These woodworking tips are about sanding things flat. Sometimes you need to sand a part of a project very flat. This can be difficult by hand. If you follow these tips, you will have a much easier time making a surface flat by hand.
Using a Flat Surface to Make a Flat Surface
If you have a straight edge tool, or a good ruler, you can use them to check for flatness on a few surfaces in the shop. You need to find an area that you can use that you know to be very flat and true.
Once you find a place, or a really good piece of wood, then place some sandpaper face up on that surface. Hold it with one hand, and work you piece back and forth against the grit.
Do this slowly and carefully, and you will flatten the surface of the piece quickly. Also, you will know that the surface is perfect because you are rubbing your piece against something you already know to be flat.
Make sure to spend a little time checking the surface that you decide to use. If the surface is not flat, the piece that you sand against it will not be flat.
My 50 Woodworking Tips PDF is great for beginners too.
Sanding the Surface Flat
Start with a rough grit like 100 or 150. This will help you power through the majority of the sanding. Then, switch to a finer grit to smooth out the surface. Keep laying the papers on the flat surface with the grit facing up, and you will be able to easily create a flat surface on your woodworking project. Check your work often, and change grits when necessary.
Obviously this only works well for smaller projects. Anything bigger than a quarter sheet of sandpaper is not going to sand easily. However, for smaller things this is perfect. I use this for my Wooden Rings all the time.
Lastly, if you find yourself needing a very flat surface often, consider buying a granite plate from a woodworking store. These can be found inexpensively, though some are not. They are precision ground to be very flat, and make a great surface to use for your sandpaper.
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