Here’s a question for all us maker types. “Is it possible to both cut and sand a piece of material simultaneously using a common table saw?” Having pondered the question himself, John Heisz on his Youtube channel I Build It could not hold back his curiosity any longer! He set out to give us all an answer at the risk of jeopardizing life and limb. The scenario was this, affix a sheet of sandpaper to the sides of a saw blade, flip the switch, and let her rip! If you want to know what happened after the dust settled, read on.
Setting Up The Test
John set up his test by selecting from among his assortment of sawblades one with a kerf roughly the thickness of a sheet of 100 grit sandpaper. Blade in place his moment of truth was at hand.
To start off, Heisz passes a piece of wood through his saw blade and then checks the quality of the cut produced by the blade.
While the blade is old, it gets the job done. On inspection, only a few semi-circular cut marks where visible along the edge of the board.
Preparing The Cut + Finish Blade
Now onto the sandpaper. Heisz measures out his saw blade and traces out the pattern on the backside of a sheet of 100-grit sandpaper. He cuts out the shape so that it fits snag up to the saw blade kerf.
Using spray adhesive, he glues the sandpaper onto one side of the blade (the one which makes final contact with the wood once it’s cut) and then checks carefully to make sure the sandpaper has securely adhered.
The Cut-N-Sand Inaugural Test!
Having reinstalled the blade onto his machine John was ready to move ahead with making the inaugural cut and sand test cut.
Upon inspection, the two cuts are very different.
You can clearly see which piece was sanded and which was not. The unsanded piece above clearly has more rough edges to it while the sanded piece below has a more muted, smooth look and feel to it.
The end result actually surprised Heisz himself. He thought that the addition of the sandpaper would make the blade cut much slower or cause the sandpaper to fly off mid-cut.
In reality though, the combination of the blade with this specific thickness and grit of sandpaper made for a pretty clean cut without causing the paper to rip off.
You’ll definitely need to make a few more hand sanded passes for the wood to be perfectly smooth and you might need to replace the sandpaper if you plan on using it for longer periods but as an initial sanding method, this works quite fine.
If you want to see what other woodworking projects and discoveries John Heisz is working on, you should definitely check out his YouTube channel.