To hold boards in place for sanding:

  1. Cut Shelf Liner: Cut a piece of open weave shelf liner or rubber carpet pad to the size of your workbench.
  2. Place Board on Shelf Liner: Position the board to be sanded on the shelf liner.
  3. Sand Board: Sand the board using an orbital or belt sander.

The shelf liner will keep the board from moving and allow the sanding dust to pass through.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Joe Truini: When using a belt sander to smooth a piece of wood, you typically have to clamp down the wood to keep it from moving. Here’s the reason why. There you go, the belt sander itself will shoot the wood out.

Now, if you clamp it down, the clamps are always in the way. And they do make sanding pads—special pads for routing and sanding that you can use in a workshop. But here’s a more effective and cheaper version, of using a liner.

This is a shelf liner that they make for shelves and drawers, the bottoms of drawers, and this is the open weave type. It’s rubbery and it has an open weave to it. And it works really well to hold the wood and work pieces in place.

So just put it out over the workbench, and cut it to size with scissors. It cuts really easily. And this soft, cushiony surface will grip the piece of wood and prevent it from moving.

Now, let me show you. Lay it out there, and the open weave also lets the sanding dust go through, too, so keeps it a little cleaner.

So, when you start sanding, it’ll grab the piece of wood and keep it from moving. And this will work with all kinds of sanders and all surfaces.

Further Information

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Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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