I was having a problem finding a method to easily sand out the inside business areas of wooden spoons I was making. Hand sanding was fine for the final finish but to shape sand and smooth out all the rough marks was too tedious.
I saw the Guinevere Inflatable Sanding Balls on line and broke down and bought one and a set of 3 covers. The inflatable ball is $40 and the covers are 3 for $10. Man was that the answer to that spoon sanding. I did 16 of them in less than and hour !!!!!!!!
I tore up one cover and then finished with the finer ones but they did not go as fast. I was going to buy more of the coarse ones and then I thought- I can make them….so here is the approach I took to make them in case anyone else might want to make some for this system or your own ball sanding system..
This is the inflatable sanding ball and cover:
You can fill it with their air pump or your air jet at low pressure:
This is a cover that had gotten torn and I cut it apart to see how they made it.
It s made of a sandpaper cover that is glued to a cloth band down past the rubber ball area. I started by measuring all the parts and then made a mandrel to assemble the cloth ring and the whole cover on the other end.
The band is made from 5/16 cotton T shirt material and it glued to the dimension using a drop of wood glue:
I made a couple aluminum fixtures for drilling and cutting the sandpaper covers. They were made on the drill press and band saw. There were 9 5/32” holes drilled in the sandpaper blank and then the blade fixture was used to mark the shape of the 8 blades that I cut out with a scissors.
This is the nylon assembly fixture:
I made a mask and a holding fixture to spray glue the 2 pieces:
I load the band on the assembly fixture after the glue dries and then I put the sandpaper cover on the pilot on top to center it. Then I start bending down the blades one at a time until they are all stuck to the band and then the competed cover is slid off .
It is best to use fabric backed sandpaper for good durability. Once you have the fixtures, you can make them for all different grits. I have seen systems that are made using a rubber ball glued onto a wood shaft and the ends of the paper are nailed into the shaft. the nails are far enough away from the round end so as not to interfere with the sanding.
I hope you get some good ideas from this. Ball sanding really makes inside contours easy to finish!!
-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!!