For those of you who make bows, arrows, or any other thing of wood, you probably do a lot of sanding. I’ve had a few sanding blocks in my time, purchased from lumber stores with great enthusiasm. The enthusiasm generally wanes when I find I have to cut the sand paper to fit the block, or when the clips that hold the block fail, or by finding out I just don’t like how it feels in my hand.

So, I made my own out of some scrap wood and it has worked really well. Once I got the kinks worked out, I made a few extras so I wouldn’t have to switch paper to change grits. The cost was right, too.

  • Cut a wood block 3” x 8” x ¾”.
  • Using a band saw or hacksaw, cut a ½” slot at a 45° angle 1” from the front, and another slot across the back of the block ¼” from the top and 1 ¾” deep.
  • Apply self-adhesive cork drawer liner to the bottom of the sanding block.
  • Round the front and back edges of the block so the sandpaper rolls smoothly around it.
  • Cut a standard sheet of sand paper in thirds length-wise.
  • Insert one end of the sand paper into the 45° slot, wrap the paper around the front and bottom of the block, and insert the second end of the paper into the screw slot until it is snug.
  • Use two 5/8” flat head wood screws to secure the paper.

(Link to a larger pdf:

Editor’s Note: Steve Graf knows a lot about woodworking and building “bows, arrows, or any other thing of wood.” His recently published book, The American Longbow: How to Make One, and Its Place in a Good Life can be found at 3Rivers Archery, or Barnes and Noble.