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Shop-Made Edge Sanding Block

By: Phil Huber
Hardwood edging is a beautiful addition to the functionality of plywood. However, sanding that edge can be an issue — it’s not easy to hit the edging while avoiding the plywood. For that, a simple sanding block can be the answer.

The body has an ergonomic shape that makes it easy to use when there’s a good deal of sanding to be done. Below it, a hardwood fence holds the sandpaper in place, exposing only as much as you need, while also guiding the block along the edge of your piece. The sandpaper itself is backed by forgiving cork, granting it a longer lifespan. I use painter’s tape to protect the cork as well, ensuring the cork doesn’t pull apart as sandpaper is removed.

I began with the body. After gluing it up, I cut the blank to final size and laid out the shape. Starting at the band saw, I removed most of the waste and finished at the edge sander. Next, using a core box bit at the router table, I routed the coved recesses along the sides. I then swapped out for a roundover bit to round off the top edges.

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With the body of the sanding block made, I cut the assortment of other parts. This includes the sanding pad, the two heels (both made from hardboard), and the hardwood fence. Both heels and the fence also have a small radius on two corners, which I made at the edge sander. Next, I drilled the holes for the screws that hold the block together. There’s a recess around the holes in the fence to fit the washer and screw head. The cork, painter’s tape, and sandpaper (along with the sanding pad) are held in place by the heels and fence as the screws are driven in.

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The sanding block is easy to use. Simply adjust the sandpaper to the width of your edging, tighten down the fence, and sand away!

Published: Sept. 6, 2023
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