FRETS.COM Tips & Tricks

Keep it cool
Power Sanding Celluloid
© Frank Ford, 9/30/00; Photos by FF, 9/28/00

You've probably heard me talk about my favorite power tool, my little 1x42" belt sander:

It's incredibly handy for shaping small parts, so it figures I'd turn to it when I had some celluloid to shape into a heel cap, or whatnot.

So here's the quick little tip:

I find it safe, easy, and accurate to shape celluloid parts on my sander. To reduce the danger of melting or burning the celluloid, I simply hold up a plywood work board right against the belt, like so:

Now, when I sand the edges, the waste material is whisked away, leaving a crisp clean sanded edge on my part:

Without the backing board, there's a good chance the celluloid will flow downward as it is sanded, causing a little messy "beard" like this one to form:

It can get really messy as the heated celluloid particles recombine below the sanding table:

And, of course, it can catch on fire!

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