Originally Posted by bighotroddin
I need to invest in a new set of sanding blocks. I spend most of my time doing high end resto work cost is not a concern. I have a set of Hutchings wood handles long boards that I like but they are 12 years old and just dont get a panal straight anymore. I got a set of AFS blocks to try out just wondering if there is is anything comperable on the market.
All my 2 3/4" width long blocks are Hutchings, they are excellent but like everything does wear out after a lot of use. When my last one became suspect I took a piece of Billet aluminum...about 5/32" thick and milled it 100% flat. Have had the rebuild now for 16 years and any new board I have to buy since I do the same thing before any sand paper hits the tool. It costs a bit of money but, 16 years and it's still as straight as day one. I think you'd have to drive over it with a Mac truck to hurt it and even then you'd probably only have to replace the handle.
It worked for me...maybe give it a try.
For curved blocks I'm fortunate to have several CNC milling machine and machine some Oak stock to fit the curve or something close to the curve and use 3M's sheet roll system for blocking...The oldest one I've got in this collection is over 20 years old...still works well. I understand that if you don't have the equipment it will get costly but, as far as machining a piece of Billet 2 3/4 by 16 or 17 inches in my opinion is well worth it. I even have several pieces that I've machined and are dedicated for color sanding only.
Hope it helps.