How to Create the Perfect Tool for Contour Sanding

This is a woodworking necessity!

A Soft and Controlled Add-On

The pad of my random-orbital sander was a tad too firm for refining chair seats. It flattened out areas instead of creating the soft, subtle contours I was after. See my process below. This add-on also lets me unscrew the base and use it as a freehand sander to shape and sand legs, spindles and bowls I’m turning on the lathe. You can buy closed-cell foam at fabric stores or order it online from

Family Handyman

How to Add Foam to Your Sander

Step 1: Cut the Foam to Size

Outline your pad base onto the 3/8-in. thick closed-cell foam. Cut the foam with a utility knife or scissors.

Step 2: Attach the Foam to the Pad Base

Attach the closed-cell foam to the bottom of the extra pad base with contact cement. If your sander uses adhesive-backed sandpaper, the foam will stick directly to the bad, no adhesive necessary. If your sander uses hook-and-loop sandpaper, just glue the foam to the extra base with contact cement and then buy some adhesive-backed discs.