LumberJocks

Not perfect, but FAR better than the 3M rubber block!

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Review by dbhost posted 04-20-2012 02:12 PM 2064 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Not perfect, but FAR better than the 3M rubber block! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

A little disclaimer here. I hate sanding, anything that slows the process down, or fails in the process that I do not want to be doing in the first place earns instant hatred from me, which was what got me looking for a new sanding block in the first place.

I started out with a 3M rubber sanding block which is basically the same design as this Norton, just different materials. And it’s the choice in materials that makes all the difference in the world. Simply put, the Norton is a nice, soft, flexible rubber compound that makes for an easily loaded sander, the sides are well dimpled for finger grip, and the block base is nice and flat. The 3M I had to fight every time I had to put paper in it, and the last time I did, the block simply split. The Norton I do not see that happening with.

Now for the reason it’s 4 stars instead of 4.

The block appears to be cast using a 2 part mold, and I would guess that the mold halves aren’t quite aligned as the top part of the block and the bottom were skewed slightly, on every single one on the shelf at my local Home Depot. And trimming of the casting excess appears to have been done with a box knife. Fit and finish is fairly sloppy. However that IS pretty much the standard for pre manufactured sanding blocks.

So far I have been using it in the house for knocking the gloss down on trim and doors for repainting, and it is working very nicely. Stays flat when I want it to, but will slightly contour when needed. (Very slightly, it is after all, still a block of rubber, not foam…).

All in all, even though it is kind of ugly, it sure does work well, and is far better than the 3M that I had for decades considered to be the standard for sanding blocks. If you are in the market for an inexpensive block that works well, and you don’t care about the cosmetics, this is the one for you.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com




View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5386 posts in 1955 days



5 comments so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1533 posts in 1092 days


#1 posted 04-20-2012 04:12 PM

Thanks for the information, I’ll have to give this a shot. I too have the 3M and dread having to put new paper on it. It’s a horrible design that I think nobody at 3M actually ever tried to use before mass-producing it.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

314 posts in 973 days


#2 posted 04-20-2012 04:15 PM

I have one of the 3M blocks and after using it once or twice it developed a large circular bump on the bottom, making it useless for sanding a flat surface!

-- Rex

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3105 posts in 1210 days


#3 posted 04-20-2012 04:45 PM

Hmmmmph! I have a $1 chinese block I bought at a flea market. It looks like it was made from old tires that had been buffed down flat.
It doesn’t get into tight spots, but it is great for making flats when flats are needed.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5386 posts in 1955 days


#4 posted 04-20-2012 05:22 PM

Dallas…

This thing smells like it was made from melted down old tires… Might be the same block for all I know!

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Tyrone D's profile

Tyrone D

314 posts in 1055 days


#5 posted 04-29-2012 08:55 AM

I have an old 3M block and I like it. Maybe they changed the design since I got mine? I like that it’s much more rigid the other blocks.
I think I may actually have a Norton block as well, or it could be an off-brand Chinese block.

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

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