Using sandpaper

Using sandpaper may seem like a slightly tedious subject for a guide, but I just wanted to share a couple of points that will save you money, and make any sanding you do, much easier, and more effective. I’m basically talking about sanding by hand here, no power tools, no sandpaper wrapped around wooden blocks, no sanding pads, just, very simply, how to make the best use of rolls, or sheets of sandpaper.

Cutting sandpaper to size 1. With a roll of sandpaper, rather than just tear off a random amount, roughly measure out a length of about 20 cm (8 in). Cut, using a pair of scissors, or fold and tear.
Folding sandpaper sheet 2. Visually divide the sheet into thirds, and then fold each end third into, and onto the middle third.
Sanding wall 3. What you now have is a perfect hand sized sanding ‘sheet’, which is easy to grip because it is sandpaper on both sides.

Some further sandpaper tips

  • When the first face is worn out, you flip sides, and when that one is worn out out, you adjust the fold to use the final face.
  • Not only is the size right, and the grip good, with this system, but you also use every last part of the sandpaper surface, so there’s no wastage.
  • If you have sanding sheets, rather than rolls, simply cut them in half lengthways, and you have the right size of sheet to fold.
  • Occasionally I use sanding blocks, or sanding pads, but I always default at some stage to the system above as I just think you get a better job with your hand as close to the sanding surface as possible making it easier to detect all the blemishes and bumps.
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