Sanding Inside Corners of Drawer Boxes

      Short answer: sanding sponges. March 26, 2010

Does anybody have a good solution for sanding into 45 deg corners? This would be between coats of finish. On our Kornerking modules we have six corners on each. We are starting to do hundreds of these at a time and the sanding block works but is slow. I have tried an angle block attached to a detail sander but not much success yet.

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Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
In recent weeks my company has taken on the finishing for a local drawer box company. In my experience, nothing is faster than a 1/2" thick 220 grit foam sanding pad. I don't see why it would be any different sanding angles on your trays.

From contributor G:
I'd look at cutting sanding sponges to the top and bottom angles so the sanding person has only to stroke up and down in the inside of that drawer. When you say the sanding block works but is slow, how slow do you mean? How long does it take now for sanding one of those modules? There are two parts to them - the drawer and the revolving tray?

From contributor J:
Is this a real question, or an advertising thing? Buy a Fein corner sander and sand away.

From contributor R:
Another vote here for the Fein unit. It vibrates really fast and works quickly. You do need, however, to carefully match whatever you are using for the flat sanding to the corners. Otherwise, you may see a difference in the finish.

From contributor D:
Come on guys, I can personally sand a dovetailed drawer coated in conversion varnish in about ten seconds to a baby butt smooth surface ready for the next coat. Moving from drawer to drawer takes seconds. Having to grab a power tool, arrange the cord, turn it on, do my sanding, turn it off, set it down, and do it all over again.

From the original questioner:
Yes this is a real question. The tight 45 deg getting both the floor and sides has been my issue. Do I need to compromise? I would like the fact of just using a sponge versus a machine. They are in two pieces, no hardware when being sanded. Are you suggesting a separate sponge for sides and corners?

Will the sander allow me to work my way up the sides in the corners or do I still need to do this separate? My apologies if this question sounded self serving. It is tough in todayís market and I have enjoyed giving and getting info from fellow woodworkers.

From contributor R:
The Fein sander is technically a flat based unit, so in its stock form, it will not sand across the bottom, then straight up the sides. That being your objective, there are several systems out there that can be easily adapted to do just that.

Adding a fairly thick shaped block of foam as the sanding pad, with abrasive on bottom and up the front edges, would allow exactly the sort of one pass sanding stroke you seek. By combining the right tool, substrate and abrasive, I think this could be done fairly cost effectively.

From the original questioner:
After almost 30 years doing this I shouldn't be stumped, but this type of advice comes in very useful. It sounds like an improvement on my angled block attached to a detail sander. I have to make it so it's easy to learn for new people. Sanding is not anybodyís favorite task so making it more enjoyable and foolproof is better. Everybody likes to do a good job.

From contributor D:
I must be missing something. You are asking about how to scuff sand a clear finish between coats, correct? If you were asking how to sand wood, that would be a different story. I am looking at the picture in your original post, and am staring at basically six individual drawer boxes. A 45 degree corner is not so tight that you can't get your fingers into it. I have personally sanded a couple thousand drawer boxes over the last two months and I assure you, a sanding sponge is the fastest way.

From contributor G:
I notice you haven't mentioned the finishing products you are using. Some sand more easily than others. I'd say that, by using vinyl sealer (which sands very easily) and a sanding sponge, you could get those modules sanded in half a minute each, outside, inside and drawer.

From the original questioner:
I use Danspeed post catalyzed lacquer for my finish. 30 seconds sounds great. I am not opposed to trying sanding sponges. Iím just looking at all options. Again thanks for the input .

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