Keeps hand-sanded edges crisp.
Sanding by hand often turns what should have been a crisp edge into one that's rounded and uneven. Reader Phil Otanicar says such round-overs are especially noticeable on the small projects he likes to make. Instead of spending money on a power edge sander, he designed a manual edge sander that clamps to his workbench.
The 12x18" platform supports the piece while you guide it against sandpaper attached to a fence. Three slots in the fence let you slide it up and down to expose fresh sandpaper as needed. Coarse paper is mounted on one side of the fence; the other side has finer paper. Sawdust falls into the space between the fence and platform.
Make the fence first, routing the slots as shown in the four steps of the drawing, left. Rout each slot in three passesthe first about 1/4" deep, and each of the others about 1/4" deeper than the one before. The fence should be symmetrical, so rout both end slots with the router fence and bit at the same setting. When you've finished the end slots, measure carefully, and reset the fence to rout the center slot. Once you've finished routing, lay out carriage-bolt holes in the platform using the slots as a guide. Apply a coat of gel varnish to protect the wood and reduce friction.
We bought 2-1/2x180" rolls of pressure-sensitive adhesive sandpaper, cut 18" lengths, and stuck them to the fence. These rolls are available in 80-320 grit from Supergrit. Call 800/822-4003 for a catalog.
If you like this project, please check out more than 1,000 shop-proven paper and downloadable woodworking project plans in the WOOD Store.