What is a sanding block and How to use it?

For someone who is into making small furniture or wooden crafting, a sanding block has to be a mandatory tool. This budget-friendly equipment can save a lot of time and ease your job. Let’s get to know sanding blocks better, with their types, usage, and the way to use them appropriately.

How Many Types of Sanding Block are there?

A sanding block is basically a block of wood, which is wrapped and attached with sandpaper. There are few types of it-

  1. Rigid- On the primary stage of shaping, you’ll need rough sandpaper along with a rigid block. You can smoothly go over the contours of the panels using a rigid sanding block.
  2. Semi-rigid- A semi-rigid sanding block will give you perfection in fine-shaping.It is also great for creating curves and working on crowned surfaces.
  3. Flexible- In the end, the soft and flexible block will give a finishing touch to your work and make everything neat and smooth.

What are the uses and benefits of a sanding block?

Now that we are known to the sanding block types, we have to know the proper uses because knowing where it can make the difference is necessary to understand how to bring out the best result from it. Let’s check out the usefulness of sanding block and what benefits they give:

Sanding Block
                            Sanding Block

1. Used to hold the sandpaper securely: A sanding block gives you better control over the sandpaper by holding it securely. As a result, you get firmer control over your work, and the finishing becomes just like you would desire.

2. Makes your work comfortable: If you compare your comfort by doing the job just by sandpaper alone versus sandpaper along with a sanding block, you will never go back to using the abrasive alone. Using this tool will give you firm control over your work and make it a lot more comfortable, and the better control fastens up your work.

3. Used in initial shaping of the panel: Sanding blocks are useful in giving the perfect shape to your woodblock from the very beginning to the end. In the primary stage, the rigid sanding blocks are used to give it the basic form. The good thing is, you can customize one for unique contours.

4. Used in fine-shaping: Once you are done with the panel’s basic shaping, you will look for something that gives you a fine-shape. The semi-rigid sanding blocks are used to provide your panels the perfect contour and create curves seamlessly. You can also use them if your surface is of crown shape.

5. Gives a smooth finishing look: The flexible sanding blocks are softer in comparison with the semi-rigid ones. It is used to drive out any imperfections and to add a polished look into your work gently. It is mostly used in final shaping.

6. Can be adjusted: A massive pro of the sanding block is that you can get an adjustable one and turn it from a rigid to the flexible one. If you are looking for a tool that will hold the sandpaper in the initial stage, give it some beautiful contours, and provide a finishing touch, the adjustable sanding blocks are great. You can increase its rigidity and tone it down where flexibility is needed.

7. Used in drawings: This usage of sanding block may seem a bit unusual. Apart from being used in furniture-making, sanding blocks can be used in arts and crafts as well. In fact, for professional artists, it is an essential tool. The blocks are used to sharpen blunt pencils, pastel colors, or charcoals. It can also come in handy when it comes to cleaning the drawing essentials. Artists often use sanding blocks to make graphite or charcoal powder, which adds a cool effect in shading. Not only that but using a sanding block to clean out dirty erasers is also very common. This method gives your eraser a fresher look, and you can avoid messy drawings.

How to use a sanding block?

Now that we know that all how a sanding block may come in handy, it is a must to ensure that we understand how to use the tool in the right manner. Using the sanding block will do no good other than wasting your money, effort, and time. Let’s get you introduced to the proper way to use a sanding block:

1. Get the right sandpaper: At first, pick out the right sandpaper for you. Coarse sandpaper may scratch your panel, while a fine one may take more time. If your surface is very rough, use a coarse one and finish it off using fine sandpaper. If it is a delicate panel, start with fine and end with very fine sandpaper.

2. Place the sandpaper: Position the sanding block with the sandpaper and trace out the area. Leaving a few inches, cut off the excess sandpaper.

3. Put them together: If your sanding block has clamps, loosen them up, and insert the cut piece of sandpaper between the block. Now tighten the clamps and ensure that the sandpaper is placed securely; otherwise, you’ll fail to have firm control over the tool. If your device has a hook-and-loop adhesive, your job will get even more comfortable.

4. Start your work: Now, line up the block with the wood grains and start sanding forward on your panel. Make sure to have a firm grip. Standing against your wood-grains may cause damage to the wood.

5. Change the sandpaper if needed: Keep an eye on how the sandpaper is working. If required, switch between the rigid, semi-rigid, fine, and very fine ones to get the desired result. It may take a few tries to figure out the best sandpaper to complete your purpose at first. However, that’s why you need to keep checking on the performance of the sanding block and keep interchanging the blocks whenever required.

Bottom line:

In the end, we can easily conclude that investing your money in a sanding block is possibly the next best thing that can happen to you. Once you get a hold of using this tool correctly, it can bring you to ease, comfort and increase your productivity.