As The Lathe Turns #32: A Gift From a Friend

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Blog entry by William posted 05-23-2013 12:15 AM 1956 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 31: Turning Something Besides Wood Part 32 of As The Lathe Turns series Part 33: Promises And Challenges »

Recently, I received an unexpected package in the mail. When I opened it, I discovered that a good friend had sent me several packages of Abranet abrasive. I had never heard of it before then, but this friend told me it was supposed to be great for wood turners. I was getting ready for the cradle project at the time though and had no choice to set it aside for the moment.
Well, I finished the cradle and was anxious to see if this stuff was any good. Since receiving it, I’d looked it up and read some good things about it. I wanted to see if it were true.

Abranet is a new take on sandpaper. Now I am always a tad skeptical when it comes to new takes of age old products. Sometimes there is just no way to reinvent the wheel. I am, however, always willing to give it a try.

It is a mesh type material with abrasive somehow glued or otherwise attached to the material. The idea is that dust goes through the pad and doesn’t clog up like regular sandpaper and last longer, and give a better, cleaner, sanded surface.
Yea, right. so does it do what it says it does?
I had my doubts.

I turned a pen out of bocote. I put the sandpaper aside and used nothing but the Abranet. The idea here, for me, was to see how good a job it done without allowing my regular methods interfere with the testing.
So, my review of Abranet, in short, is this. Whoever thought this bright idea up, I want to kiss them right on the lips. I am happier with it than a fat kid at a pie eating contest.
This stuff is amazing.
Any of you turners out there, you know how quickly and easily sandpaper clogs up and you have to move to another spot on it. With Abranet, if it does seem to be getting a lot of dust buildup on it, tap it on something. I just took my finger and sort of thumped at it. It knocked the dust out of the little holes and it was all of a sudden, magically, like I’d just grabbed a new piece of abrasive again. You can’t do that with sandpaper.
Pricing and selection may vary, but Abranet is available through Woodcraft or Penn State if any of you are interested in giving it a try.
Also, I’d like to thank my friend very much for sending it to me. I would probably never have tried it if you hadn’t sent me that package. This is my new favorite abrasive.
Anyway, that was out of the way, but now I was anxious to make another pen. I have several woods I’ve gotten lately that I hadn’t had a chance to try yet. Bocote was one of those woods. Another was padauk.

The padauk pen I had planned on turning similar to the bocote. I just wanted a simple design using the kit as it was intended. However, and I know this sounds cliche, but sometimes when I’m working on a project, the wood speaks to me. It tells me to go in a different direction than I intended. That was the case here.
When turning, I often stop, as one should, to check the process. When I stopped this pen, the wood had this absolutely stunning flaming look to it and was just screaming, “don’t separate me with a metal ring”. So I didn’t. I removed the middle bushing and finished turning it without the band. Seeing the result, I’m glad I did.


19 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3452 days

#1 posted 05-23-2013 12:37 AM

oh happy day william, a new product that helps in the sanding area, so glad it worked…and those pens are stunning, so the wood talks to ya…are you sure you have a tight seal on that mask you wear, do you talk back to it, and if you do, what does it say after that……sorry i could not resist…but i know what you mean, its part of being a wood worker, and an artist…its a talent that god has given and you are using it well….....grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2991 days

#2 posted 05-23-2013 12:45 AM

Yes, this stuff makes a world of difference.
And I won’t even start with you the conversations I have with the tools.
Thanks for commenting buddy.


View sras's profile


4885 posts in 3278 days

#3 posted 05-23-2013 12:57 AM

Thanks for the great review! Very helpful.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2839 days

#4 posted 05-23-2013 01:35 AM

William, I have been preaching the Abranet gospel ever since Rance turned me on to it a couple of years ago. It lasts forever on my Dynabrade air ROS and the dust collection is wonderful!

The pens without the center ring are by far my favorites of all you have done! Good job. And happy sanding!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2991 days

#5 posted 05-23-2013 01:49 AM

Try them out if you get the chance Steve. I am convince, and I don’t often praise new products that differ this much from the tried and true.

Andy, I had never heard of it until this friend sent me these. I love them. If they last half as long for me as others have claimed, they will definately be my new abrasive of choice. I’ve only tried it on pens so far. I am now interested how well they work for regular old hand sanding. I bet I know how to find out.


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2839 days

#6 posted 05-23-2013 02:39 AM

William, When the hooks wear out on my ROS discs, I save them and use them for hand sanding. I just can’t wear this stuff out!

Wish they made Abranet strips for my drum sander!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Woodknack's profile


12369 posts in 2529 days

#7 posted 05-23-2013 04:49 AM

I definitely want to try this stuff.

-- Rick M,

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2762 days

#8 posted 05-23-2013 05:25 AM

great review william going to get some sounds like a way to go for sanding ,i was going to ask if it came in diffrent grit but looked at the link ,thanks

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View tomd's profile


2167 posts in 3919 days

#9 posted 05-23-2013 05:26 AM

Thanks for the review and picture, I will try it.

-- Tom D

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2991 days

#10 posted 05-23-2013 11:49 AM

Andy, I have a couple of old ROS sanders around somewhere in the shop. I’ll keep that in mind.

Rick, it is a little pricey. I went and actually looked at the prices last night. I think it’ll be about on line with what I normally spend on sandpaper though by the time you figure in how much is in a box (I cut the strips in half to make square pieces), the longevity everyone has told me about, and the ability of it not to clog up like regular sandpaper. I have sanded two pens now with the same set. Normally one pen leads up a similar size sheet of sandpaper.

Eddie, I don’t know how well it will work for other types of sanding. Others say great. I’ll let you know, but I’ve only used it on my woodturning so far.

Tom, thanks for commenting. Give it a try if you get the chance.


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2839 days

#11 posted 05-24-2013 12:36 AM

I think it is by far the cheapest sanding discs I have ever bought

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DIYaholic's profile


19657 posts in 2823 days

#12 posted 05-24-2013 12:40 AM

I’m gunna getz meeze some of this stuff….
As soon as I have a “real” project, deserving of a good sanding!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View William's profile


9950 posts in 2991 days

#13 posted 05-24-2013 01:47 AM

Andy, I am starting to think the same thing. I started figuring up today how much I have tied up in “cheap” sandpaper. If this stuff lasts like everyone claims, it’ll save a fortune over time.
Randy, all projects deserve a good sanding.


View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2839 days

#14 posted 05-24-2013 02:17 AM

The least expensive source of Abranet I have found is AB’s Gloves and Abrasives when they have the free shipping deal on. They also had by far the best price on the Dynabrade air ROS.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Doe's profile


1415 posts in 2979 days

#15 posted 05-25-2013 08:36 PM

I bought some a few months ago from Woodchuckers where you can get it by the foot. I figure it’s cheap because it doesn’t really wear out. I’ve used it sanding flat and it works great. I’m going to try it with a sanding block and hopefully it won’t lose too much of the anti-clog properties.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

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