When my sanding block proved too large for the aprons on a small table, I grabbed one of those credit cards that so often arrive unsolicited in the mail.

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When my sanding block proved too large for the aprons on a small table, I grabbed one of those credit cards that so often arrive unsolicited in the mail. Instead of slapping it down to buy a sander, however, I cut a piece of adhesive-backed sandpaper to size, as shown below, and stuck it to the back of the card. Then I wrote the sandpaper grit on the front of the card with a felt-tip marker.

The thin, flexible plastic lets me sand right up to the table legs more easily and evenly than I can with my fingertips. The card's four edges last through a lot of sanding, and the plastic is easy to cut to shape for custom sanding blocks. If you don't receive enough unwanted cards in the mail, use your expired credit cards.

—Nathan Dixon, Fort Fairfield, Maine

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