A few weeks ago, on Twitter, I was asked:
"@rocketn00b Can you tell me which spray adhesive you use to stick sandpaper to your aluminum sanding block so it isn't permanently stuck?"
Mark is referring to one of my favorite tools, the Great Planes Easy Touch hand sander. I first found out about this on Chris Michielssen's excellent Model Rocket Building blog, and it's a terrific sander. If you don't have one, I highly recommend it. I have two, so I can easily switch between coarser and finer grits of sandpaper.
The Great Planes sander comes with a few sheets of self-adhesive sandpaper, and you can buy more from them, but only in coarser grits. If you want to use a finer grit (say, 320 or 400), you have a few options. The first is to cut regular sandpaper to size and apply it with spray adhesive.
The other is to buy self-adhesive rolls. A great resource for this is Klingspoor's Woodworking Shop.
The adhesive on this sandpaper is really strong, and after reading a recent post on Model Rocket Building, I realized I wasn't alone in having trouble getting old sandpaper off the block.
But I recently figured out the trick, so I thought I'd share it here.
First of all, to answer the Twitter question, any spray adhesive will probably do. Most of them loosen their grip in water, so soaking the sander for a few minutes should do it.
Simply soak and peel.
But with the Klingspoor paper, that doesn't quite work. This stuff holds really strong. You may try to peel with your fingernails, and end up using some kind of putty knife or scraper, but still the paper tears, leaving lots of sandpaper and adhesive behind which takes a lot of work to remove.
But you can cleanly remove stuck on sandpaper from an aluminum block with little effort using warm, running water.
Start by running a stream of warm water directly onto the edge of one corner of the sander.
After a few moments, that corner will loosen up and you will be able to carefully peel it away from the sanding block.
Allow the warm water to continually flow right onto the seam between the sandpaper and the sanding block. With a firm grip, slowly peel the sandpaper from the block.
Rinse the sanding block and dry with a paper towel. It should be clean and ready for more sandpaper.
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