I was watching Woodturning Workshop on PBS today and the program was on segmented bowls. The gentleman that was building his segmented bowl was using a home made tool that I thought was so great that I should tell you all about it. He had take a 12 inch square of 3/4 inch MDF and using double stick tape covered one side with 220 grit sand paper and the other side with 320 grit sand paper. He then pressed the block against the top of the bowl with the lathe running and sanded it flat with each side. He did this to make sure his surface was flat and true prior to gluing on his next ring section. Now I don’t do segmented bowls but I can see many applications for this sanding block in the things I do turn. I am making one for my shop and thought you might be able to use one too.

Update March 7/2012

Today I improved on this idea. I took a 12 inch round of 1″ MDF and covered one side with 220 grit sand paper and using a 1×8 tap I purchased from Craft Supply I drilled a 3/4 inch deep hole and threaded the round to match my headstock spindle. I also purchased a morse taper 1×8 threaded adapter to mount the chuck holding my piece to my tailstock. Turning my lathe speed down to around 150- 200 RPM I now had a very effective variable speed flat sander at a fraction of the cost of buying a dedicated one. Pretty inexpensive and you could make several if you needed different grits.