How to sand in this tight spot?

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-11-19, 11:29 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 319
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How to sand in this tight spot?

So this thread could go in the decks and steps section, but I figured this was more a general woodworking type question, so I thought it would go better here. If it needs to be moved that's fine.

I've neglected my back patio steps over the last 5 or 6 years and the stain (solid paint stain) has been peeling up, and the wood getting really worn and sun beaten. So I am trying to sand it all down, and strip off the paint to get it ready to paint again. I've been able to get most of it with a belt sander, palm sander, and my angle grinder with a sanding disk. The one spot I have yet to be able to sand yet is on the face of the stringers between the railing slats. I don't have a picture of my steps at the moment (i'm at work), I'll try to post a pic of them tonight, but here is a random pic from the internet that should get the point across. The part in red is the part I'm talking about trying to sand:



So the angle grinder allowed me to sand the sides of the railing and other tight spots. But for the face of the stringers between the slats, my belt sander is too wide to fit in there, as is my palm sander. The only thing I can think of to put on my angle grinder to reach in there would be like a wire wheel or something, but I don't want to destroy the wood lol. (I already did enough of that trying to use my pressure washer on the first couple steps)

So what would be the best way to reach in there and sand between those slats? I realize I could do it by hand, but I've already spent so many hours sanding the rest of the steps I'd rather not spend too many more hours doing this part by hand if possible. Also it would be great if I could use a tool I already have on hand, but I am not opposed to borrowing or buying another tool if I have to. I know harbor freight has a skinny belt sander, but that thing is like 1/2 inch wide lol. I suppose that would work. But are there any angle grinder attachments that would be good?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-11-19, 12:39 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,442
Received 305 Votes on 279 Posts
If the balusters are attached with screws I'd remove them.
 
paqman voted this post useful.
  #3  
Old 09-11-19, 12:55 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 319
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yeah that's not a bad idea. I actually have to remove a couple anyway because they had started to pull away and the screws had either broken or popped out. I really didn't want to remove them all, but if that's the only way then I may just have to do that.
 
  #4  
Old 09-11-19, 03:16 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,398
Received 46 Votes on 39 Posts
Try a pumice stick, or the really stiff "magic eraser" abrasive blocks for cleaning hard water stains off glass and toilets.

Old car detailing trick is to cut several 6" circles from thick cardboard and mount them on a drill- the edge of the cardboard is abrasive enough to remove road tar from chrome and brake dust from mag wheels.

Finally, make a disposable "sanding strop" by taking a tyvek envelope and hot-gluing or construction-gluing a strip of sand paper onto it.
 
  #5  
Old 09-11-19, 07:56 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 319
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Those are some interesting ideas, thanks. Also, if anyone is curious, here are a couple photos of the actual stairs in question You can see in the second photo the brown paint I'm unable to reach as of yet. And honestly, most of that paint wasn't peeling, so I could probably just paint over it if I had to.


 
  #6  
Old 09-12-19, 05:21 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,437
Received 158 Votes on 140 Posts
Ya, if I was using paint or solid stain I'd be inclined to clean it up and paint over existing sound paint.
If you remove 99% of the existing paint I'd consider using a semi-transparent deck stain instead of paint or solid stain.
 
paqman voted this post useful.
  #7  
Old 09-12-19, 11:42 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 319
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
yeah I'd really love to do that, but unfortunately I probably wont' get enough of the paint off, and there are a lot of other spots that are in rough enough shape it really needs to be painted over.
 
  #8  
Old 09-12-19, 12:11 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 2,079
Received 65 Votes on 60 Posts
You might get some of it with a sanding pad on an oscillating tool, then finish by hand, otherwise, remove the balusters as was mentioned. But you're not going to get the end grain on the treads stripped down no matter how you go about it so I'd probably be more inclined to chip or scrape off any loose stuff, hit it quick with some sandpaper to scuff the surface, and call it good.
 
paqman voted this post useful.
  #9  
Old 09-12-19, 12:54 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 319
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ha yeah, you can see in the second photo I actually got the endgrain of the railings clean but only because I was using my angle grinder with a sanding disc and literally grinded off a good 1/8 inch or more of wood. Yeah at this point I just want to make sure any loose paint is scraped off and scuff it up for the next coat of paint. Thanks.
 
  #10  
Old 09-13-19, 05:15 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: upstate New York
Posts: 397
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
sand in tight spot

You'd probably only have to remove every other baluster to get enough room for machine sanding. Steve
 

Last edited by sdodder; 09-13-19 at 05:16 AM. Reason: mistake
  #11  
Old 09-13-19, 10:41 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 319
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sdodder
You'd probably only have to remove every other baluster to get enough room for machine sanding. Steve
Ha good point! Thanks. I may think about doing that.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: