My little helper

Where would I be without it? $0.99 from Bunnings, the ubiquitous Australian DIY store, and it’s great: a little cork sanding block that handy people wrap with sandpaper to help them get into hard-to-reach places… I use it by wrapping it with strips of scrim (tartalan), telephone-book-paper or tissue paper, to polish up my plate. Because I get arthritis in my hands I often can’t grip small things for long, so soft pads of wadded scrim are a nightmare. Wrapping the material tightly around the sanding block enables me to polish just the surface of an etching plate, without the material being pushed into the lines and wiping out too much ink. Naturally this wouldn’t be suitable for all prints, but for the plate I’m working on at the moment it’s ideal because I get a nice clean surface – no plate tone! – without the pain…


This is the naked sanding block…

Now it’s wrapped in telephone paper, to keep it clean, before I wrap other things round it to work with

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