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 1132 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5818 posts in 2346 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


2488 posts in 980 days

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

Walnut shells

View mahdee's profile


3944 posts in 1848 days

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

0000 steel wool might be an option.


View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20906 posts in 3186 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!!

View BurlyBob's profile


5818 posts in 2346 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.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5007 posts in 4041 days

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

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


View waho6o9's profile


8288 posts in 2658 days

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

Soda blasting

View oldnovice's profile


7016 posts in 3449 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!"

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3187 posts in 3190 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

View waho6o9's profile


8288 posts in 2658 days

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




View Grumpymike's profile


2281 posts in 2396 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.

View McFly's profile


273 posts in 1108 days

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

Methyl ethyl ketone rocks.

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