I like to keep my sandpaper handy and organized. Here is how I do it.
Here is how I keep my sandpaper handy. I attach it to 1/8" plywood
boards and hang it up.
When I am ready to use the sandpaper I take the board over to the
lathe and set it on the "ways" of the lathe.
Then all the grits are handy for quick changes.
I have one board for 2" disks and another board for 3"
disks. I recently added a third board for chunks of my Stikit sandpaper.
I use one board for each size disk.
This board is for 3" disks. The grits are marked in the
center. The disks on the left are on SOFT foam interface pads. The disks on
the right are on HARD interface pads. See next photo for a better view of
I like the blue sanding disks and foam pads from Vince's Wooden
Wonders. For more into see my "Greate Polyurethane Finishes"
handout at http://www.carlford.info/pages/demos_classes/great_poly_fi
Velcro on Sanding Boards
I only use hook and loop (aka Velcro) disks. I attached them to boards via
velcro. The blue arrow in photo points to velcro.
I purchase a roll of sticky backed velcro at local big box store. I
attach the hook side to the boards in two long strips. The glue on velcro
is wimpy. Thus, I use 1/2" long tacking staples to make it permanent.
The silver bars you see in photo on black velcro are the staples. The
staples are way to long, because I use 1/8" plywood. I just let the
staples go thru and then bend them over on the back.
Note: I only use the hook and loop side of velcro I purchase. I
discard the fuzzy side.
I like the 1/8" birch plywood because it looks nice and light
weight. Any old plywood will do. The thinner the better.
Disks and interface pads are from Vince's Wooden Wonders. I
like the disks that are with "white" rather than
"black" on the bottom because I can write the grit on them.
Otherwise, I have to write the grit on the side.
Bent Over Staples
The blue arrow in photo points to the staples I just bend over on the back.
Note: I use to have just one board. With velcro on both sides.
2" disks on the front and 3" disks on the back. This DID NOT work
well. The disks on the bottom side always came off and got lost when I set
the board down on the "ways" of the lathe or workbench.
Spindle Turning Sandpaper
When I hand sand or just hold a piece of sandpaper up to something spinning
on the lathe I like to use Stikit sandpaper. See http://carlford.i
I like to cut up the Stikit
sandpaper into small sheets in advance (more on this latter) and store it
in "Large Binder Clips" (aka large paper clips). I get the clips
at local office supply store.
I use to hang the clips up individually. But, then they would float
around on my work bench while using them and drive me crazy.
Recently, I got smart and attached them to chunk of 1/4"
plywood. Now I can hang up them all at once and place them on the
"ways" of the lathe while using them.
Note: 1/8" thick plywood is to flimsy. It flexes to much when
you try to open the clips. Don't ask me how I know!
Attach Clips to Plywood
I attached the large binder clips to 1/4" plywood using short 10-24
pan head machine screws (aka bolts).
The blue arrow in photo points to the holes I drilled thru clips.
First, I drilled a hole big enough for shaft of machine screw all the way
thru and then enlarged it on JUST the front side to be big enough for head
of machine screw. Tip: Snap the clips over a chuck of 1/2" scrap
plywood before trying to the drill holes.
I added the 120, 80, etc grit labels using my "Brother
P-touch" label maker.
Nuts and Lock Washers
On the front side I put a nut between clip and plywood to space the clip
off the plywood a little.
Next to the plywood on front and back I put a multi tooth lock
washer and then a nut on the back. Grind the bolts off flat. No flat
washers. The lock washers dig into the plywood and keep the clips from
Note: The space between clip and plywood is shown latter in
"Store in Binder Clips Photo".
Husky Tool Cabinet
I store all of my new sanding disks in a tool cabinet next to my lathe.
When I am standing at my VB36 lathe this cabinet is directly behind me. I
put my turning tools down on top of this cabinet when I am adjusting the
tool rest, etc. I open the top draw to get out a new sanding disk when I
I just got this cabinet. I usually build my own cabinets out of
used low filing cabinets and plywood. But, when I recently went to Home
Depot to look for some nice 7 or 11 layer yellow pine plywood, I could not
find any and this cabinet was on sale for $280? Good steel case filing
cabinets are $100 used and they only have 2 or 3 draws. 2 of them would be
$200 plus casters, etc. So, I went for it.
The cabinet is a Husky "46 in. 9-Drawer Mobile Workbench with
Solid Wood Top". The 18" top it comes with it is nice, but to
narrow for what I had in mind. I replaced it with my own 24" wide top.
The draws are not as heavy duty as filing cabinets, but they are ok and the
draw sizes and heights are good.
The 4" high drawers take my tote boxes, chucks, and face
plates. The 2" high draws are good for turning tools.
Tote Boxes from Mcmaster
I use "Create-Your-Own Compartmented Plastic Tote Boxes" from
Mcmaster-Carr all over my shop. The size of shelves, cabinets, etc in my
shop are designed to use these boxes.
