I needed a better way to sand the 24 different blocks that made up the blocks and marbles toy I've been working on. I'd recently been reading about bench hooks and though maybe I could adapt one to my problem.
A bench hook is a simple jig made with a flat piece of wood and two cleats, one on the bottom and one on the top. The bottom cleat is held against the edge of your workbench or in a bench vise while the upper cleat it used to provide a stop for your work piece whether you're sawing, planing, or performing some other operation.
Fashioned after a bench hook, the sanding hook, as I'm calling it, has the same bottom cleat as a bench hook, but instead of another cleat on top, it has two hold downs for keeping a sheet of sand paper stationary.
Step 1: Materials
- 1/2" Baltic Birch plywood (at least 10" by 19")
- 2x4 lumber (at least 10" long)
- Four 1-1/4" Construction screws
- Four 1-1/2", 10-24 round head machine screws
- Four 10-24 wing nuts
Your material list will vary depending on the size of sanding hook you want to make. I sized mine to fit a regular 9"x11"sheet of sand paper, so I made it 10" wide by 14-1/2" long. To reproduce the sanding hook I built, this means you'll need a piece of plywood at least 19" long by 10" wide and a 2x4 at least 10" long.
Step 2: Tools
- Tape measure
- Counter-sinking bit
- 1/4" drill bit
- 5/32" drill bit
- 3/8" drill bit (preferably one that leaves a flat bottomed hole)
Instead of the hand drill, I actually used a drill press to drill many of the holes. To cut the plywood to size and rip the 2x4 into a 2x2, I used a table saw. To cut the 2x2 to length, I used a miter saw, but you could just as easily use a circular saw for all these operations.
Step 3: Cut the Plywood Cleats
Cut a 10" strip from your plywood that's at least 19" long. This is the raw stock for your base and two upper cleats that hold the sandpaper.
Next setup the fence or cutting guide to cut the 2" wide cleat from the piece you just cut. Then cut the first cleat and repeat the cut to make the second cleat.
Step 4: Layout Pieces and Mark for Length
Once you're satisfied with your layout, mark the base for length, setup you fence, and make the cut.
Step 5: Drill Holes for the Plywood Cleats and Base
Although you could layout the holes and use a hand drill, I used my drill press with the fence and stop blocks to setup the first hole. Then it was just a matter of lining up the edges to drill each hole -- no measuring or layout required for the holes to align perfectly.
Step 6: Drill Counter Bores
Step 7: Test the Sand Paper Holder
I test sanded some small parts and the sandpaper stayed in place
Step 8: Cut the Bottom Cleat
Next you need to cut the 2x2 to length. You could just assume it should 10" to match the base, since it isn't critical that the cleat be perfectly flush, but I like to make things neat so I marked the cleat by matching it to the base.
Step 9: Drill and Counter-Sink Holes for the Bottom Cleat
So I drilled four pilot holes spaced somewhat equally within the outline of the bottom cleat with a 5/32" drill bit. You only want to drill through the base. Then I counter sunk the holes so the screw heads would sit below the surface with a counter-sink bit.
Step 10: Fasten Bottom Cleat
You can drill pilot holes for the wood screws if you wish, especially if you plan on tightening the screws with a screwdriver, If you do be sure to use a size that's smaller than the screw threads.
Step 11: Final Assembly and Thoughts
You might want to epoxy the bolts in place. Otherwise they might spin while you're tightening the wing nuts. I found that it was just as easy to hold the bolt by the threads while tightening the wing nuts. I'm able to apply more than enough pressure to hold the sandpaper in place.
Depending on the wing nuts you choose you may want to place a washer underneath them so they don't dig into the wood.