Black rubber sanding block blues

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Forum topic by kingfishbc posted 05-22-2010 07:22 PM 1231 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 3165 days

05-22-2010 07:22 PM

So I’ve had a 3M rubber sanding block forever that I use for hand sanding flat surfaces, particularly wet sanding between coats of varnish on flat surfaces. I’m sure you all know the animal; It’s made so a half-sheet of sandpaper folded in half again fits both in width and length, and is rounded on the backside, with flaps on the ends you pull up so you can impale the sandpaper and keep it tight and in place with embedded spikes.

Well, as I said I’ve had this 3M block forever, but a couple years ago I wanted to have another one on hand so I picked one up (NOT 3M) somewhere, like Lowes or True Value or something. It is (was) black, and was made of harder and shinier rubber than my old standby, and was REALLY difficult to pull the flaps back and impale the sandpaper, so it didn’t get a lot of face time with me. It turned out that as I was finishing some benches I’ve been messing around with lately that I wanted to have 2 blocks going, so I scrounged around and found the newer black one, and struggled as usual with loading the paper into it. Did some sanding, enough to need to turn the paper over, and when I pulled the “flap” up to do so, a struggle as usual, the furshlugginer flap broke right off!

That put me into two minds, one being aggravated with the quality of of the tool, such that it was difficult to use and then breaks when using at it was intended, but at the same time relieved and a little happy that the demise of this devilish tool was finally at hand (I can’t bear to just throw something like that out, when it still has SOME utility!) Into the trash, and with a clean conscience!!

THEN, I looked closely at the cypress I had been working on, and that wicked black sanding block had left black skid-marks where ever it had come into contact with any authority with the raw wood! Unbelievable!

Not wanting to generalize here, but you can believe I’ve been ruminating on the differences I have found over the years with tools and other devices the original of which is made say here in the States, and the “copy” of which is made ummm… somewhere else, by individuals who do not even understand what the basic functions of the item are intended to be to begin with!

Glad to have that off my chest, and thank you for your kind attention…

-- I may be crazy, but I am not stupid!

2 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117416 posts in 3811 days

#1 posted 05-23-2010 07:48 PM

We’ve all found out things the hard way for a 3m block check out an auto body paint supply store

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TJ65's profile


1381 posts in 3284 days

#2 posted 05-24-2010 08:49 AM

I know the type of sanding blocks you mean but dont have one.
But recently I found that a hard bit of polystyrene cut into any shape ( I used the bandsaw) and then covered with tape works really well for the intricate pieces as you can shape it to whatever you need. Considering, it lasts for a long time too.

-- Theresa,

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