For power sanding, new abrasives are worth the extra cost
Synopsis: The subject of sandpaper grows more complicated each year, as manufacturers offer more and more types of abrasives, backings, and adhesives in a wider variety of belts, disks, sheets, rolls, and sponges than ever before. Whether you are sanding by hand or machine, this primer will help you sort out when to choose the new high-performance synthetic abrasives such as aluminum oxide and newer ceramics, and when to go with the naturals, such as garnet and emery; when to choose paper coated with stearates or outfitted with sophisticated backings and adhesives, and when to stick with the familiar hardware-store stand-by, 9×11 sheets.
Few woodworking shops would get far without sandpaper. It’s used for everything from flattening rough panels to polishing delicate finishes. Its versatility comes from the variety of available grits, coatings, and backings. Following is a primer on the combinations that work best for the types of sanding you…