discs, sanding belts, and other sandpaper products.
  • Sandpaper, Abrasives, and Sander History

    Sandpaper and Abrasive Sheets

    While "sandpaper" is the generic term for abrasive sheets, it obviously does not describe all the various types of sanding supplies available! Sanding sheets may be paper, cloth, plastic film, fiber (similar to fiberglass) and now even mesh, as in Mirka's Abranet products.

    Sandpaper Sheets Sandpaper Sheets

    The thickness (or "weight") of the paper backing is rated on a scale A through F, with A grade being the lightest. Cloth backing is rated J, X, Y, T and M with J the lightest.

    When choosing an abrasive sheet, these ratings help you figure out what backing will best suit your needs. For sanding flat surfaces, a stiffer backing will help prevent digging in, or rounding over the edges, while a lightweight backer should be chosen to wrap around a profile sanding block to smooth moldings.

    While it is important to choose the right sheet for the job, if you find yourself with the wrong backer for the task at hand, here are two tips:

    1) Lightweight sanding sheets can be bonded to a heavier backer to improve it's performance and durability sanding flat surfaces.

    2) Heavier backers can be "broken down" and made more flexible by rolling and unrolling the sheet into a tight tube shape. The many fine creases created will make it more flexible.

    History of Sanders

    Prior to the advent of random orbit sanders (read sanding discs), sandpaper was primarily sold in rectangular sheets, with 9 x 11" as the standard size. Why does this matter? Well, when electric sanders became available, they typically came in two sizes: half sheet sanders and quarter sheet sanders.

    The great big silver Porter-Cable sander of old, the 505 was a half sheet sander.

    Porter Cable 505 Sander Porter Cable 505 Sander

    and the Porter-Cable 330 was a quarter sheet sander.

    Porter Cable 330 Sander Porter Cable 330 Sander

    Knowing that these sanders were half or quarter, determined the pad size and that you could get two or four usable pieces of sandpaper for your sander from each full sheet purchased.

    Before you decide this info is no longer important, bear in mind that pad sanders like these still hold a place in many professional shops. When used properly, they excel at sanding door panels and can get much further into the corners than any rotary sander can.

    Admittedly, this may or may not be usable info for you personally, but we believe that the more you know, the better decisions you can make.

  • Easy Hole Sanding

    Hole Sander BeautyOver the years of this blog, we have shared a number of shop-built sanding devices including sanders for the lathe, and various rotary sanders for drills such as our flap sander that uses sandpaper rolls. This month, we are dealing with how to get your sanding supplies inside various-sized holes.


    Recently I was making pierced gallery rails on my CNC. The rails came out quite well, but I needed an efficient method for sanding inside all of the circles in the rails. My first thought was one of the drum sanders from my set, but they were too big. The obvious solution was to wrap sandpaper around an appropriately sized dowel. I could have used PSA backed sandpaper or double-face taped the sandpaper to the dowel, but these options are prone to heat failure and make changing grits too time consuming.

    Hole Sander Cut



    The solution was to wrap a piece of sandpaper roll around the dowel after slipping it through a slot cut in the end of the dowel. This allows you to select a dowel slightly smaller than the hole to be sanded and cut a slot across one end as long as the roll sandpaper is wide.



    Hole Sander Wrap

    I have found that how you wrap the sandpaper roll section matters. Slip the sandpaper into the slot with 1/4-1/2" exposed through one side, and the remainder out the other, about 1-1/2 turns around the dowel. The long end wraps over the short end, helping to keep the sandpaper roll held in the slot.

    Now your drill can rapidly and cleanly sand the inside of various-sized holes. I have found that with the proper length of sandpaper roll (this is where the 1-1/2 wraps around the dowel comes from) you can even move from hole to hole without stopping the drill or needing to hold the wrap to insert it.

    As ever, we encourage your comments and ideas. You can comment here on the blog, on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter account.

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