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Tongue sander

Not that.
  [vote for,

In my various DIYings around the house, it often happens that I need to make two pieces of wood meet. Quite often, they are not entirely straightforward: for example, a mitred skirting board that's in a skewey corner, or a mantlepiece that needs to fit snugly against a non-flat wall.

In some cases, there are easy solutions (eg, butt the two pieces as close as possible; scribe a line on one piece a fixed distance from the other, then cut away the excess). Often, though, it's a case of offering the wood up, seeing where it needs to be shaved by a fraction, shaving it down, repeating, repeating... A good carpenter can do it faster, but most of us aren't great carpenters.

The Tongue Sander is designed to address this problem. Imagine a handheld power tool rather like an electric chisel/scraper, with a blade that oscillates in and out at high speed and with small travel. Fine.

Now the blade. The blade (which is disposable) is basically a stiff but flexible strip of double-sided abrasive. It could be a flexible metal strip with abrasive coating on each side, or something more like two sheets of sandpaper back-to-back, but stiffened with plastic strips between the abrasive layers. Other options are possible. The point is that it's a thin flexible tongue of double-sided abrasive.

To use, just offer up the two pieces of wood, with the tongue between them. Switch on, and use the tongue to abrade away the points that are "pinching". After a few moments, the two pieces will be perfectly contoured to one another, separated only by the thickness of the tongue. Withdraw the tongue (please do not pun at this point), and move the pieces together to create a near-perfect joint.

In some cases, you might only want to sand one side of the joint: fine, there are "single sided tongues" available. There are even some existing tools that might be able to use a special blade like this.

MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 03 2008


       Hm. Sounds like an interesting approach, but won't you end up over-sanding by the thickness of the blade? Or does that just allow room for the glue?
DrCurry, Mar 03 2008

       You will indeed oversand by the blade thickness, but in most cases that's not an issue - after sanding, you withdraw the blade and slide the piece 2 millimetres to the side to close the gap.   

       Depends, of course, on the situation: if you're fitting a piece between two others, you'll wind up with one blade-thickness gap split between the two joints.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 03 2008

       Another way to do this would be to coat one partner (preferably the more moblile) with a thin coat of abrasive-contining glue. Then, affix a rapid vibrator to this piece, using the piece itself to sand itself into place. If some garnet power winds up in the joint it is all good.
bungston, Mar 03 2008

       Nice, could be an attachment for a Saws-All, or is that too much motion?
MisterQED, Mar 04 2008

       Need it.   

       Great idea, easily bakable into a jigsaw blade. Break the plastic handle off a metal nail file (fingernail) and shape it to match a jigsaw blade. The file is less than 1mm thick. Ideal for making things from animal horn.
marklar, Mar 04 2008

       //easily bakable into a jigsaw blade.// I think the jigsaw itself might be an awkward shape - you'd want something closer to an electric screwdriver or electric chisel, for maneuverability in corners. But, agreed, a sanding-tongue blade could be made or adapted for a jigsaw.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 04 2008

       I agree with the awkwardness factor, but you could clamp it upside down in a vice and move the wood instead. An electric toothbrush might be ideal for small jobs, or you could risk stealing something for the missus's goody drawer.   

       disclaimer: improper use may lead to shortened/sharpened/shiny fingernails and/or teeth.
marklar, Mar 04 2008

       good idea. or you can caulk the inside surfaces for a squish n' fit. If I am reading this right.
dentworth, Mar 04 2008

       //Ekstrom / Carlson do an industrial version.// A tongue sander?   

       //or you can caulk the inside surfaces for a squish n' fit.// Yes, but it's much more satisfying to get a hair-thin joint you can seal with paint.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 04 2008

       Promoted with this slogan: "A Tongue With Teeth" (I used to work in advertising - can you tell?) +
xenzag, Mar 04 2008

       [UB] could you rustle up a link with an image?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 04 2008


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