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Forum topic by Kazooman posted 12-26-2015 09:51 PM 523 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kazooman

626 posts in 1415 days


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.


7 replies so far

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shipwright

7168 posts in 2261 days


#1 posted 12-27-2015 01:04 AM

I use the Mirca discs all the time but I find the Autonet works as well as the Abranet and generally costs less.
There was a very good review done awhile back by jgt1942. http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/4080
I got the Autonet tip from his review and I agree with his analysis.
I do have a Ceros sander here in my Az. winter shop but I use the same discs at home in Canada on a cheap air sander.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2153 days


#2 posted 12-27-2015 01:10 AM

Abranet is all I use in my pneumatic sander. Punch some extra holes in the Abranet backer pads to match your sander’s. The Abranet discs WILL destroy the backer pad on your sander and the backer pads are cheaper and last a LONG time.

I buy the combo packs of Abranet (35 discs and backer pad) from AB’s Gloves and Abrasives. Best price I have found and fast service.

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

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Kazooman

626 posts in 1415 days


#3 posted 12-27-2015 01:28 AM


Abranet is all I use in my pneumatic sander. Punch some extra holes in the Abranet backer pads to match your sander s. The Abranet discs WILL destroy the backer pad on your sander and the backer pads are cheaper and last a LONG time.

I buy the combo packs of Abranet (35 discs and backer pad) from AB s Gloves and Abrasives. Best price I have found and fast service.

- gfadvm

Thanks for the advice on the backer pad. I actually had the pad and a hole punch in hand and then I was concerned that the extra holes would ruin the backer. I will have to see if there is an optimal alignment that lets the dust go through while keeping the disk strong.

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2153 days


#4 posted 12-27-2015 01:53 AM

I used a HF gasket punch to punch my backer discs (my Dynabrade air sander pad has LOTS of holes) and I don’t think I weakened my pad at all.

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

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lew

11339 posts in 3218 days


#5 posted 12-27-2015 02:06 AM

Abranet works great for lathe sanding, too!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Kazooman

626 posts in 1415 days


#6 posted 12-27-2015 10:17 PM

Two quick thanks are in order.

Thanks to Shipwright for alerting me to the earlier thread. Very good information there.

Thanks to gfadvm for the advice on the HF punches. I picked up a nine piece hollow punch set at HF this afternoon and it made short work out of turning the Mirka backer pad into one that fits my eight hole sander. I agree that it did not seem to do too much damage to the pad. I was reluctant to chew up a $9.00 backer pad until I had tried the Abranet system

As an aside, one of the worst issues I have had with sanding end grain cutting boards is that you need to start with a pretty coarse paper (60 or 80 grit) and occasionally there is one piece of the abrasive that is higher than the rest. Coupled with the random orbit sander this results in a pattern of fine swirl marks on the piece. Very hard to get them out. I did not see any evidence of this with the Abranet.

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2153 days


#7 posted 12-27-2015 11:34 PM

That gasket punch set is also a great way to make no mar discs of leather or ??? for boxes, tables, etc.

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

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