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How To Choose The Right Sandpaper

October 22, 2018Olen Murriel

Immediately you are through with any woodworking, the next step is sanding. Using the wrong sandpaper could easily damage your woodwork. You need to choose the correct grit and type of sandpaper for the finest finish.


Select the precise Grit

Sandpapers are often graded as fine, course or medium. A course sandpaper has 40-60 grit, a medium 80-20 and a fine has 150-180. There are also very fine sandpapers, with grit of 220 to 240, Extra fine 280 to 320 and super fine with grit of 360 and above. It is not obvious that super fine grit paper is the best. In fact, a course grit paper followed by a finer one removes materials faster.


Grading Sand Paper

Typically, there are two categories of sand papers: industrial and commercial grades. The major differences between the two are in the areas such as the glue and backing material that is; paper that holds the grit, and the material that is used as grit.

Sand papers are also graded as either open coat or closed coat. The major difference between the two is that open coat papers feature large gaps in between their particles, while the latter’s grits are loosely grouped together. Generally to say, open coated sandpapers are more ideal for woodworking since they don’t clog easily. Their excellent work is better seen when working on softwoods that have more resin.


Types of Abrasives

Today, there are five types of sandpapers available on market. However, not all types are ideal for woodworking.

Flint paper, commonly known as glass paper is very lightweight and easily disintegrates. It is therefore rarely used for both soft and hardwoods.

Aluminum oxide sandpaper is more long lasting than flint paper. It is commonly used in power sanding. However, the sand paper does not create a fine finish like its counterpart, the Garnet paper.

Garnet paper is brownish-red in color. Of the five types, it is the most commonly used in woodworking since it does not sand wood quickly. The sandpaper creates fine finish, making it the best choice for final sanding.

Silicon carbide sand paper is either black or dark gray. The abrasive is commonly used for metal finishing. It is also used for wet sanding, although water lubricant is required. Although silicon carbide is ideal for advanced finished, it is not perfect for use on wood.

The last type of abrasives is the ceramic paper. The sandpaper features long lasting abrasives that are capable of removing large amounts of materials quickly. The ceramic sandpaper is commonly used for wood hand shaping. It is also perfect for belt sanding. However, the abrasive creates rough finish especially on veneers and quickly leaves sand via the finishing layer, creating ruins on your piece. You must be careful when using the abrasive; otherwise the results will be terrible.


Tip for a Great Finish.

As you carry on with your woodwork, you will definitely realize that it is wise starting with grit papers of varying grit such as the Aluminum Oxides. The grit should then be followed by a finer one, especially that of the Garnet papers. The result will be an exceptionally smooth finish that will make you proud of your woodworking experience and skills.

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