Nice Curves:Sanding contour shapes with ease.
Presented by Chris Smith
Have you ever met the frustration of having to sand raised panel doors, or the multi-profiles of crown and other types of molding? Or maybe you have had to grab a dowel and wrap it with sandpaper and fight to sand the flutes of a column. Regardless of the project, there is almost always some part of it that requires sanding of contours or needs special attention that a disc or sheet sander won’t give. It is always the most dreaded part of the project because it usually means elbow grease and time. And it is usually at this point in the project you are ready to be done, but it is also the part of the project that can make or break all the work and time you have invested. If your project has a bad sanding job it can reveal itself when the finish is applied, which we have all experienced at least one time. Sanding contours doesn’t have to be a burden. In this article you will learn easier and in most cases better ways to sand those odd shapes with ease.
Klingspor's Woodworking Shop understands the need for specialty abrasives to achieve a high level of speed and quality when sanding. This is why we have devoted an entire section to Contour sanding on our website. The following is a list of items perfect for a variety of contour sanding and shaping needs.
MAC MOPS are perfect for turnings, carvings, chair arms and legs, balusters, and other shaped and contoured parts. They can be sanded easier, better, and faster when using the Mac Mop. It consists of hundreds of strips of flexible sandpaper that are bonded to a strong epoxy core. These small strips, made from our cloth-backed Aluminum Oxide material quickly find their way into all the recesses in your piece. Due to the nature and design of the Mac Mop, the sanding action is very passive and will sand, polish, and defuzz your work without affecting or altering any of the profile. The Mac Mop will definitely improve the finish stages of your project by sanding off all the loose fibers that have been pressed into the wood during previous milling or sanding applications. They will work great on larger projects like table legs or crown molding and will also work equally as well on smaller projects. This will, in turn make for a smoother first coat of finish to build on. Simply consider this the best profile sanding device on the market today. We offer the Mac Mops in a 10"x2" and a 10"x4" size and in 80, 120, and 180 grits.
Mac Mops should be mounted onto stationary machines with motors ranging from 1/2 hp to 3 hp and shafts of at least 1/2" diameter and long enough to allow the mop to be mounted. Ideal speeds for the Mac Mop are between 1,100 and 2,500 rpm's but should never exceed 3,400 rpm's. The mops are available in kits that include mounting plates to fit most any size mandrel or arbor ranging from 1/2" to 1-1/2".
SPINDLE MOUNTED SANDING MOPS are a smaller version of the MAC MOP, but come mounted on a 1/4" spindle. With these sanding mops, the most severe shapes and profiles can be sanded with ease. Best of all, no fancy equipment is needed to use them; any 1/4" tool will work. Hundreds of abrasive "fingers" find their way into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies to give the best possible sanded finish. Simply chuck into a 1/4" drill and you're ready to go. They offer the same sanding versatility as their bigger counterpart, but because they are able to be chucked into a variety of other tools and machines, they make a great addition to the home shop as well as the professional cabinet shop.
The mops are 7" inches in diameter and are available in 1" and 2" widths. With a variety of grits ranging from 80, 120, 180, and 240, any job can be sanded from the first pass to the finish.
GOLD SANDING MOPS (also known as flutter sheets) are perfect for the medium to smaller profile sanding needs like parquetry, scroll work, moldings, carvings, etc. They are a smaller version of the Mac Mop and Spindle Mounted sanding mop. If you have ever asked yourself, "How do I sand a profile without changing the shape?" Well, the Sanding Mop Kit is the answer. Woodworkers from across the country that have tried the gold mops will tell you that this is the very best contour sanding system on the market today. They are made of the most flexible aluminum oxide cloth available with lubricants and special resins added. You'll be amazed at the time you will save and the finish in which you can achieve. The fingers of the gold mops will act like a chamois in a car wash and find the low spots, leaving contours and profiles sanded smooth top to bottom, without ruining any detail. You can build the perfect sanding mop for your specific profile sanding needs by adding or taking away sheets. This is a must have for all woodworking shops. They have a 1/2" hole in the middle and can be mounted to any number of mandrels that fit drill presses, motor arbors, hand drills, flex shafts and more.
The Gold mop is perfect for sanding the multi-profile design of crown molding, edge molding, beads, coves, panel doors, and much more. The profile sanding possibilities are endless because of this unique finger design. The sanding mop refills come in packs of 48 sheets that are placed on the mandrel in an intersecting pattern by placing two sheets back to back on the mandrel. Then, place two more sheets back to back and install on them mandrel, intersecting the previous sheets making a cross. Continue installing the sheets on the mandrel in this back to back method, with each layer crossing the other in a pin wheel design until the desired thickness is achieved. The easy to follow instructions (Link is a PDF download file. Requires Acrobat Reader, a browser plug-in, or third party software to view) can be downloaded from the Klingspor’s Woodworking Shop website. You can use small spacers between the sheets to allow for more flexibility of the mops or to increase the width. The sanding mops are available in two sizes (1"x4" and 2"x6") and in grits ranging from 80 to 320. For best results, don’t exceed 2300 rpm when using these mops.
SANDING STARS are a smaller version of the Sanding Mop and come preassembled on a 1/4" mandrel. Put these to work on your most severe profiles, radiuses, routed edges and carved surfaces. The "Sanding Star" is made of the Klingspor gold material - an extremely flexible, cloth-backed aluminum oxide abrasive with a special dry lubricant applied. This special "golden" material is excellent for finish-sanding in general, but perfect for those tough-to-reach areas you never thought you would be able to sand. The sanding Stars are 4” in diameter and 1/2" to 3/4" in thickness and are available in grits ranging from 80 to 220. This size allows you to reach into tighter areas than the previously mentioned profile sanding products.
Hey, stick around...there's more of this article coming next month!...To be Continued...
In the meantime, enjoy a video presented by Chris Smith about Mac Mops!