Sanding FRAGILE Pieces

Sanding Fragile Pieces

How do you sand something holding on to the piece with feather fingers and applying sanding paper with an incredibly soft touch?
It ain’t easy.

The Dremel can be set at a low speed or RPMs and runs pretty consistently. A Flexible Shaft is most often operated for speed with a foot petal at higher RPMs. In this sanding I set the Dremel at its slowest speed.

I experimented and put two tools together.

  1. A Dremel 
  2. Variety Grit Sanding Sticks

Before I go a line further, do skip to the bottom of the page and read under WARNINGS.

I was working on some thin sterling-clay pieces. There was no way I was going to sand them with 3M sanding sponges. So, I put the sanding stick in the Dremel and tried it.

They do not spin perfectly; as in, they are a little out of orbit. You can just barely tell this by it being out of focus in the photo below. This is likely due to the fact that they were not designed or intended to be used spinning at high of RPMs, at any RPMs really.

They are made of soft enough plastic that this out-of-orbit actually works to one’s favor. It kept me from pressing hard.  It was not so out-of-orbit that it knocked again my fragile pieces. It’s a soft sand. Not enough even to have an impact on a fingernail.


Here is my fragile piece and one sanding stick.  By the way, I do not remove my coffee stirrer straw. I put it with the piece in the kiln.


I went down the gradations of grits all at low speed and ended up with some nice sterling earrings.



Really, you are not supposed to use anything not intended for a Dremel or Flexible Shaft in the Dremel or Flexible shaft. If you must, be sure, sure, sure to use eye and body protection. Start slow and hold it away from you.

Don’t learn the hard way, like I did. I once tried a small round metal drill in a Flexible Shaft. It promptly got off-center, bent, and became like a dangerous slicer before I knew it. What really freaked me out is when I imagined what would have happened to my face or eye if it had broken off and went sailing. I’m glad to report I still have two eyes and an unscathed face.

Wear eye protection operating any Dremel or Flexible Shaft. I also wear an N95 mask, because typically if I’m using the tool, I’m creating a fine dust.

For online courses in metal clay, go to I Love Silver, where you learn how to design and create your own silver creations.

© Kris A Kramer 2019