Sanding is a crucial step of woodworking that cannot be skipped over, though you would like to.
It is a labor-intensive task that requires a bit of elbow grease, and when you are sanding in grooves, it requires a good deal of patience and precision as well.
If you haven’t ever sanded wood grooves before, the idea might be a frustrating one.
If you are into the task of sanding table legs or the legs of a chair, you are facing your own special kind of challenge.
You are not able to sand them flat like you do when sanding other types of wood projects.
While sanding rounded table legs is tricky, it is not entirely impossible.
Below, we will offer a few tricks and tips to help you sand even the most difficult types of legs.
In this article we will cover:
Best Tools for Sanding Grooved Table Legs
The first thing to know is that you are not able to sand a grooved table leg that is round with a typical sander.
If you need to sand in grooves, you’ll need to follow certain steps to get the job done.
Below, you can learn about some tools you can use to accomplish this task.
1. Rubber Contour
You can use rubber contour products to sand grooves.
These tools are particularly useful in that they can be used on both convex and concave surfaces.
Essentially, they are rubber pads that you can manipulate.
The rubber contour sanders come in various sizes that you can use to suit the project you’re working on.
The tool is great for sanding grooves while also preventing fatigue in the hand and limiting any radius distortion.
All you have to do is bend the pad to fit the groove and start sanding.
2. Radiator Hose Sander
A radiator hose sander is another great option for sanding any grooves or curving areas. It is also quite simple to make.
To begin, take a radiator hose and look for the horizontal area you want to work with.
Using a hacksaw, you can chop the pieces off to the size you want to work with and clean them off.
Grab a piece of sandpaper and attach it to the hose using adhesives.
Once you have completed this, your radiator hose is ready to go. You can then use it to sand in grooves with ease.
3. Steel Wool
Instead of using sandpaper, you can use steel wool in grooves.
Steel wool comes in both coarse and fine grits like sandpaper, and the coarser options are usually better for sanding in tight places.
Steel wool is quite flexible as opposed to sandpaper, so you can mold it to fit grooves, edges, and more.
You’ll need to brush away any wool bits that come off after sanding before moving forward with your project.
4. Power Tools
There are a number of different power tools that you can use to accomplish this type of job, which will not only provide more efficient sanding but can also cut down on the total amount of time needed to do so.
Below are a few tools you can use to get the job done.
A Dremel is good for sanding in small, tight spaces, including curved wooden legs and inside grooves.
The tool comes with three different heads that you can change depending on your needs. These are saw heads, rotating heads, and oscillating heads.
It also may come with custom heads if you need to do something in particular.
This tool is small enough to tackle hard-to-reach areas, making it the most effective tool you can use to this end.
Dremel tools are commonly used for sanding table legs that cannot be sanded using a regular sander.
B. File Sander
A file sander, which is also commonly known as a mini belt sander, is also good for hard-to-reach areas.
It is used for sanding with great detail most commonly and can be used to get into narrow, tight areas.
C. Detail Sander
This sander is commonly used for sanding corners thanks to its triangular sanding pad.
It is similar to an orbital sander, except it is particularly useful for sanding corners and flatter areas of rounded table legs.
5. Modify the Sandpaper
If you want to get into difficult grooves, you can change up the sandpaper by using duct tape.
There are some areas of rounded legs that are not easy to get into, but using sandpaper and duct tape may help you do so.
All you need to do is place some duct tape on the back of a piece of sandpaper. Once they are attached, you can cut them into smaller strips.
These strips can then be used to sand smaller, hard-to-reach areas in no time at all.
A Few Additional Hand Sanding Tools
As for manual sanding, you have a few options for getting into those hard-to-reach areas of round legs of tables and chairs that comes with designer grooves:
a) Emory board
An Emory board is quite narrow, making it easy to fit into tiny grooves.
The downside is that it can take quite a long time to properly sand something.
b) Sanding disc
A sanding disc is best for manual sanding since it doesn’t take as much time.
It is recommended to use a 3M grain sanding paper and do it slowly so as not to ruin the results.
c) Woodworking files
These may take a long time, but they are quite effective for tiny grooves and other such areas.
d) Curved Backers
Coved moldings, profiled edges, and grooves can be difficult to work on, but if you grab a curved backer in the size and shape you need, you can better wrap around them and sand down the edges.
Besides all the above, you are free to get creative and make your own woodworking tools to sand different areas of table legs.
Sanding With Chemical Stripper and Sandpaper
Chemical stripper products like liquid sander deglosser can be found online and in stores.
You should use a paintbrush to apply the stripper to the area that needs sanding following any specific instructions on the package of the stripper.
Below are some steps you can take to sand with the aforementioned items:
- The chemical stripper will usually need about 20 minutes to sit on the area to be sanded.
- After that use mineral spirits or water and pour it on the chemical stripper. Allow the table legs to dry for a full day before moving on.
- Using 120 grit sandpaper, you can sand away anything that’s left of the stripper. You will notice that some of the areas are still difficult to reach with this method, at which point you can use a brass toothbrush.
- Finally, use 220 grit sandpaper and go over the legs once again. This will make sure they are as smooth as possible. Be sure not to sand too hard and instead use a light touch.
Though sanding round table legs and grooves can be difficult when compared to sanding flat areas, there are some techniques you can modify to help you out.
For starters, you can cut the sandpaper into strips and then move them back and forth to sand and shape an area.
Should the sandpaper tear, simply stick some duct tape on the back to fortify it and keep going.
Hi, I am Mark Garner a professional carpenter, woodworker, and DIY painter. I live in the small city of Peoria, Arizona as a semi-retired woodworker. I have started this blog with a simple motive to help you with my wood experience in this sector. If you like to know more about what I love doing and how it all got started, you can check more about me here.