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JohnnyK81 06-07-2011 12:33 AM

DIY ideas for a long flexible sanding board?
I bought some Durablocks, but I still think I'll need something longer for the roof, and possibly quarters of my fastback. What has everyone else come up with? Only thing I can think of is plexi glass, but not sure if I like that idea.

willowbilly3 06-07-2011 03:06 AM

On a smaller scale, I use tightly rolled newspaper with several layers of duct tape wrapped around it, makes a great contour sanding "board". You might try something like UHMW plastic and bond some thin high density foam to it.

cboy 06-07-2011 06:57 AM


Originally Posted by JohnnyK81
...but I still think I'll need something longer for the roof, and possibly quarters of my fastback.

Not only longer sanding blocks...but I found longer "spreader tools" are helpful as well. And plexiglass isn't a bad way to go.

Here is a plexiglass "bondo applicator" that I used on my sedan/delivery:

And this applicator is simply a piece of roof flashing (you have to cut a very straight edge on it or use the pre-cut edge at all times). Gets the filler spread thin and even over some pretty difficult curved areas.

And here is my long plexiglass block sander. The "handles" are 35mm film canisters epoxied to the back side of the block. And the sandpaper is stick-on type.

And here it is in use.

Although I didn't try it, I've also heard of folks using aluminum 4' "yard sticks" such as the one shown here. These would bend nicely to conform to any slight crown in the metal while remaining flat over a very large surface area.
Holding on to them might be the biggest challenge.

Arrowhead 06-07-2011 07:00 AM

I was using the aluminum yard stick like cboy posted, but it was very difficult to hold and control. I suppose I could have countersunk some scews and put handles on it, but I never got that far.

I know your looking for a home made solution, but I bought a couple of AFS sanding boards and they are the best investment I've made so far for bodywork tools. They are not cheap, but the time and energy saved was well worth it to me. They have removable metal rods in them, the fewer the rods, the more flexable they get. The face is thin steel so it will flex along large curves and sand off the high spots. I have a 16" and a 27"

JohnnyK81 06-07-2011 09:56 AM

Thanks tons guys! I don't think I can afford to by buying any more sanding blocks.. :D Just have a quarter and roof to go on this car, then, hopefully, I never tough body filler again. haha..

cboy, I guess it's plexi glass for me! Thanks for the pictures.. My PSA sandpaper is a precious commodity. I wonder if I could glue on some paper clips (As in, the clips on the end of normal sanding boards). Might be so long that the paper would just slide off in the middle though. :(

JohnnyK81 06-07-2011 02:15 PM

Cboy, you're right, I shouldn't have discounted plexi.

Found some 3/8 - 1/2" stuff precut to 2.75.. Has the perfect amount of give!

hp246 06-07-2011 05:15 PM

For long flat pieces, I use scrap cedar. I attach wood handles with countersunk screws. If I need a board contoured to groves cut into the sheet metal (ie: 73-79 Ford F-100 "dentside") I mix up a batch of body filler, use a piece of wax paper and contour the whole mess to the contour of the groove.

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