Iron-grip trick for sanding small parts
Having practiced the art of intarsia for many years, I often try to shape a significant contour on the parts with a drum sander. Unfortunately, the parts are frequently small and my fingers a bit large. In the past, this meant that my fingertips would get sanded along with the part. To save my skin from further abuse, I developed the following dry-mount technique for sanding tiny parts.Begin by drilling a 1" pilot hole in roughly the center of the part's back. Mount the brass compression nut to the back of the part with a #4x1/2" screw, as shown in the illustration. The compression nut, which fits 1/8" ID (inside diameter) tubing, will thread over a 5/16" fine-thread bolt.The bolt acts as an extension handle that allows you to safely and accurately manipulate the part to achieve the best possible contour. Even better, my sanding operation no longer involves chasing flying parts or scrounging for Band-Aids.—Bob Wills, Coal City, Ill.