How To Select And Use The Right Sandpaper For The Job

Sanding is not quite as simple as grabbing a piece of sand paper and using it or attaching it to your power sander. You must consider the coarseness of the sandpaper as well as the material from which it is made. Choosing the right sandpaper for your project can make a real difference in the look and feel of your final project. Consider the characteristics of different types of sandpaper to get an idea of how to choose the one that is right for your particular project.

The coarseness of sandpaper runs in a wide variety. It goes from very course sandpaper, which is that from about 20 to 40 grits per inch all the way up to very fine which is around 600 grits per inch of paper. The finer the sand paper is, the more refined the sandpaper. So as you continue smoothing a surface, you can go to progressively finer sandpaper. So in order to get the smoothest possible finish, start with a coarse sandpaper and work your way down to a very fine grained sandpaper. Grit, though, is not the only consideration when it comes to your sandpaper.

You must consider the material used to create your sandpaper when selecting what to use on your project. Material can range greatly just like the grit can. Consider the uses and characteristics of materials like flint, garnet emory, aluminum oxide, and silicon carbide. Knowing how they work will help you make your choice the right one.

Flint is best for surfaces that can clog paper. It is made so that if you need to hand sand a painted surface, it will be more effective and last longer than other types of sandpaper. It can also be used with pitchy surfaces. Basically, you can use flint when you fear your sand paper may clog. On the other hand, if you think you may spend time hand sanding clean new wood then consider garnet emory. Since you don’t have to worry as much about clogging, it is an effective choice.

For using a power sander on wood, you may want to consider Aluminum oxide sandpaper. It is longer lasting and fast when it comes to power sanders. Additionally, it is better for use on surfaces that are not wood and may scratch too much. Aluminum oxide sandpaper can, then, be used on fiberglass, bronze, or some steel metals.

Now that you understand more about sandpaper, you can make a more informed decision about what to use with your woodworking project. Consider whether you are using pitchy or painted wood versus new wood and whether you plan to sand by hand or with a power sander. Finally, if you plan to use a material other than wood, you will need to consider what type of sandpaper you use as well.

WARNING: any time you do any sanding of any material, whether by hand or with a power sander, always wear proper eye protection.