Flexible Long Board Sander

I found that since there is so many round corners, a flexible long flat sander works. There are many long flexible sanders available now that flex very well and come in various lengths. It's only recent that flexible long board sanders have become available.

8 inch flex sander

Generic 8" flex sander that you can buy anywhere

broken flexsander

After one day of hard use, it broke on the right hand side

I figure that I can make a longer and more flexible sander (about 10" long)" using the handles and sandpaper clamps from the broken pieces. So I found some flexible white plastic, rubber for backing (mouse pads work well). The big problem was which glue to use to glue everything together.

the pieces

The pieces ready to be put together for the new improved flexible long sander

two sanders

The flexible sander is great for the curves, easily bends and follows the contours

The original handles/clamps are on top, some unknown flexible white plastic that I found and some semisoft rubber for backing. After trying 5 different glues (contact cement, rubber cement, abs glue, crazy glue, carpenter's glue), I found that PVC glue worked the best for glueing the handles to the white plastic board as long as you roughed up the surfaces with 40 grit sandpaper. Initially, nothing seemed to stick the rubber backing to the white plastic material. Either the adhesive stuck to the rubber or to the plastic but not to both. I made a little test jig and tried 14 different adhesives and let them cure overnight. Permatex Black Silicone Sealant was the winner and stuck the best to both- it's a silicone based sealant by the way.

I originally used ABS cement to glue the handles together and it softened up the plastic which allowed the rivets for the sandpaper clamps to pull through. So I countersunk some screws and screwed on the clamps that way. I decided to try PVC cement instead and it works much better than ABS cement. The new improved flexible sander is such a nice tool,

I also liked the cushioning action of the rubber so much, I glued some on to another store bought flexible sander (like the one I broke) which improved it a lot. I just won't try to bend it around such sharp corners so that it breaks when I use it.

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Copyright Aug 2011 Eugene Blanchard