The box in the photo is 16-1/2" long, 10-7/8" wide, by
item # 40355T55, $8 on 12/30/14. Dividers are 40355T83 $2 and 40355T52 $1.
Lid is 40355T96, $10.
I like these boxes because they are rugged, the divider slots are
deep and frequent, and the price is right. The price for the boxes and
dividers is good. But, the price for the lids at $10 is a bit steep.
I like the lids (not shown in photos). But, I don't use them
that often because I keep them in drawers or on shelfs where the shelf
above the box is close enough to prevent dust or chips from getting in. I
only use the lids for transport to demos, classes, etc. In photo you can
see there iis lip all the way around the top of these boxes that allows
them to be stacked. You can also use the lip to make your own lids out of
I have a big stack of dividers that I don't use. I bought way
to many when I purchased the boxes. You can make your own dividers out of
1/8" plywood and they often better for long uninterrupted spans.
Because, the plastic dividers need to be intersected. Otherwise they are to
The boxes come in 3 sizes and lots of heights. I like the 16-1/2 x
10-7/8 boxes. The smaller 10-13/16 x 8-5/16 boxes are ok, but tend to be to
small. I only use these to fill up a shelf. The large 22-3/8 x 17-3/8 boxes
are way to large. If you fill up one of these you are gonig to need a crane
to lift it.
The boxes come in 2-1/2, 3-1/2, 5, 6, and 8" heights. The
2-1/2" high boxes are to low for most things. I have and like the
Note: For smaller, light weight things like scraps of sand paper,
etc. I use "Sterilite 16068024 Storage Tray" from Amazon. Roughly
9" x 6" x 2". Not shown in photos.
Efficient Use of Stikit Sandpaper
I have found that the best way to make efficient use of my Stikit sandpaper
is to fold it over and cut it up in advance. Here is how I do it.
I start with a roll of sandpaper that is sticky on the back and a
old pair of scissors that I only use for sandpaper.
Note: The pink velcro in photo that keeps the roll closed and thus
clean until needed.
Tear Off a Chunk
Tear off a chunk about a foot long. Longer chucks waste less paper.
Fold the sandpaper over on itself. This creates a chuck of sandpaper that
rough on both sides. Thus it will not easily slip out of your hands when
you hold it up to the lathe.
Cut Into Small Chunks
Cut up the paper into small random width chunks. Anywhere from 1/2" to
I like small chunks of sandpaper. Because, I am often trying to
sand up close to some detail that I can't get close to with my sanding
disks. You need lots of edges to get up close to details. A big chunk of
sandpaper has to much middle that can not be efficiently used.
I also like small chunks because I like to use up every inch of the
paper before throwing it away. I can use up all of a small chunk in one
shot and then just throw it away! Thus, I don't have to deal with
storing lots of bigger partiually used chunks.
Grit on Both Sides
I like my chunks of sandpaper to have grit on both sides so they don't
slip out of my hands when I hold them up to work spinning on the lathe.
Tip: If you want to have good looking hands for photos then
don't dye things purple, red, blue,etc and then wash your hands in
lacqure thinner before taking the photos. 🙂
Store in Large Binder Clips
I like to store the sandpaper in large binder clips (aka paper clips) after
cutting it up.
Note: The space between binder clip and plywood in photo. The space
makes the binder clip easier to use. It is created by a nut between the
binder clip and plywood. Multi tooth lock washers on either side of the nut
to keep the binder clip from spinning.
I learned this trick from one of my Wednesday night friends.
After you fold over the sandpaper on itself, you normally can not
see the grit that is now inside. But, you can see it if you hold the
sandpaper up to a light!
Efficient use of Sheet Sandpaper
I learned this method from Buster Shaw.
It makes efficient use of standard 9" x 11" sandpaper
sheets. I like it, because the method creates the grit on both sides that I
In the photos I am using a sheet of 600 grit Carborundum sandpaper
that I had laying around. This paper is ok, but I like the Norton 3X
sandpaper use d by Buster, better.
Start by dividing the 9 x 11 sheet into 4 equal parts. See black
lines in photo.
Note: I personally never sand raw wood beyond 220 grit. If, I was
using 600 grit sandpaper it would be to sand a poly finish between coats. I
would use a 6" 500 grit red Abralon disk, rather than sandpaper. See
4 Equal Parts
The 4 equal parts after cutting up the sandpaper.
9 x 11 divided by 4. Equals 4 of 4.5 x 5.5
Fold in Three
Fold the 4.5 x 5.5 sheet into 3 equal parts along the 5.5" dimension.
3 Equal Parts
You now have grit on the inside and outside. The way I like it. When you
hold this sandpaper up to something spinning on the lathe it will not
easily slip out of your hand.
Open up the sandpaper, to expose the 3rd side after using up the 2
Grit Inside and Out
Ready to use with grit inside and out.
Or you can make more efficient use of the sandpaper by cutting it
up into smaller 1/2" to 1-1/2" wide chucks like I with my Stikit
sandpaper. See previous photos.