Instructables

How to Make a Sanding Stick

Picture of How to Make a Sanding Stick
I'll admit, this one is a bit of a low fruit on the DIY tree. BUT if you don't know it, it's not so remedial is it?.

I remember - very clearly - the excitement I felt when I learned this tool-making technique in the summer of 2005. See? It made an impression. So let's call this one, "fundamental."

What's so great about sanding sticks is that they are like renewable, endlessly-customizable files. Plus, you can make them with sandpaper that is much *finer* than a file; a 400 grit sanding stick is great for *just* breaking a corner on an otherwise very precise, angular project.

So if you're hearing about sanding sticks for the first time: welcome.

check out a wonderful use for sanding sticks.

and an ingenious variation on the theme.

I made this sanding stick at TechShop Detroit! www.techshop.ws oh yeah!

and I'll let you in on the back-story: I made these to finish WEDDING BANDS FOR MY BROTHER AND SISTER-IN-LAW-TO-BE! I'll share some info on that in the near future.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
My background is working with metal/making jewelry, so I buy fancy wet/dry sandpaper made with super-flexible paper backing and a wide array of grits. But make sanding sticks out of whatever sandpaper you can get your hands on. (courser grits - 100-series and below - tend to flake apart at corners. FYI.)

What we got here is, we got:

- 400 grit sandpaper
- a paint stirrer/thin strip of wood/plastic/whatever (i've used those plastic plant labels that come from nurseries - the ones with the plants' names printed on them - they're sturdy but flexible, great for getting around curves, shoe-polishing-style)
- duct or masking tape
- a scribe
VirenVaz2 years ago
So cool, and as usual so obvious when some one else shows you how to do it. Thanks and put up some more "obvious" ones.
rimar20002 years ago
Good idea.

Almost 30 years ago I did a big sanding stick, about 30 cm long, a side cylindric and the other flat.

I used rough emery cloth, it lasted many years, used as a rasp, successfully.
Jason von Techshop (author)  rimar20002 years ago
what a great idea. it's one of those things: "why doesn't everyone make these tools?"