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Wonderbar, where have you been all my life?!?

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Review by 7Footer posted 03-04-2014 06:16 PM 2889 views 12 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Wonderbar, where have you been all my life?!? Wonderbar, where have you been all my life?!? Wonderbar, where have you been all my life?!? Click the pictures to enlarge them

A few weeks ago a co-worker and I were talking about axes and he sent me a video on YouTube called An Axe to Grind, its a documentary by the Adirondack Woodsman all about axes – care, maintenance, hanging, etc. It’s an hour long and I watched about half of it the first time, its very informative and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn the basics about axes.

Anyway, about 4 minutes in he starts cleaning his axe and something caught my eye, he has these things called the Wonderbar, its a rubber compound impregnated with grit, similar to a sanding block but about 1000x better and more durable.

A couple Google searches later and I found them on Garrett Wade , another great site with lots of cool stuff. Anyway my co-worker and I each ordered a set of the Wonderbar’s, $18 for the set is not bad because apparently they last forever, although Garrett Wade does sort of gouge you for the shipping ($9.50), but at least I got a free pocket knife for my first order.

A week and a half later my package arrived, I figured the best place to start was on some hand planes. I looked at my collection and noticed they could use some cleaning. So the first one I cleaned up was a old Defiance (maybe a Defiance knockoff) that I haven’t really used, the pic above is the iron, chip breaker and lever cap, took less than 5 minutes to get both sides looking clean and shiny. Then the cheeks of the plane took about 30 seconds to shine up, I was already sold!

Next the Hercules had some yellowing and weird gunk on it, so again about a minute on each piece and again its looking great.

Then an Ohio #5, which really needed some cleanup, but again this only took about 1 minute on each piece.

A Bailey #6, quick 30 seconds on each side.

I ended up cleaning almost all of my planes that night, and I had a great time doing it! I really didn’t think that much effort was required, although none of my planes were in-operable, I probably wouldn’t use the Wonderbars right away on rust-hunt finds, if something was badly rusted I’d probably still soak it in evaporust before polishing with the Wonderbar. But these little things are so damn handy, I can see using them for light maintenance on just about any metal, and they don’t leave the scratch marks like sandpaper does. They even work well on brass, I polished a couple of old Disston try squares that I had not been able to use because I couldn’t see the markings on the steel and now they look rejuvenated. I guess it’s time to make a plane till, I’m a little worried about hanging my Bedrock 608 with twine!

It also states on the package that you can use them wet or dry with oil or water, and I tried them with a little honing oil, wd-40 and water and still prefer to use them dry overalll. But I might try the fine block with a little oil to see if it makes a difference.

Couldn’t be happier with these little guys!

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -




View 7Footer's profile

7Footer

1278 posts in 667 days



14 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

15076 posts in 1056 days


#1 posted 03-04-2014 06:20 PM

Always good to know products you can count on

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1295 days


#2 posted 03-04-2014 06:35 PM

I love those little blocks. I got mine from mcfeely’s.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View DW833's profile

DW833

66 posts in 601 days


#3 posted 03-05-2014 01:49 AM

I’m not clear on which product you used. I see the rust eraser at Garrett Wade.
http://www.garrettwade.com/wonderbar-rust-eraser/p/06K02.01/
I see the Klingspor Sandflex Hand Blocks on Amazon.

Are they the same product? If they are different, did you use the wonderbar first to clean the rust.
Then use the hand blocks.

View 7Footer's profile

7Footer

1278 posts in 667 days


#4 posted 03-05-2014 02:09 AM

DW they are the same product, looks like just slightly different packaging between Amazon and GW. I bought mine on Garrett Wade, the ones in the first pic of this review are what I received.

All of the pics in this review the only thing I used on them were the 3 blocks in the first pic.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

View 7Footer's profile

7Footer

1278 posts in 667 days


#5 posted 03-05-2014 02:14 AM

This is the same product on Amazon, packing is just a tad different.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4319 posts in 1098 days


#6 posted 03-05-2014 02:33 AM

Is the 3 pack worth it or do you really need all 3 grits?

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1200 posts in 1578 days


#7 posted 03-05-2014 02:46 AM

You can order the three pack from Klingspor for $9.95 plus shipping.

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View 7Footer's profile

7Footer

1278 posts in 667 days


#8 posted 03-05-2014 03:02 AM

I think they’re worth it Rick… However I could see myself ordering a couple more of the coarse blocks, I don’t think I’ll ever need to replace the fine but maybe I’ll wear out the medium eventually. But its nice to give it a quick scrub with the medium and fine after the initial cleaning.

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -

View sikrap's profile

sikrap

1055 posts in 2077 days


#9 posted 03-05-2014 03:09 AM

I got mine from Klingspor and absolutely love them. I used them to clean the table on the Unisaw I bought a couple years ago and I highly recommend them to anyone who has an old jointer, shaper, table saw or any other tool you want to resurrect. Just walk through the grits and you’ll be amazed at the job they do.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5189 posts in 1295 days


#10 posted 03-05-2014 05:10 AM

Coarse and Medium is what I used the most, with the coarse doing most all of the work.

Just for fun I’ve used the fine grit, but you really only need the coarse grit.

http://www.woodworkingshop.com/search.aspx?q=sandflex+coarse

View brtech's profile

brtech

695 posts in 1641 days


#11 posted 03-05-2014 11:28 AM

I’ve used these for years armoring (repair of sport fencing equipment). They are great for cleaning blades. They originally are from Germany. They have a lot of different names. You can get them from Lee Valley as well as the places cited above.

View Toolz's profile

Toolz

1003 posts in 2461 days


#12 posted 03-05-2014 02:39 PM

They are also great for cleaning off burned on food residue on kitchen pots and pans. I bought two sets, one for the shop and one for the house.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

396 posts in 1536 days


#13 posted 03-05-2014 03:07 PM

Thanks for the review. I love the Forest Service video (it’s not by the Adirondack Woodsman but posted by him) – the bearded guy on it is great. He’s got another one on log construction that is good too.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Rick's profile

Rick

6702 posts in 1751 days


#14 posted 03-07-2014 05:19 AM

Good Review1 I’ll be looking for some of these for sure!

Thanks

-- If there was any Logic in this world .... it would be Men riding Side Saddle, Not Women!

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