In Tricks of the Trade

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When doing repair work, I often have to inlay small patches of wood into a finished surface. To help level the patch afterward without marring the adjacent surface, I made up several of these little detail sanders, band sawing them from 34“-thick hardwood scraps.

A strip of sandpaper wraps around the foot, with one end tucked into a notch on top and the other end clamped under a small metal plate that’s screwed into a recess under the handle. The angled handle (offset by about 30° to the foot) allows a good grip and firm downward force on the foot. You can also invert the sander and use the rounded top of the foot for aggressively sanding a small area.

I find that a 4″-long handle with a rounded end is comfortable and provides good leverage. You can make the foot any size you like (mine are about 1 12” long); just make sure to sand the bottom truly flat. I have six of these and each is outfitted with its own grit, which is marked on the tool.  Sarah Dieterichs

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