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My head is swimming from sandpaper research....

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 06-01-2017 05:56 AM 1482 views 3 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Holbs

1725 posts in 1868 days


06-01-2017 05:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sand paper

The more I delve into finishing, the more I learn that there is A LOT more to learn. From my previous forums posts, I’m new to the finishing arena. Bought “Understanding Wood Finishing” by Bob Flexner, read it all in a 5 hour period, which really opened my eyes to the not often spoke of finishing complexities. About to subscribe to Charles Neil’s finishing video’s as well as I really like to drink in wood working aspects I never really thought of before.
Sandpaper seems to be much of a science as other wood working items (different grades of irons for chisels & blades, different outcomes from varnish to shellac, different teeth sets and TPI’s of hand saws).
This is where I welcome being influenced by LumberJock members as I am a amateur in the midst of other’s being where I am while being surrounded by good folk with years of experience.
After a number of hours, here is what I came up with in regards to sandpaper:
I will purchase 80c, 150c, 220a, and 320a 9×11 silicon carbide sheets from Industrial Abrasives . At a price that amazes me. Lots of recommendations for these sheets from people have had years of professional experience in finishes. Am hoping these 4 grits should cover finishing related needs. FYI: the letters following numbers indicate how “heavy” the paper backing is where A is softest, C is harder, E the hardest. Also, the “grit” material matters as silicon carbide is more associated for finishing since dealing with “gumming up” instead of using aluminum oxide grit for all-purposes or ceramic for belt sanders).
When I run out of 5” and 6” Bosch pads for my ROS, I will try out Klingspor as the price and quality are also amazing.
Lots of folks go for the Norton 3x’s for the long lasting, quality, and ease of purchase (HD and Lowe’s).
Mirka Abranet is highly recommended for longevity and dust collection purposes.
So those in my shoes who never realized there is an art & science to sandpaper, research the different grits, the materials, the colors, the manufacturers, the price…. it’s all kinda neat actually. Will save your time as different sandpaper for different applications, and will save you money.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter


18 replies so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

19802 posts in 2944 days


#1 posted 06-01-2017 11:46 AM

I love Klingspor Egyptian gold paper for flat sheets, strips and discs. It is fiber backed and not paper. It really resist tearing and the grit seem to outlast anything I use. I had been using Abranet on my 6” ROS but I’m gong with Klingspor gold for it from now on.

Jim

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

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4515 posts in 977 days


#2 posted 06-01-2017 12:07 PM

I am a big fan of 3M papers for AO sheets. For SiC, I’ve had several cheap ones that I buy for general use and some Gator brand I bought for sharpening when I did Scary Sharp. I have to say that Holbs is right that there is a difference and better quality not only last longer but is uniform and consistent in grain size, has better backing and isn’t that expensive.

Holbs, sounds like you’ve dedicated more time to this study than I ever have, you mention ceramic belts rather than AO. Last time I bought belts I wondered whether or not ceramic would be better. Can you elaborate a bit on what you learned about them?

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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Wildwood

2187 posts in 1973 days


#3 posted 06-01-2017 12:38 PM

I would only use higher grit silicon carbide papers for wet sanding or finishing the finish. If were sanding exotic oily wood you did not plan on applying a finish and just want to sort of burnish wood surface SC papers might be the ticket.

Think hand sanding bare wood sequence should begin with highest grit aluminum oxide and finish with garnet paper needed for surface you have in front of you. Lot of folks don’t use garnet paper these days and that’s okay lot of places don’t even stock it!

-- Bill

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Holbs

1725 posts in 1868 days


#4 posted 06-01-2017 01:04 PM

Ken… I did not look too deeply into ceramic belt sander pads. But from what I read, ceramic belts are more aggressive due to the ceramic crystal structure roughness and lasts a long time. Same for the silicone carbide having “finer” due to the shard like glass crystals. Kind of like comparing DMT & EZE Lap diamond stones: different diamond crystals structure for different price tags.
Bill… you are right. I called Industrial Abrasives this morning and changed my order to 80/120/180 for their Rhino premium aluminum oxide non-loading 50 pack sheets, kept the 220 silicone carbide and added 320 silicone carbide. In the end, saved $2 :) I did read about Garnet crystals. Burnishing is their strong point but many could accomplish that with finer grits of silicone carbide. Maybe I should order Garnet paper to see for myself (which they do have in all grit sizes in 50 or 100 packs).

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2716 posts in 1319 days


#5 posted 06-01-2017 02:03 PM

Just to see, put the sand paper away and see what a nicely tune hand plane or scraper can give you.

;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5466 posts in 2652 days


#6 posted 06-01-2017 02:56 PM

^^^ Sanding is still where it’s at for figured white oak. The best way to fix tearout is to not cause it in the first place.

