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Coated Abrasives: Coated abrasives include products made up of abrasive minerals bonded to a backing material with a glue or resin bonding agent. They come in sheets, disks, belts, drums, cords, cloth strips, and sponge-backed blocks for sanding contoured surfaces. Each form has its uses, but you also have to pick the right abrasive minerals and grit sizes to get the best results.

Your Abrasive Options: You can choose from two natural minerals (flint and garnet) and three manufactured ones (aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, and zirconia alumina.) See your options in the chart below.

Grit Sizes: Grit number (or mesh number) refers to the particle size of the abrasive mineral, from 36 grit to 600 grit. However, the sanding products you'll most often use fall within the 60 to 220 grit range. When sanding bare wood prior to finishing, you don't need to work your way through the full range of grit sizes, especially if you use a power sander for some of the work. To smooth a flat surface, such as a table top, WOOD® magazine recommends starting with a sander equipped with an 80 or 100 grit aluminum-oxide belt, then switch to a finishing sander using 150 or 180 grit garnet paper, then finishing up with 220-grit aluminum oxide paper. ~ Copyright © WOOD® Magazine


APPLICATION   TOOL/PRODUCT   ABRASIVE   GRIT
Surfacing rough wood, fast stock removal   Surface sander, belt sander   Aluminum Oxide, Zirconia Alumina   36-80

Rough-sanding mill marks, saw marks, defects, end grain   Orbital sander, belt sander, disk sander   Aluminum Oxide, Zirconia Alumina, Garnet   60-100

Smooth sanding   Orbital sander, disk sander, sheet sandpaper   Aluminum Oxide, Garnet, Silicon Carbide   120-320
 
    Sanding blocks, non-woven pads   Aluminum Oxide, Silcon Carbide   Medium-
Fine

Sanding contours   Sanding drums, disks, flappers, cords, strips   Aluminum Oxide, Garnet, Silicon Carbide   80-320
 
    Sanding blocks, non-woven pads   Aluminum Oxide, Silicon Carbide   Coarse-Fine

Wet sanding, applying stains or oils, sanding between finish coats   Sanding sheets, non-woven pads   Silicon Carbide, Aluminum Oxide   240-600
Fine-Extra Fine
 
    Steel wool (except wet)       #00-#0000


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