Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How Many Sanding Machines Does One Girl Need?

The BLHubby has always been crazy about tools.  When he recounts his happiest days there's our marriage, birth of the kids and one is when we were young parents and we went to a local police auction where for only $10 he was able to get a big metal tool box that when opened was full of Craftsman tools.   I've been strangely adverse to using or buying many tools.  Sure I had a sewing machine but really - a single needle can make anything, can't it?  I guess I was raised on stories of rugged pioneers entering the wilderness with just axe and carving out land for crops and a snug home.  BLHubby  used to negotiate - he'd do a project for the house and I'd agree we needed to get him some new tool to do it with.  I had one tool to my name, a jig saw.  I could and did,, make most anything with that and a 4 way screwdriver.  Things have changed.

Then BLHubby bought me the scroll saw.  I couldn't make the animals for my arks without it.  I think that saw was a "gateway tool" cause I've been converted to the necessity or at least convenience the right woodworking tool can make when doing a job.   BLHubby has become a "tool pusher" or I have become a "tool enabler".  Our wood shop has become filled up and I claim many of the power tools as "mine".

Look at the number of sanding machines I use regularly.


I always do some hand sanding. Especially after things have been sealed.  Years and years ago BLH went to an auction and came home with a few cases of industrial sanding belts for the grand sum of $25. They are about 12 feet long and for way too long I've been using them for hand sanding. I just tear them into usable pieces. I thought I had used them all when he found one last box in the barn.  I used to give each kid a piece of sandpaper and let them work on wood pieces.  They thought it was fun and all sanding does something to wood so they were amazingly effective and it's good for a child to labor at something productive.


BLH brought this home last year and I wondered what to do with it.  It took me a while to learn to use it but it's what I use first when smoothing out my little animals.  Last week I was rounding off the bum of a little bear when the sander groaned and green sparks started flying out the bottom confirming that it was inhabited by aliens that were trying to go back to the mother ship. I hit the "off" switch and unplugged it but there was black smoke curling up and a horrible smell.  To my shock and surprise,  when I thought about finishing the animals without it I panicked!  Hand sanding, no way! Fortunately,  BLH had bought the extended warranty so for the cost of another extended warranty on a new machine I was back in business. Whew!


Every little animal gets a ride on this to make sure their feet are level.  BLH brought this home when he caught me trying to use his hand held belt sander to level off feet.  He was afraid I'd do damage to myself. (I only scraped my fingers - didn't take them off.)


I use this to finish the sides of the arks and bear houses.  Hand held and multi purpose. This is the first "electric" sander I got used to using.


I found this in BLH's tool box and I've adopted it as my own.  I first used it to shape the elephant's trunk but It also shapes ears, horns, tails and I can sand the tummy of the little animals. 

This isn't every sander in the shop. There are some I never use that BLH claims.  But wait, I think we do have a little "mouse" detail sander that would work inside the arks.  Maybe I can find it.  Do I need a 12 step program?

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