Sandpaper jig cuts perfect pieces

Applying a beautiful finish to wood is all about how well you prepare the surface before the oil or varnish goes on, and careful sanding is the key (hand-planing can be amazing too, but that has a steeper learning curve).

The key to successful sanding is backing the paper up with a flat block. That means you’ll be tearing a lot of sandpaper sheets down to block-size. This simple cutting jig is the fastest way to do that.

All you need is a couple pieces of wood and a hacksaw blade. New ones cost only a couple bucks each. Or you can repurpose an old one that has gone dull. Sharpness doesn’t really matter here.

The next question is how big your sanding block is. I use the world’s most badass block, the little-known “Preppin’ Weapon,” which uses a 1/4 sheet of sandpaper that you make by ripping a big sheet across its width. One big sheet makes four perfect strips, but only if you use this handy DIY cutter.

To make the jig, you use one piece of plywood (or whatever) as the base and a narrower piece as the fence. Then you just screw down the hacksaw blade, with the edge facing outward, the right distance away from the fence. There are little holes in the ends of the blade to make it easy to screw down.

Then whenever you need a new piece of paper, you slip it under the blade, bump it against the fence and tear. Perfect, every time.

You’ll hear a lot of makers and woodworkers fuss about the cool “jig” they just built. Now you can join the club.

fence
The jig couldn’t be simpler. You screw down an old hacksaw blade, with the cutting edge facing outward. Then you screw down a fence according to how wide you need your paper to be. For alternative sandpaper sizes, you can just draw lines on the jig.
blade
The blade is easy to screw down, right through its attachment holes. Just put a washer under each end to make it easier to slip the sandpaper underneath.
insert
Then you just stick in a sheet…
firstcut
…hold down the blade and tear…
morepieces
…and you can make a pile of perfect pieces.
nearend
I set up my jig so it makes perfect pieces for my sanding block, the “Preppin’ Weapon” (seriously). This block grabs one end of the paper with a quick flick of a lever…
farend
…and then cinches the other end tight just as quickly.
blockbeauty
This long, ergonomic block fits my hand perfectly and is the best sanding tool on the planet.

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Sandpaper jig cuts perfect pieces

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s