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Home Made Sanding Blocks

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Well, I am about to start fairing my first POF ship and realized I had no proper sanding blocks.


So off to the local Home Depot for a look around. I quickly realized that they had for off the shelf sanding blocks was not going to work. As my wife and friends have told me over the years "my brain has no off switch" so I started looking around for materials to make my own.


I did not want to spend a lot of money or time so I went looking for lumber that was the right size to begin with. I was in the paint department looking for adhesive backed sandpaper when I thought of those stir sticks they give you. Perfect. Only now you have to buy them $.98 for a pack of 10 and right with them were packs of 30 over sized tongue depressors for the same price. Plus one 12"x18" sheet of adhesive backed sandpaper came to about $8.00.



By the time I got home I had a rough plan anyway. I was only going to need a couple of each so I had plenty for several attempts. The only tools I would need would be my Exacto razor saw and miter box, needle files, a square, a ruler and a few clamps.


One of the tongue depressors after soaking in hot water for about 15 minutes and then getting wrapped around a piece of 1/2" PVC pipe.


While that was drying I laminated the other 2 together and set them aside to dry.


While I cut up the 2 stir sticks.


The first pieces clamped up and set aside to dry.


Back to the tongue depressors. The ends were cut off approximately the same length as the width of the TD and the ends of the remaining piece mitered.


I think you can see where this is going.




Glued up and set aside to dry back to the other one. I cut the 2 squares in half and glued them in on both ends.


And here they are after a little trimming and sanding.





Not bad for less than $8.00 and a couple hours work. I think the flat one will be fine but I am not so sure about the rounded one. I think I should have laminated 2 together for the rounded part as well. We will find out how they work after a couple of coats of oil based poly to toughen them up a little.


Best Regards

Edited by Osmosis
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Great idea and follow up.  The rounded one would work inside the hull....  which is a very fiddly thing to sand.

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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Thanks to everyone for all the likes and replies.


I applied three coats of oil based poly. I hope this will make it a little easier to peel off and replace the sand paper. Here they are with some 80 grit self sticking sand paper applied.


The holes in the handles were drilled so I had a way to hang them while the poly dried.


I have already started using them on my current build and thy work great.


Best regards

Edited by Osmosis
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Those look great.  I've just been taking balsa blocks, and using rubber cement to attach sandpaper to them.  Yours put mine to shame :)



Current Wooden builds:  Amati/Victory Pegasus  MS Charles W. Morgan  Euromodel La Renommèe  


Plastic builds:    SB2U-1 Vindicator 1/48  Five Star Yaeyama 1/700  Pit Road Asashio and Akashi 1/700 diorama  Walrus 1/48 and Albatross 1/700  Special Hobby Buffalo 1/32


Completed builds :  Caldercraft Brig Badger   Amati Hannah - Ship in Bottle  Pit Road Hatsuzakura 1/700   Hasegawa Shimakaze 1:350

F4B-4 and P-6E 1/72  Accurate Miniatures F3F-1/F3F-2 1/48  Tamiya F4F-4 Wildcat built as FM-1 1/48  Special Hobby Buffalo 1/48

Citroen 2CV 1/24 - Airfix and Tamiya  Entex Morgan 3-wheeler 1/16


Terminated build:  HMS Lyme (based on Corel Unicorn)  


On the shelf:  Euromodel Friedrich Wilhelm zu Pferde; Caldercraft Victory; too many plastic ship, plane and car kits


Future potential scratch builds:  HMS Lyme (from NMM plans); Le Gros Ventre (from Ancre monographs), Dutch ship from Ab Hoving book, HMS Sussex from McCardle book, Philadelphia gunboat (Smithsonian plans)

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Thanks Mike. If they hold up for any length of time I think it will have been worth the little bit of time it took to make them. And the curved one work great on the concave sections of the bulkheads.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice solutions Art, when using papers that are not self adhesive, I find that double sided carpet tape works well.



Current builds  Bristol Pilot Cutter 1:8;      Skipjack 19 foot Launch 1:8;       Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 14 1:8

Other projects  Pilot Cutter 1:500 ;   Maria, 1:2  Now just a memory    

Future model Gill Smith Catboat Pauline 1:8

Finished projects  A Bassett Lowke steamship Albertic 1:100  


Anything you can imagine is possible, when you put your mind to it.

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I use Contact Cement, and remove the worn-out sandpaper with a Heat Gun. The paper peels off after a couple of seconds of heat.


CAUTION - the heat would probably also destroy your fabricated sanding sticks, unless you used Epoxy to glue the handles on.



Cheers, Danny

Current Build :    Forced Retirement from Modelling due to Health Issues

Build Logs :   Norfolk Sloop  HMS Vulture - (TFFM)  HMS Vulture Cross-section  18 foot Cutter    Concord Stagecoach   18th Century Longboat in a BOTTLE 

CARD Model Build Logs :   Mosel   Sydney Opera House (Schreiber-Bogen)   WWII Mk. IX Spitfire (Halinski)  Rolls Royce Merlin Engine  Cape Byron Lighthouse (HMV)       Stug 40 (Halinski)    Yamaha MT-01   Yamaha YA-1  HMS Hood (Halinski)  Bismarck (GPM)  IJN Amatsukaze 1940 Destroyer (Halinski)   HMVS Cerberus   Mi24D Hind (Halinski)  Bulgar Steam Locomotive - (ModelikTanker and Beer Wagons (Modelik)  Flat Bed Wagon (Modelik)  Peterbuilt Semi Trailer  Fender Guitar  

Restorations for Others :  King of the Mississippi  HMS Victory
Gallery : Norfolk Sloop,   HMAT Supply,   HMS Bounty,   HMS Victory,   Charles W. Morgan,   18' Cutter for HMS Vulture,   HMS Vulture,  HMS Vulture Cross-section,             18th Century Longboat in a Bottle 

Other Previous Builds : Le Mirage, Norske Love, King of the Mississippi

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Hi to all, nice work and i will take some ideas from you.

I use ice stick for sanding, long ago, but just the "flat" stick, so i will add your idea. This is how i made mine




Edited by cristikc

Current build : Sovereign of the Seas - Mantua 1:78 scale




Finished:        San John the Baptist - Cross section

                    Santisima Trinidad - Cross section                  Galery Santisima 

                    San John the Baptist ( San Juan Bautista)    Galery  San John

                    HMS Victory 1805 - Cross section - Corel 1:98 scale 

                    Panart (Mantua) 740 Battle Station          Battle Station Panart 740 Galerry


On Hold:        HMS Bounty 1:64   Mamoli MV39


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/24/2018 at 6:21 AM, Osmosis said:

"I applied three coats of oil based poly. I hope this will make it a little easier to peel off and replace the sand paper. Here they are with some 80 grit self sticking sand paper applied."

I am a big fan of "Parks Super glaze finish" as a cheap source of epoxy.   Do you thing that the oil poly stiffened the wood? 

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I don't know if it stiffened it but it created a nice smooth surface that I think makes it easier to peel off the self adhesive paper.

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