No matter what the application sometimes the manual ways are still required, and this is true when it comes to sanding. Whilst power sanders can get most of the work done, the minor finishing touches, especially in hard-to-reach areas, may require a hand sanding block. Cromwell stock a wide range of hand sanding tools and accessories in out abrasives range and brands like York, 3M, Klingspor and Sia Abrasives you'll be sure to find the right sanding block for your application.
Sanding blocks are simple handheld blocks made of wood, cork or stiffened foam, designed to be fitted with a sheet of sandpaper for manual sanding applications. They act as a backing to the sandpaper giving it shape and allowing pressure to be applied more easily to the surface being sanded, helping to reduce tears.
As useful as power tools like belt sanders are, they are limited, due to their bulk when sanding more intricate work. This is where sanding blocks are required as they allow the dexterity needed to sand into hard-to-reach areas.
Whilst all sanding blocks perform the same function, not all sanding blocks are the same. Below are the most common types along with their features and benefits.
• Wood blocks - these are traditional hand sanding blocks, allowing the sandpaper to wrap around the block and be held in place by the user.
• Sanding sponges - Lightweight foam blocks featuring dual surface grits (one fine and coarse). These blocks don't require sandpaper as they already have an abrasive surface.
• Hook and loop backed - These sanding blacks are for use with hook and loop backed sandpaper, allowing the abrasive to be securely fastened in place and easily removed after sanding.
Other types of hand sanding blocks include cork and foam made blocks. These act in much the same ways as wooden blocks, with the paper being secured in place by the users hand.
• Size - The size of the block is important as it determines how much surface area the sandpaper will cover. For intricate working a smaller sized block is preferable as it will be lighter and more manoeuvrable than a large block.
• Coarseness - This applies mostly to blocks with a gritted or dual gritted surface, as the other types of blocks can be used with paper of any coarseness. The general rule of abrasive grits applies here, coarser grit for heavier work, finer grit to finish off the work piece.
What grit of sandpaper do I need when hand sanding?
Sandpaper comes in a range of coarseness, from extra coarse to extra fine. Sandpaper is typically graded in the following ways.
40 to 80 Grit: Coarse - For substantial heavy sanding and rough work. These grades also make stripping layers of paint easier.
100 - 150 Grit: Medium - This grade creates a smooth finish (but not too smooth). When sanding surfaces before painting this grade will aid the adhesion of the paint to the surface.
180 - 220 Grit: Fine - These grades are used for finer finishing work helping to buff out any scratches left and creating a completely smooth finish.