The Foot Long Finger



Also known as: My sanding extension.

I've never been real comfortable with poking 2 or 3 fingers inside a rapidly spinning form to sand those hard to get at areas and while a prospective client may not be able to get their fingers in there to feel the surface either, I KNOW if it's still rough.

The first version of this tool used a type of paper-clip to hold the sandpaper in place but the clips stretched and the mounting bracket coming off the side was a nuisance so I went back to the drawing board and came up with the MKIII which I'm very happy with.

The main idea behind this little gadget was the desire to hold any type of sandpaper and reach right into those tricky spots while keeping my fingers safely outside the form.

The components are just a tang made from 10x3mm steel bar, a strip of EVA foam and a nylon former. The former has a slot cut in it that the tang fits comfortably into and a 3mm hole in the bottom of the slot to accept the alignment pin which stops the former sliding off the tang.

The formers are so easy to make I made up another with a longer face to get more sandpaper working for me. This one was made from some type of industrial anti-friction material. The EVA foam is glued on with CA (cyanoacrylate adhesive) and is very easily shaped on a belt or disk sander.

Loading the paper is just a matter of wrapping a strip of sandpaper around the former, and with the 2 ends sitting in the slot, inserting the tang. The tang drags the paper in to the slot with it, tightening the paper against the foam perfectly.

Trying to sand inside a form like this in the past would have involved something scary like putting a piece of paper inside the form, poking one finger in the hole and onto the paper then starting the lathe!!! Eeeeek!!! Though I could make an even smaller holder, this one just squeezed in and left my fingers out for a change. 

...too easy!


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