I can't believe this has not been done before, but I will post this in case someone finds it useful. A while back I mentioned in a thread here that I had bent some Australian Blackwood sides, and they came out with cross-grain bumps and flat spots in the lower bout. I improved them with vertical flat strips on the inside directly opposite the bumps, in an attempt to draw the bumps flatter, which seemed to help. Now, with the bindings on (wish I could say "uneventfully" . . .) I was considering how to sand the residual bumps off, to leave a smoothly curved lower bout. A flat sanding block might exaggerate the flat spots if not done right. I needed something to hit only the high spots. After considering several complicated possibilities, I took a fresh 120 grit belt sander belt, and cut the seam, leaving a long belt. I then used it, shoeshine style, lengthwise along the grain of the lower bouts, and it worked great, skimming off the tops of the bumps. In the photos, the first shows the side (with sanding sealer on it for cutting binding channels). The second shows the side after the first few sanding strokes; the lighter cross-grain bars are the high spots being sanded. The last photo shows the lower bout sanded almost smooth - which did not take long. I will finish when I level the sides to bindings, and move to finer grits. The result is better than expected, with lower bouts smoothly curved to the touch. I'll see how it looks after finish. Bruce W.
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