Selecting the Right Sandpaper Grit

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Do you want to use sanders for woodwork projects? You should have the in-depth knowledge about sandpapers which are used in Sanders. Sandpaper is an important element used for finishing a smooth surface. It is made by binding an abrasive material to a paper or cloth backing. They are available in the form of sheets, bands, rolls, and disks. Choosing the right sandpaper is the key to a successful project. Sandpapers used in power sanders usually has a heavier backing.

Backing: A Strong Foundation

Materials like paper and cloth are used to hold abrasive grit. This is called backing. Paper is the most common backing material used. A stiff paper backing is good for large, flat areas or for use with power tools. A flexible sandpaper backing is the best for curved or textured surfaces. Waterproof sanding is used for wet/dry areas. A waterproof adhesive is used to bind the abrasive material to the backing when wet sanding or using a lubricant. Cloth-backed sandpaper is the best for highly contoured or detailed surfaces.

Choosing the right Coarseness

The level of abrasiveness in the sandpaper is referred to as ‘grit’. Every project needs different sandpaper grit size. You have to select the right size and best type of sandpaper grit for better results. In the US, grit is determined based on the gradation scale established by CAMI(Coated Abrasive Manufacturers Institute). Grit numbers are printed at the back of the sandpapers to make the selection easier. There are different types of coarseness level in sandpaper. Before shopping, it is smart to know what each level includes.

Extra Coarse Sandpaper: The size range from 24 to 36. It is used to remove thick paint and varnish. The abrasiveness of the extra coarse sandpaper is used for sanding of old floors.

Coarse Sandpaper: The size is ranging from 40 to 50 grit and used for rough shaping of wood and the removal of previous finishes, such as light coats of polyurethane.

Medium Sandpaper: Ranging from 60-100 grit and accommodates some final shaping. It helps in the removal of planning marks on wood and in the primary sanding of rough wood.

Fine Sandpaper: The size range from 120 to 220 grit. It is the best option for home workshops and will suffice for final sanding before the work is finished.

Extra Fine Sandpaper: Grits of 240, 320 and 400 are termed very fine and is often used between coats of varnish or paint. Grits of up to 600 are termed extra or superfine and are best-suited for polishing jobs.

Working with the Orbital sander

These sandpapers can be used in orbital sanders from different brands. Orbital sanders accept cut pieces of regular sandpaper and they are well-suited for sanding areas. Orbital sander moves in a circular pattern but random orbital sander moves in a back and forth patter avoiding swirl pattern created by the orbital sander. Sometimes peel-and-stick adhesive disc sandpaper is used in orbital sander that attaches right to the pad of the sander.