After years and years of fattening the pockets of those corner office execs at Norton and 3M, I could kick myself for not thinking of this trick sooner. Make your own sandpaper, fellow shop rats! That’s what I do now, and I take those savings STRAIGHT TO THE BANK. Think of how easy it is: paper, glue, sand. Hello?! So, here’s what I do. I roll a layer of my favorite yellow glue onto a sheet of office paper, then dump on a few handfuls of sand and knock off the excess. I use the powdery white play sand for my 220-221 grit (whatever it takes). I fill my pockets with beach sand after a weekend at the cabin and use that for my 60 to somewhere-in-the-hundreds grit. For the really rough stuff, I have to wait until winter and then dodge the snowplows to shovel up what they leave behind. Dicey, but worth it for my 8- to 40-grit. I will say that when you make your own sandpaper, there are some compromises. You’ve gotta be happy with scratches. That’s the name of the game here; you’ll never get some of the big scratches out of the wood, but hey, sanding is all about leaving scratches, right? So all in a day’s work, I say. The paper doesn’t hold up too long either, but think of the money you’re saving! I’m experimenting with paper bags and Sunday circulars. Will keep you all posted.
– Skeezits “Save a Penny” Johansson