Wednesday, April 16, 2014

From Nail Buffer to Sanding Tool

Working in mixed media, I enjoy borrowing tools from other arts and trades, and using them in unconventional ways. Even more, I enjoy modifying and creating my own tools.

I was in a dollar store one day, when I realized a beautician's nail-buffing tools might also be excellent for finishing metals. They were! However, the sanding papers didn't hold up under water and the grits, intended for acrylic nails, were quickly depleted.

So, I combined the beauty shop and the auto shop to make a new tool.

Taking wet-dry sandpapers in very fine,1500, 600 and increasingly coarser fine grits, I cut strips of each in exactly the same size as those on my buffing bars.

Fine, wet-dry sanding papers can be found at OSH hardware stores, near the paint section. If you don't find them in your hardware store with the sandpapers, near the paint, or with wood finishing products, try an auto shop--they should be able to tell you where to acquire the product, locally.


Carefully peeling off the old strips, I discovered there was still quite a bit of adhesive left; they were ready to go (a thin layer of E6000 glue would have been my go-to, had that not been the case).If you find the padding has degraded, try craft foam with the adhesive backing, as a substitute.

I applied my wet-dry strips in order of fineness and now have an inexpensive, easily replenished sanding tool perfect for small work, that can be used with water--as a lubricant and to reduce fine dust.

As a bonus, I also discovered the end caps were removable and the interior is large enough to hold the fish-hook sharpener I use for making pins.

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