One of the best sanding blocks I have come across is a worn-out sanding sponge. I used to throw the sponges away once they lost their grit. But one day, while searching for a softer block for hand-sanding between coats of varnish, it dawned on me that my worn-out sanding sponge could be wrapped in a fine-grit paper and brought back to life. Since then, I have wrapped the old sponge with many different grits to tackle all sorts of sanding duties, from removing mill marks on furniture pieces to knocking down plaster patches. The soft sponge feels nice in my hand and conforms well to subtle curves, and whatever original abrasive remains on the sponge helps keep the paper from slipping.
—Nick Martin, Baltimore, Md.