How to sand an inside curve


After sanding the flat areas in the last post the next challenge was the curvy bits where the routed parts meet.  This time the boards were routed before being assembled and some of pieces did not line up perfectly.  Problem the belt sander won’t work there. The orbital does not do well either.  Hand sanding with sand paper and finger tips will work but hard on the fingers. New idea, at least I think it is a new idea. Roll up the sandpaper and use it like a slightly smushable(if that is a word) sanding tube thing.  I would slide the sand tube thing down the grooves like a miniature log.  Some times it would loosen a bit but I could just reroll it between my hands.  I found that sanding corners from both sides did a good job of evening them up and keeping the routed profile which most sanding methods would begin to remove.

One way to keep from over doing it with a belt sander


OK, this picture is a corner of a drawer front with a mitered corner.  You can see that there is a little shadow where the two pieces don’t quite match up. If I were in a cabinet shop I could run it through a giant sander that would flatten the whole drawer front, but since I am not in a cabinet shop I’ll use a  hand held belt sander.  The down side is that it is easy to sand too deep and create more work fixing the gouge.  On the other hand if you use a less aggressive sander like an orbital palm sander it will take longer and sometimes still not give you what you want.  So with all that in mind comes the above technique get a pencil and scribble on it.  This assumes you will be sanding enough to erase the marks.  In the picture the left side is the side that is high so I sanded from that direction. I would move the sander to the corner and away watching what got erased.  On the high side if one area erases and another does not I need to adjust the sander to erase what is left.  On the low side as soon as the pencil lines are erased in one area all the way to the corner that area is done  so the other areas need more sanding.  Once all the lines disappear your done with that sander.  On to the next step…

One way to fix a flat on a wheelbarrow


Have you ever had one of those slow leaks on a wheelbarrow that insures that every time you want to do something you have to reinflate the tire.  Go do this, go find that, blah blah grrrr.  So a while back I got tired of that and decided to try a crazy thing.  It was a cheap wheelbarrow to begin with so I wasn’t worried about breaking it more.  Long story short I took off the wheel cut a flap in the side wall packed the silly thing with concrete.  The good news is 6 months later the wheel is not flat.  It does weigh a bit more and it rolls like a Fred Flintstone special, but it does the job. 

Best way so far to cutout for an outlet in a concrete floor with wood going over it.

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So here’s the situation, there’s an outlet in a concrete floor and someone wants a new wood floor to go over the top and it will need 5/8″ plywood attached to the floor and oak over that.  The question is how to cut out the  plywood so that the hole matches exactly.  The process is simple it you have a few tools.  First measure where the hole is in the room so you can find it after the plywood is covering it.  Get the ply attached to the floor and drill a hole into the electrical box location.

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Use your handy router with a flush cut bit to buzz out the opening.

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Makes a nice clean hole it just requires that the wires are pushed down beforehand so they don’t get into trouble.

Resizing jig for the lathe

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circle resizing jig for lathe

circle resizing jig for lathe

The  first picture is the jig empty which consists of an attachment for my lathe supposedly for bowls though I’ve never made a bowl.  I just screwed a piece of 1×8 and made it round and use that and the tail stock to squeeze the disk and be capable of making the disk smaller with only 1 dent in the disk. A little time with the chisels and a little sandpaper and poof wonderful disks.


Handy spacer for cutting sheetrock

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There’s a spacer in the top center of the picture that I made to be able to cut holes in a piece of sheetrock with out having to fight with the sheetrock saw hitting the next piece.  All you have to do is pull the front sheet out a little and drop the spacer in on the top and the rock can be cut in place for outlet hole or for plumbing or whatever.  Simple but effective.

Rocket Parts

Circle cutting jig

The other day I needed to make some circles for a rocket project so I built a router table out of a piece of plywood and a few 2/4’s for legs, then measured out from the router blade for the radius I needed and put a screw down through the table.  I removed the screw and put it back into the same hole from the bottom side so the point would stick up just a bit. Then the trick is to turn on the router and slide a slightly oversized square to where it just barely touches the blade and press the square down on to the screw point.  Needless to say this is the tricky part and must be done carefully to prevent the piece from launching across the room.  Also the screw point needs to hit about the center of the square.  Then the square gets rotated counter clockwise slowly to cut out the circle.  Later the dent made by the screw will make a convenient center mark for resizing the circle smaller and/or cutting out a concentric hole .

Bad electrical idea


I have no idea who thought this was a good idea, but in a word, no.  Not the scarriest electrical thing I’ve ever seen.  That would go to an outlet in a house I rented years ago where someone had taken and wired the neutral AND ground as HOT and the hot as neutral.  So it made the microwave oven box electrified.


For other discovered foolishness.  What is wrong with this picture?
For a clue.    Hamburgers are made from   ——–   beef.
If you guessed ground or in this case a lack of any grounding at all you would be correct.  Just a bunch of wires vaguely in the same area providing no predictable or stable connection to anything. 
So if you ever find yourself wiring a panel don’t do what somebody did here. And with that I must put the big bucket of sarcasm away.
Until later.

Making sheetrock into curves.

So if you ever find yourself in need of making sheet rock fit a curve there is a way to do it.  I have heard of using water to soften the sheet rock and I’ve tried it.  At least with half inch white rock water seems to just destroy the rock.  Also for slight curves I have had some success with flexing the rock slowly.  If it was bent quickly it would snap.  Anyway the most successful method for tighter radiuses has been to slice the paper on the back of the rock at regular intervals.


So to fit a curve you have to have a curve and since I don’t have a picture of the layout for the curve in the picture I won’t try to explain that aspect.  The basic idea to make an archway like this one is to frame the wall like it would be a doorway and then cover the whole curvy part with sheetrock.  Then draw the curve on one side of the wall.  Cut the rock along the line and transfer the curve to the other side and cut it too.  Then cut wooden blocks to slide in between the sides of the wall to support the curved piece.  Then cut a strip of rock the thickness of the wall and put a sieries of slices on the back at 1.5″ intervals and snap each slice. Screw each segment or every other segment to the blocks.


Next it needs corner bead and for this the plastic type is better because it will flex.  They make bendable corner bead with one side solid and the other side in short segments but if it is not available cut your own segments with tin snips.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions on doing this or any other sort of project.

Contrapation to move sheetrock upstairs.


So the challenge for the day is to move 40+ sheets of sheetrock upstairs without a fork lift.
Well, lugging all that stuff up the stairs and around the corner, possible but ehhh. Surely there is a better way. 


Enter the nameless rack thing.  A hand full of screws and a few boards later, poof.  A rack thing that holds several sheets up high enough to load from the ground and low enough to unload from the top.  It hooks on the railing on the top, you can do chinups on the middle support and when it is all done it comes apart and will only exist here as an idea to inspire someone else to take a pain in the backside situation and make it easier.
  If your not one of those drug peddaling spammers that think my website is a great place to dump keyword laden backlinks then leave a comment.  Especially if you have an interesting alternate way to solve this problem.