For years I’ve been storing sandpaper in a drawer under a workbench. “Storing” tends to imply a certain level of planning or organization, neither of which are involved in tossing paper into a pile. As a result, I have a drawer filled to the top with scraps of sandpaper and countless sandpaper discs at various stages of grit depletion.
The problem with this method of storage is that it encourages waste and I end up spending more money on new sandpaper that I don’t need. When I have finished using a sanding disc, I toss it into the drawer because it still has plenty of usable grit left in it. Then it works its way deep into the heap as I scrounge for a different grit. Eventually, when I need that first disc, I can’t find it. So I end up opening a new packet of sandpaper!
I hope this sandpaper disc organizer solves this problem and saves me some time and money. There are five slots for five different grits of paper. But that is only half the solution. To be effective, I need to be diligent about how I use this box.
When I am done sanding with a certain disc, I will peel it off the sander and replace it on the top of the stack of unused discs in the proper slot. There will never be more than one partially used disc in storage: Only when one is completely used up, will I throw it away and use a fresh one.
At least that’s the plan. It relies on my diligence to work.
Building the box is easy, especially if you have a stack of dado blades. It’s just a bunch of grooves. Begin by cutting one piece of plywood for the two grooved sides. Whenever you need to make matching grooves to hold shelves, it’s best to make all the grooves first, in a single piece of wood, then cut it into the two sides. This will ensure they line up perfectly.
With my dado stack in place, I cut out the rabbet for the bottom to sit in. I do this by making several passes over the blades until I get a good fit with another board.
The I cut four grooves for the shelves. I space these apart equally.
Flipping the board around, I cut out the large rabbet on the top edge of the sides. This one is wider then the bottom rabbet, because I want to top of the box to have a slight edge on three sides that my random orbit sander will set into.
Turning the board 90 degrees, I split the board into two pieces.
Then cut two pieces for the top and bottom of the box.
I glue and tack the top and bottom into the rabbets I created on the sides.
Here you can see how the top drops a bit below the sides.
I cut some thinner plywood for the back and the shelves.
Back glued and tacked into place.
I used carpet tape to hold the four shelves together so I could cut an arc in each of them all at the same time. This little cutout makes grabbing the stored sandpaper easier.
The shelves just slide into place.