I like Klingspor VD600xx series. Durable. Cheap. Consistent surface prep for a predictable finish. They outlast anything you’ll find at the home centers, and they cost less too.
https://www.woodworkingshop.com/

I use 120 and 150 grit. That’s it. 50 packs for $16, you can’t beat it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1821 posts in 2783 days


#7 posted 06-01-2017 04:08 PM

There is a lot of good paper out there. I’ve bought a lot of Klingspor, 3-M, Norton and Mirca. What I do know is, I can’t afford cheap. That, immediately, knocks flint out of the picture. I don’t buy much garnet either.

Most of mine is paper backed aluminum oxide. I like the cloth/fiber because of tear resistance, but you pay even more.

If I have good dust collection, paying more for paper can be worthwhile. For example, I took the plunge on Festools $100.00 variable speed ROS and was impressed with dust collection for the first time (aside from using my sanding booth). The paper isn’t cheap, but, thanks to my little shop vac removing the dust, a disk goes MUCH farther than ones I’ve used in the past.

I do have silicone carbide, but only use it for the higher grits. Say, 400 up to 2400.

Even if I don’t have good dust collection, I stay with the aluminum oxide and try for better backing. I do a lot of contour sanding and it really beats the paper. Not paying attention, I bought a few hundred sheets of some with cheap backing. I go through sheets fast because the backing breaks down quickly.

If you can, add a 120. Then, when sanding, actually work through the grits and you’ll save time.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8328 posts in 1325 days


#8 posted 06-01-2017 04:30 PM

Ive found 3m wet dry lasts longer than gator but gator is readily accessible.

I’m about to order some abranet and micromesh pack to try out. Have heard great things about them.

I got my hands on about a dozen packs of garnet 320 from a closing hardware store. It’s true value brand. It’s cuts better than anything out the gate. When the paper is done it is done. Mine also leaves grit everywhere. Probably didn’t help that all of it got wet in a flood. I’d like to try some good garnet paper.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

2316 posts in 1684 days


#9 posted 06-01-2017 04:37 PM



^^^ Sanding is still where it s at for figured white oak. The best way to fix tearout is to not cause it in the first place.

I like Klingspor VD600xx series. Durable. Cheap. Consistent surface prep for a predictable finish. They outlast anything you ll find at the home centers, and they cost less too.
https://www.woodworkingshop.com/

I use 120 and 150 grit. That s it. 50 packs for $16, you can t beat it.

- pintodeluxe

So true! I sand a little higher than you do though up to 320. Yes I know many consider that useless on oak, but I like it. Sanding makes a big difference in the look and feel for me.

I got the Festool pro sander and a set of festool disks for it and they are very good (as you would expect for the price) I have some Abranet disks that work well on the festool.

I bought a Shopsmith sanding block holder thing I saw Jay Bates use

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007KRH7FC/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It comes with a sample of Shopsmith 5 inch sandpaper. I’m very impressed with them. I used the 40grit on plaster around some doors when I added new trim (those plasterers really made it look nice, but nothing is flat or straight or even). The plaster laughed at other sandpaper, but the Shopsmith ones tore it up.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View unbob's profile

unbob

800 posts in 1742 days


#10 posted 06-01-2017 06:14 PM



Just to see, put the sand paper away and see what a nicely tune hand plane or scraper can give you.

;-)

- rwe2156

I did my first project not using sand paper, a wood case made from wenge. I found wenge can irritate my skin in fine powder form. The results was pretty good, only to improve with more experience I think.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1426 posts in 1828 days


#11 posted 06-01-2017 08:34 PM



^^^ Sanding is still where it s at for figured white oak. The best way to fix tearout is to not cause it in the first place.
- pintodeluxe

A properly tuned plane with the correct bed angle or a scraper plane handles figured oak, walnut, cherry, and leaves a very flat surface, unlike sandpaper which will leave small waves even with a wood backer.

View Roger's profile

Roger

20874 posts in 2643 days


#12 posted 06-01-2017 10:35 PM

Mirka is a good sandpaper product as well

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View Holbs's profile (online now)

Holbs

1725 posts in 1868 days


#13 posted 06-01-2017 11:59 PM

On a side edge of a board that has mill marks… a #4 would make quick smooth work replacing sandpaper saving time and money, right? Or is the card scraper/cabinet scraper the way to go? I have all 3. Might have to test it out. Lower grits are more spendy than the higher grits for sandpaper.
Maybe same would apply to board faces as well. Hmm…

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4515 posts in 977 days


#14 posted 06-02-2017 12:31 AM

I find I can usually reach my desired surface without sandpaper on faces and edge grain using a smoothing plane or a scraper. For figured woods or wood with really gnarly grain, a scraper is the better bet. There are just some boards though that I can’t even scrape without some tearout. Also, I usually just sand end grain if it’s visible. It’s hard to plane or scrape and you risk blowout at the edges. Just my .02!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View TarHeelz's profile

TarHeelz

58 posts in 1920 days


#15 posted 06-02-2017 01:13 AM

I have been won over by Klingspor. It’s night and day v. HD/Lowes paper choices. Having a Klingspor woodworking store nearby moves their paper from an excellent choice to the obvious choice.

-- Tar Heelz, Durham, NC USA

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