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Forum topic by Cozmo35 posted 03-23-2010 05:53 PM 2362 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2200 posts in 3063 days

03-23-2010 05:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor question

I know I am not the only one to wonder this!..I can’t be! I have been using sandpaper all my life and have yet to know when to throw away a piece of sandpaper. When does it “Officially” give up the ghost?? From my perspective, it only changes grit. Only when it rips apart in my hand, will I send it to the great sandpaper bin in the sky. When do you depart from a dear friend that has served you so well…!!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

18 replies so far

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 3731 days

#1 posted 03-23-2010 06:04 PM

I have often reached for the slightly worn piece (read ready to fall apart used beyond used) piece of 220 when I should have got out the 400 etc. Hay it’s right there on the bench just waiting for me. lol

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4245 days

#2 posted 03-23-2010 06:14 PM

When it becomes too worn to sand with, I recycle it into my kids’ bathroom as a toilet paper substitute.

Okay, not really. But it is a thought.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View mstenner's profile


57 posts in 3181 days

#3 posted 03-23-2010 07:37 PM

Every once in a while, I try a new piece, comparing it to what I’m currently using. If it’s an obvious difference, I’ll pitch my current piece and use the new one. If not, I’ll keep going with the original. I’ve spent too much of my life pounding away with sandpaper that’s too worn or too fine. Things go SOOOOO much faster when you work your way through the grits using good fresh sandpaper.

I will keep scraps around, but usually because my sanding block doesn’t use the ends so they’re still good for details, etc.

-- -Michael

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3507 days

#4 posted 03-23-2010 08:06 PM

I frequently check it and if seems that the grit is getting dull so to speak, and it doesnt seem to be working well, I get a new piece.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3740 days

#5 posted 03-23-2010 08:16 PM

sorry to tell you cozmo but the grits don’t change the more you use it. sanding is a real hassle and everyone wants to get it done fast, using old sandpaper takes longer, so getting out a new piece just makes sense to me. i go through tons of sand paper, it is one of my biggest expenses , but i need to get stuff done fast as this is what i do.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3769 days

#6 posted 03-23-2010 09:14 PM

This one is for CharlieM1958

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

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3755 days

#7 posted 03-23-2010 10:15 PM

sandpaper changing grits is an old myth. when the sandpaper is used, the jagged edges used to “cut” the wood’s surface get rounded over. You go from scratching the surface to burnishing the surface. You are only wasting time by continuing to use the same piece.

The best advice I ever heard on sandpaper is to switch it out as if someone else is paying for it.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4245 days

#8 posted 03-23-2010 10:22 PM

Ouch, Toolz! :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Ingjr's profile


144 posts in 3043 days

#9 posted 03-23-2010 10:37 PM

I hate to admit it but I use sandpaper way to long. Really tears me up to throw anything away. You should see my off-cut wood bin. LOL. Tiny, tiny pieces of wood. Hey, you never know.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View Mogebier's profile


170 posts in 3060 days

#10 posted 03-24-2010 01:50 AM

I have noticed that if I use a piece too many times, especially when I make pens, all I end up doing is burn the wood because the paper is all clogged up. So I change it and toss it all the time.

-- You can get more with a kind word and a 2 by 4, than you can with just a kind word.

View Tony_S's profile


871 posts in 3110 days

#11 posted 03-24-2010 03:09 AM

Hokie is 100% correct.
I tell the guys in the shop, if your stopping to ask yourself if the sandpaper is ‘done’ was ‘done’ ten minutes ago.
Sandpaper isn’t cheap, but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than labor. Using worn out(rounded over) sandpaper is also a great way to make difficult to stain woods….even MORE difficult to stain.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View bobkberg's profile


439 posts in 3100 days

#12 posted 03-24-2010 09:53 PM

Same response as Tony_S above – but to add my $0.02 worth, I feel the sandpaper with my fingers to feel if it has any “grab” – meaning sharp edges that can cut. If it doesn’t, away it goes.

My personal choice is the Mirka brand – which changes color slightly from yellow-ish to orange-ish as the cutting layer gets worn away – that way I don’t even have to feel it, just the color will tell me.

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3102 days

#13 posted 03-24-2010 11:26 PM

I always use sandpaper as if my brother-in-law is paying for it. In virtually every aspect of woodworking, sharp tools is the key to success. With sandpaper the concept of “sharp” means fresh. I try to get value from every portion of the sheet of sandpaper but as soon as the entire sheet shows signs of wear, I throw it away. On my ROS and my finishing sander I am also quick to change paper.

On my belt sanders, I use one of those clean up sticks (like a soft pencil eraser) to get a little more life out of a belt but I am still pretty quick to replace it.

Final thought – When I can I use a flat scrapper instead of sandpaper. Of course, I use a sharp flat scrapper.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3313 days

#14 posted 03-24-2010 11:53 PM

To me, it is obvious when the sandpaper is no longer sanding, or is becoming more work because it is worn out. Usually the backing is destoyed before the grit is. However, I find in most of my sanding, it becomes worn out in the middle but not around the edges. That is true in my hand or machine sanding. I will then use those pieces for smaller areas or mouldings until they no longer function. I keep folding, tearing and using until there is nothing left. I can be frugal with supplies, but wasting time is not a viable option either.

If you are becoming that attached to your sandpaper friends, you might want to take a good long look at your personal relationships. LOL


View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3331 days

#15 posted 03-25-2010 01:24 AM

I change mine fairly often and/or whenever it looks clogged.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

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