The proper way to fold sandpaper. Is there one?

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Forum topic by GaryK posted 05-05-2011 11:40 PM 4174 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10262 posts in 4257 days

05-05-2011 11:40 PM

Well, as far as I know there is no one way to properly fold sandpaper. (BTW, why does it always seem to be made in Canada? Do you Canucks have the market cornered on the glue or something? :-) )

I do know that you don’t fold it so that grit side is facing grit side. They would just wear each other out before you even got the chance to use them.

Here is one way to properly fold sandpaper. After it’s folded you can either use it as is or wrapped in a block of wood.

First divide in to 4 quarters.

Then cut and fold as shown below:

Now fold again:

One last fold, and there you go.

When one face wears out just re-fold it exposing a fresh face.

If you like working with smaller pieces you can do the same thing with one of the quarters you marked.

Now you don’t have to go through the trouble of actually marking the paper. Folding it will do the same thing and you just tear it as needed.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

12 replies so far

View degoose's profile


7250 posts in 3623 days

#1 posted 05-05-2011 11:46 PM

Seems like a smart way to do it…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3190 days

#2 posted 05-06-2011 12:02 AM

I got an idea on a 3 fold… But I normally scroll them so it will not be face to face and it will be easier for me to tear out the used portion.

-- Bert

View shipwright's profile


8219 posts in 3066 days

#3 posted 05-06-2011 12:30 AM

For bigger flat-ish jobs I fold as you do, Gary but most of the time I just use it in quarters. It seems that even with the sand surfaces all facing clear faces the bending and working still damage the unused sides.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 4182 days

#4 posted 05-06-2011 02:00 AM

Thanks Gary, I’m glad to hear Canada is producing something :)

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View Karson's profile


35157 posts in 4669 days

#5 posted 05-06-2011 02:10 AM

Now can you fold the paper into a peacock or a rabbit?

Nice skill.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View john's profile


2376 posts in 4650 days

#6 posted 05-06-2011 02:34 AM

I learned that trick way back when i was a kid :-) The sheets are designed to be separated in 4 pieces to fit a palm sander perfectly .

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2961 days

#7 posted 05-06-2011 05:28 AM

Gary, after you have used a sheet in your 1/4 pad sander to you save it to use for “touch ups” or for sanding in tight places?

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4257 days

#8 posted 05-06-2011 06:43 AM

devann – I don’t have a 1/4 pad sander. This is if you are doing it by hand or with a block.

You could do that though. The part that’s clamped gets no use in the sander.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Ollie's profile


146 posts in 3543 days

#9 posted 05-06-2011 03:00 PM

I was told to always fold sandpaper into 3rds. this way you can use one face then the reverse face and then the one in the middle. Then if you need a smaller bit tear off a third and again fold again into thirds.
I must say though, that I normally get my sandpaper in the rolls.

-- Ollie, UK.

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3427 days

#10 posted 05-06-2011 03:22 PM

I was taught the same way, Ollie.

I get confused on the ways I’m supposed to cut paper though. My 1/4 sheet sander is easy, but I have a 3M sanding block that requires the paper cut into 4 strips across the width of the sheet. Then, I have a 1/2 sheet sander that gets occasional use. I always have to remind myself how to partition the paper!

For handsanding, I will normally cut a sheet to fit the sanding block, and then use those same sections folded in 1/3rds handsanding without the block. I’ve never liked using a whole sheet of paper as I feel it’s too big to control…breaking the edges is okay…but larger sheets make me feel like I’m rounding them over.

BTW, my goal is to get handplanes of every conceivable variety and size…so that I can get rid of the sandpaper all together. :)

-- jay,

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3554 days

#11 posted 05-06-2011 07:10 PM

I was taught years a go to cut a sheet in half length-wise. and then fold the two pieces into thirds.
I find for me, the the backing seems to last longer than leaving the whole sheet intact. I like the way this fits my hand.

As far as a proper way, I quess whatever works for an individual is proper.

devann: I do have a 1/4 sheet sander, and I always do that. I also reuse 5” discs too.
By the time I throw a piece away, it is too small to hold.


View patron's profile


13643 posts in 3609 days

#12 posted 05-06-2011 07:50 PM

i always fold in quarters too

but for hand sanding
i learned the hard way
to not just lay my hand on the paper
and sand with my hand flat on it
like this

i have picked up to many splinters
that caught the paper and were driven into my fingers
so now i always grab the paper in a ‘u’ fashion
and only have the inner fingers down on it
and the wood
leaving a tilted edge on the paper
that ramps over any splinters
like this

you don’t see it in this picture
but my thumb and outside fingers are higher
than the one on the paper
so i don’t get any splinters in them

i don’t leave blood trails
on finished work as much now

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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