Got out to the shop today because my sandpaper came in.
A quick aside: i finally found a user’s manual for my Ryobi drum sander and found the actual specifications for cutting the strip of sandpaper. Turns out that I was doing everything correct except the cutting of the strip.
Because I measured from strip to strip they eventually got just a bit too short to grip properly and that’s why they kept coming off. Of course, by the time I discovered that I was down to my last strip and that got too loaded for me to finish the sanding I needed.
I finally found the best price for rolled paper at SuperGrit and ordered a 50yd roll (at $1.10/yard for 220) and it got here today.
So I was able to finish up the pre-assembly sanding and got the faces re-identified. Next up will be the cutting to actual width (after I get new jointer blades so i can create a reference edge.)
I have here a couple of shots of what the grain looks like now that it’s sanded down smooth.
And here’s the stack that will turn into a cradle: