|Forum topic by Kazooman||posted 12-26-2015 09:51 PM||572 views||0 times favorited||7 replies|
12-26-2015 09:51 PM
I recently started a thread seeking opinions on sandpaper. One item that was mentioned was Mirka Abranet (and Abralon). The Abranet is a mesh material coated with abrasive. I made a pre-Christmas trip to the Woodcraft store and came came back with three packs in “coarse, medium, and fine” grits. $18.99 per pack for ten pieces. Yikes! I asked about using the disks with a standard hook and loop sander and was told that it could be done, but it was best to use the backer protector pads Mirka sells as a spacer. The reason given was that the hooks on the sander can stick through the mesh contact the work. If they heat up the tips can melt and they will lose their ability to hold paper in place. So, I also got a two pack of the spacers for another $18.99. A $76 experiment at this point.
I have to say that this stuff is terrific! I used the Abranet disks with a 5” Bosch ROS fitted with a vacuum hose for dust collection, sanding a hard maple / purpleheart end grain cutting board that had gone through the drum sander. The Abranet worked much faster at removing the marks left by the drum that the usual paper disks I have used. The same holds for smoothing the rounded edges from the router table. The disks look as good as new. I have several more boards to process so I will be interested to see just how long they last.
One glitch to report. Mirka advertises “dust free sanding” with their system. When I looked at the backup pads in the store I noted that they have a large number of holes in them (15 large and 30 small holes). I wrongly assumed that this was to make them a universal fit for the dust removal holes in different sanders. Nope, this is the proprietary Mirka design and the holes will not line up with the eight hole pattern on my sander. I used the disks directly attached to the sander and it worked great. Time will tell if I have a problem with damaging the hooks on the sander.
I am really sold on the quality of this product and if the longevity of the disks is as advertised they will be well worth the price. I need to investigate whether Mirka offers a pad that will fit my sander or perhaps I need to move up to a new Mirka machine.