Sanding Pads for Profile Work

Tips for hand-sanding profiled mouldings. October 26, 2011

I have to sand a lot of profiles cut with a 3/4 radius ball nose and was wondering if anyone made orbital sanding pads that have a profile on the edge rather than just being flat. If not, are softer pads available?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor C:
Check with your sander manufacturer. Some offer a contour pad which is much softer. Sanding edges, though, if it's a hook and loop pad, will quickly deteriorate the hooks on the pad. So think about using a PSA pad instead.

From the original questioner:
Uh, what's a PSA pad?

From contributor H:
Orbital sanders are not just orbital these days. They are random orbit. Using the edge of the pad will not work. You really need a profile sander if you do much of that profile. Whirlwind or other brand.

From contributor L:
Someone did make a kit with a moldable pad. I don't remember who. The random orbit will work if it is run over the bullnose in continuous motion. I have destroyed orbital sanders (PC) trying to add a larger pad. One that works well is a jitterbug pneumatic sander with a soft rubber pad (from the local rubber supplier). This sander is a little stronger built. It is good for large panels also.

From contributor J:
I used a 1" thick very soft hook and loop pad made by Fien. It worked very well on full round 3/4" radius (1-1/2") maple. I used it hard because my router bit left some ridges on the profile. I sanded about 12 lineal feet of material. Finished the job. While the finished product looked great, the stress destroyed the sanding pad!

From contributor C:
A PSA is the glued stick-on.

From contributor J:
To add to my post above about the Fien sanding pad. It was only 12' but it took a lot of time and sanding to remove the ridges! Walked through the grits and finished up with 220. And the 12' of bullnose was all radius. Still don't have an efficient way to do it.