What sanding media will get the best results with the least abrasion to metal.

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Forum topic by BurlyBob posted 09-12-2016 02:52 AM 844 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3463 posts in 1686 days

09-12-2016 02:52 AM

What media would best to use in my sanding cabinet to clean up hand planes? I know some things will etch the metal. I’m pretty set on glass beads unless someone can recommend something better. I might have a source for free coal slag, but I have to work that source a little more. My concern is damaging/etching the metal unnecessarily.

11 replies so far

View jbay's profile (online now)


700 posts in 319 days

#1 posted 09-12-2016 03:14 AM

Walnut shells

-- Many times my “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct.--

View mahdee's profile


3459 posts in 1188 days

#2 posted 09-12-2016 10:43 AM

0000 steel wool might be an option.


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Jim Jakosh

16797 posts in 2525 days

#3 posted 09-12-2016 11:02 AM

I’d use 400 wet/dry sandpaper with water or oil to clean them up.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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3463 posts in 1686 days

#4 posted 09-12-2016 01:04 PM

I’ve used wet/dry paper and a brass wheel on a grinder. I was thinking the sanding cabinet would be the way to remove the japanning. I’m still researching that option.

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Bill White

4406 posts in 3380 days

#5 posted 09-12-2016 02:48 PM

I often use soda blasting. Inexpensive, enviro-safe, and effective.


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7119 posts in 1997 days

#6 posted 09-12-2016 03:30 PM

Soda blasting

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5651 posts in 2788 days

#7 posted 09-12-2016 04:47 PM

Many machine shops use 3M Scothbrite pads
I learned this when I was working to get some very prototype ink jet printer heads machined as there were some delicate features that could not be scratched or deformed.
He handed me a 3M ScotchBrite pad and added this is all we ever use.

My son, the CNC machinist who has worked at three different shops, said all the shops where he has worked used 3M Scotchbrite pads for deburring, tool, and part cleanup.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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2619 posts in 2529 days

#8 posted 09-13-2016 02:14 AM

Japanning is just paint. Have you tried MEK? That won’t touch the metal, at all.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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7119 posts in 1997 days

#9 posted 09-13-2016 02:16 AM




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1892 posts in 1735 days

#10 posted 09-14-2016 08:46 PM

I have never removed the japanning from any of the planes that I have restored, I have found them intact enough to make a good user the way I bought them. But that being said, I give them a good soak in ‘Evaporust’, then I lap the sole in and while I have the 220 grit out (on a granite slab)I also lap the sides in as well.
That process makes them look pretty new, and shiny.

If you want to remove the Japanning, I go with Bob White’s suggestion, I would soda blast them, and being that you have a blasting cabinet, make a trip to Sam’s or Costco and pick up a few 5 pound bags … they are cheap compared to glass beads or sand.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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181 posts in 447 days

#11 posted 09-15-2016 08:08 PM

Methyl ethyl ketone rocks.

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