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Sanding Blocks for Blades

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by logem, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. logem


    Nov 23, 2003
    I am wondering what type of sanding blocks most of you are using to hand sand your blades? If you could post a photo, it would be most helpful.

    I use a piece of Micarta with a very high (shore D hardness) piece of elastomer/urethane bonded to the flat side for sanding. The "hard" rubber allows for minor flatness imperfections, but very little.

    I know all the techniques of cross sanding, making sure the previous grit is complete before proceeding onward, use of good wet sanding lubricant (I'm a recent convert to WD-40 thanks to a recent thread on this forum: I used to use simple green or windex), and the use of premium sanding papers.

    I may slightly convert my methods to the Nick Wheeler method of using a steel sanding block prior to using the "padded" block for final sanding, but am always searching for ways to be more efficient.

    Who's going to invent the mechanical blade sander with adjustable sanding pressure and automatic paper indexing movement after about 5 - 15 passes?

    Here's a couple of photos to get the idea across.




    Please note: these are unfinished knives, work in progress.



    Mike L.
    LoGiudice Custom Knives
  2. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    You can sand flat-ground blades up to 600 grit with an orbital palm sander. Then hand sand to higher grits.
  3. quint


    Nov 29, 2011
    Right now I have a 1" wide piece of mild steel about 14" long. About 4" of the center has a bevel on one side. I use that bevel for getting in around the bevel then the flat side for the length of the blade and the top. It works pretty good but I think I will make a wider one probably about 2" wide to try next. Sorry no pics of it right now but could get one tomorrow. I pretty much try to follow Nicks advice as much as possible as he seems to be the sanding guru. His tutorials have done wonders for my sanding.
  4. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    I have a small collection of paint stirring sticks in differens sizes with differendly dounded sides. And a few pieces of brass.
    I like the beech wood because it is light
  5. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    I mostly use old dull files with the corners ground off to varying degrees. I've recently begun using a palm-sander with a hard flat face glued on, but as of yet I remain unconvinced that it's really any faster or better. The vibrations definitely irritate my wrists/tendons/etc, so I'm not thrilled about further experimentation with it.
  6. J. Hoffman

    J. Hoffman

    Jan 1, 2011
    Right now I'm using a piece of metal that was a handle on one of my many "Mistakes". I'm looking for an old serpentine belt that I can glue to an old file. I saw someone using that in the past, and thought I would give it a try.
  7. Angus McGunnigl

    Angus McGunnigl

    May 22, 2002
    I'm using an edge blade I got brandnew at a thrift store for a buck
  8. P. McKinley

    P. McKinley

    Jan 27, 2008
    I just cut 6" long pieces of Oak and Bloodwood, along with lengths of wooden dowel. I've backed a couple of the blocks with leather and I also beveled or rounded off the edges to varying degrees/radii. I'm constantly sanding the surfaces perfectly flat so these end up being disposable.


    Ken H> likes this.
  9. rustyrazor


    Oct 13, 2011
    it's been paint stirring sticks and dowels for the last 15 years.... until i watched Nick's "stuck in the metal with you" thread it hadn't occurred to me to ever use anything different

    ...that being the case, i'm in the process of making a few new jigs and whatnot. pics to follow.
  10. Danbo

    Danbo Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 28, 1999
    I use an old, non flexible, rectangle file.
  11. Washed_3981


    Mar 30, 2019
  12. Timbear


    Aug 24, 2012
    What grit do you finish with on the 2x72. How well does the orbital sander work? Would love to cut down on the hand sanding
  13. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 6, 2000
    As a rule, I don't make a lot of knives-and the ones I do are hollow ground.
    But- I repair/restore a LOT of knives. I generally use diamond files and water stones to start, then I hand sand to 1500 grit before polishing.
    Natlek likes this.
  14. Washed_3981


    Mar 30, 2019
    But- I repair/restore a LOT of knives. I generally use diamond files and water stones to start, then I hand sand to 1500 grit before polishing.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you, I appreciate your response. I really need to look at the posting date, I am new to blade making. Have a great day and I will look into those diamond files and water stones. For any administrators out there I apologize for responding to such an old post.
  15. Randydb

    Randydb Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 27, 2014
    forget it.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  16. Maelstrom78


    Sep 21, 2013
    try not to drag your paper all the way off and down off of your tips. You can easily round them over. If it is making a "sprching!" noise ou might be coming off of the tip with too much downward pressure.

    Tips and plunges are 90% of the bother hah.

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