I was working on a door and some swirl marks came through on the stain. That meant sanding back through the stain. Of course, that meant I was going to load down sheets and disks of paper just holding the sander within a few feet of the door. What a pain in the neck, and the pocket book.
For some reason, while I was bending over to get something, it occurred to me to run the sander against the horse mat covering the floor. It sure wasn’t going to hurt anything. After running it a few seconds, quite a bit of oily sawdust appeared on the floor. When I looked at the paper, ALL the stain that had loaded the sandpaper was gone.
Cleaning the paper by running it against the [four by six foot] horse mat every few minutes, when it started loosing its effectiveness, allowed me to do as much with one sheet as I would have done with ten.
When I made myself a small hand sanding block, I discovered that the paper would load up with dust and become useless within a couple of minutes. I glued a thin sheet of some kind of foam rubber I found onto the bottom, which cushioned the paper just a little. After that it worked fine.
Your story reminded me of this. I can’t remember what prompted me to put the cushioning on, but it worked like a charm.