Like some of you I was diagnosed carpal syndrome about two years ago.
Since then out of sheer necessity and professional deformation I have been investigating new ways of holding tools and new ways of making things so that my wrists do not get strained.
Sanding by hand is one of the things that put more stress in your wrist than anything, because one has to lock the wrist and fingers to make pressure.
With my carved tool panel I have to sand a lot to make surfaces look hard, and it has to be with the grain to avoid marks. As the usual back and fro movement is a no-no thing because of the short strokes needed I started to really put some brains into it.
So after some time I came up with this technique that has proved to be very fast, efective and really easy on my hands, and I thought I'd share it here. Maybe it is not new, don't know, but it has changed radically the way I sand.
Basically it consists on pulling strap of sand belt under my finger that is pressing against the area I want to sand, no need to press hard as the sand paper needs to slide under it.
For those areas where one can't pull upwards, a piece of wood or a cork like in this case can be used instead of the finger.
If the area is so unnaccesible that your finger doesn't fit in it you can use a piece of wood like in here. That is a scrap of masonite that I rounded the edge prior to using it.
This techique can be used even for flat surfaces, a wider strap and your palm or a sanding block do the job much faster than with sanding blocks and the back and forth movement.
I can see this technique being used in those pieces that have round joints like in Maloof's ones.
Hope it helps some of you that have the same problem I have.