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Thread: Sand paper question / turning / finishing

  1. #1
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    Sand paper question / turning / finishing

    I don't know if this is in this section or in the turning section so the mods will have to relocate it if need be. I was in a discussion with a fellow turner yesterday on sanding as I pointed out the sale on at LV on packs of sand paper. This fellow sneared at the quality of the Norton 3x aluminum oxide sandpaper for turning. I felt rather uninformed about paper quality so i started looking as I had never thought about the quality of sandpaper before and the more I have read up on it the more questions I have come up with. What is the best sandpaper to use for turning? Is there a certain brand that everyone uses? Why? How much is a good price on sheets and where is the best place to get sandpaper? Are belt sander belts any good for turning? How about orbital sander discs ( I have some 5 hole box's and have an 8 hole sander) are they any good to use? What size paper do people use for turning? any tips on how to prevent the paper from clogging up?
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  2. #2
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    Asking people to name the best sandpaper is about like asking them to name the best car.

    I haven't tried a whole lot of brands, but here's what I use...

    For hand-sanding flatwork and spindle turning, I use the Norton 3X from 80 to 220 grit, then go to the black 3M wet/dry paper from 320 to 600 grit. I buy the 9" x 11" sheets in the 20-sheet packs, and a pack lasts me a long time. (I almost jumped on the Lee Valley Norton 3X sale myself, but I'm already pretty well stocked.) For spindle work, I just cut small pieces from the sheets in various sizes and shapes. For power sanding flatwork, I use the 3X on either a 5" or 6" random orbital sander up to 220 grit (using pre-punched 3X disks to match my sanders), then do any higher grits by hand or with a 1/4 sheet finishing sander (using the black wet/dry sheets). There are probably better brands and lower prices available, but not at my local stores.

    For bowls and other lathe-turned vessels, I power sand with either a drill-mounted sander or a random orbital sander, using either 2" or 3" sanding disks. My go-to disks are the blue flex disks from Vince's Wood-N-Wonders, although I also keep the yellow "wave" disks from Craft Supplies or Packard in both sizes, too. (BTW, Vince has great prices, and I highly recommend his stuff.) With the blue disks I stock from 80 grit to 2000 grit (usually only use up to 600 grit, though) and the wave disks run from 80 to 600 grit. I have a variety of interface pads to go between the sander/drill and the disks. Any details that can't be sanded by machine get hand sanded. For both power and hand sanding, I sand with the lathe on or off, depending on the circumstances...whatever it takes to get rid of concentric rings. I hate seeing tool or sanding marks on stuff.

    I'll turn the podium over to the next guy...I'm sure you'll get lots of choices and opinions.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
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    I Understand that there are lots of choices Vaughn. I did pick up the pack from LV and I use the wave discs and the orbital discs and i am not too particular with the brand I have been using. This is why I am asking others peoples opinions to see how many use what and or the same product.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  4. #4
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    Drew the one and only thing i have in my head that i learnt about sandpaper is that it is supposed to have a sort of sell by date. As i understand it one had to be concerned about the age from the point of view of the glue that has been used. Now this might be an issue more related to the older styles of sandpaper than the cotton backed styles today but that has always been the thing to put me off buying more than i can use. Its my one concern about rushing out to buy the LV special right now. Just how long it will take me to use 20 sheets.

    What i have found very handy for turning is the boxes that come with several rolls in them of various grits side by side that are about 1 inch wide. Its cotton backed paper and tears off nice as a single piece and can be follded to get into tight places but it suites the spindle work most, so a lot of pen turners use it.
    http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/202...and-Paper.aspx

    This is a great box if you can get it on special with free shipping its a deal. For us in Canada Busy Bee stocks a similar one but its got one roll less and its the 600 grit roll.
    http://www.busybeetools.com/products...N.-X-20FT.html

    Thats the sum total of my knowledge, good post though i would hope we get more contributions as i think its an area that needs some more expertise in my shop. Hopefully not just related to turning.
    cheers

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Asking people to name the best sandpaper is about like asking them to name the best car.
    Not true Vaughn. Norton is the finest paper out there but I prefer the red no fill. It last longer and cuts better. Even after a piece of 220 is used up you can still use it for finer sanding if you like. I go through a lot of paper, Norton drastically reduced my use when I 1st started using it. besides there are not that many makers of paper vs cars :-}
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
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    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hawksford View Post
    Not true Vaughn. Norton is the finest paper out there but I prefer the red no fill. It last longer and cuts better. Even after a piece of 220 is used up you can still use it for finer sanding if you like. I go through a lot of paper, Norton drastically reduced my use when I 1st started using it. besides there are not that many makers of paper vs cars :-}
    Ok what is red no fill? What other brands are there in paper other than Norton that are still good? Does sand paper have an expiry date?
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Watson View Post
    ...What other brands are there in paper other than Norton that are still good? Does sand paper have an expiry date?
    Mirka Gold gets recommended a lot by both pros and amateurs. Same with Klingspor gold sandpaper (which I suspect might be Mirka).

    Here's a ToolCrib blog write-up I found that lists several of the most popular brands...

    http://www.toolcrib.com/blog/2008/10...lies-showdown/

    On the expiration date question, I don't know for certain, but I believe the more modern and higher-end papers don't have the aging issues that sandpaper did in the olden days. I've got some Norton disks that are probably 4 years old, and they still perform like new. On the other hand, years ago I had some old sandpaper and sanding belts that were my granddad's, and when I finally got a sander they would fit, they had gotten to the point where you could flex the paper (or cloth) and the abrasives would jump into the air. On the belts, the adhesive that held the loop together also dried out, so it would make about two revolutions around the sander then auto-peel right off. Here again, I've not had that issue with Norton 3X sanding belts that are 3 or 4 years old. I'd guess that temperature and humidity conditions also play a part in how long of shelf life sandpaper has.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    Wow, you guys use sandpaper, I'm so good I just slap the finish on when I'm done

    Yeah, I wish

    I like the Klingspor gold wave disks for power sanding, but I like the _______ Japanese brand for hand sanding, sorry I have forgotten the name it comes in a roll about 4" wide and is PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) backed.

    I'll find the name later, I find it lasts and lasts and lasts and then it lasts some more, and being PSA backed I can stick it onto flat or round pieces of wood for sanding into hard to reach places.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
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  9. #9
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    This article was great Vaughn, very helpfull, Thanks

    http://www.toolcrib.com/blog/2008/10...lies-showdown/
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hawksford View Post
    Not true Vaughn. Norton is the finest paper out there but I prefer the red no fill. It last longer and cuts better. Even after a piece of 220 is used up you can still use it for finer sanding if you like. I go through a lot of paper, Norton drastically reduced my use when I 1st started using it. besides there are not that many makers of paper vs cars :-}

    Dave when you say the red no fill one do you mean the one where the package has the red stripe on it or the 3X grit size that has a red cloth backing. I think its the 3X 100 thr 150 grits.

    If you want to be totally confused do what i did and look up the Norton spec sheet.
    cheers

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