When I need to sand the inside bottom of a vase I like to use a sanding stick made out of styrofoam. The stuff they sell at Home Depot, etc to insulate foundations. They call it “Rigid Foam Board Insulation”. I use the 2″ thick stuff.
Why styrofoam rather than a wooden dowel? It hurts a lot less if the lathe rips the sanding stick out of my hands and it hits me!
I have found that attaching a small piece of Red Siasoft Sandpaper works best. The tough red side lasts a long time. The soft yellow foam side helps it conform to the round shape in the bottom of my vases.
I like sticks that are roughly 10″ long and 2″ diameter with different shapes on each end. See photos.
I use the stick with the lathe running. I use the pointy end to sand the center in the very bottom of a vase. I use the slightly rounded end to sand the area in the bottom of the vase where the side walls transition into the bottom.
I have 3 sticks. One for each grit. 120, 180 and 220.
Note: I use a Ring Tool to CUT the bottom as clean as possible before sanding.
Make Your Own
b. Make it sort of round (rough it out) with a hand held hacksaw blade or a knife with a long blade. Use what ever you have.
c. Sand it round with sand paper. I use a big belt sander. The belt tends to grab the styrofoam and rip it out of your hands. Thus, hand sanding would be safer.
d. Sand a bullet shape on one end and a slightly rounded shape on the other end. See photo #2.
e. Attach Red Siasoft Sandpaper (or what ever floats your boat) to each end with masking tape. See photo #3.
Here are some photos showing me sanding the inside of a vase.
The next photo shows the inside bottom of the vase after sanding. Nice and clean. Ready for a clear finish.
Sanding Cheat Sheet
Check out my Sanding Cheat Sheet. It ties all of my sanding blog entries together. Wet Wood? Already Finished? Spindle Turning? Bowl or Hollow Form? Then use …