If you’ve ever started a sanding project that involves small crevices, spindles, rounded edges or anything that’s not flat, you know it’s going to take some serious time to complete. Sure, the outcome of your work will be a beautifully stained project that will last for decades, but in the moment, it just feels like you aren’t actually getting much done.
Sanding can be a really long process. From electric sanders to hand sanding small nooks and crannies, many woodworking projects have their fair share of challenges. Today, while I’m not going into detail on how to sand, I want to share with you:
1. Listen to Music or Podcasts
In my mind, there’s no greater way to pass some time than by flicking on some Miles Davis and humming along. Or maybe Skillrex or Metallica is more your tune. Or perhaps you’re more of a podcast person. No matter what you favorite flavor of music or speech, having something entertaining to listen to can make time fly by as you sand the old finish away!
2. Start with Small Wins
Psychologists tell us that small wins help us to get motivated and take on bigger and tougher tasks.
In your woodworking project, this means that you try to just get 1 flat surface done, or some other small accomplishment that you can see the results of in an hour or 2. This can really help motivate you to knock out the rest of your project moving forward! Small wins for the win!
3. Sand with a Friend, Spouse, or Co-worker
Doing anything with friends makes it more enjoyable. Even if your friend, spouse or co-worker just sits and yaps with you and has a beer, they’ll still help you pass the time and be more productive as you take on your woodworking project. And who knows, they might pitch in and help too!
4. Visualize the end product
When you’ve sanded down to the grain that first time, give it a good wipe off with a slightly damp cloth and stand back for a moment. Think about how awesome your project will look when it’s completed and jump right back in to finish it off!
5. Work Often
Lastly, work often on your project so that you don’t lose sight of what you’re doing. Over time, if you don’t get in there and sand something, your brain will start to remember that it is difficult, and you may lose that visualization of the end product that we talked about in number 4!
If this happens….then you’ve got problems, so work often, even if it’s just for a few minutes or an hour a couple times a week. At the end of every week, you can look back and see that you’ve accomplished something, and that’s worth smiling about!