Use our quick charts to help choose the best materials for your abrasive application.
Abrasives are commonly composed of hard minerals used in a variety of industrial and domestic applications for woodworking and metal work to shape or finish a piece of work. Abrasives can be used by hand or machine to rub away pieces of wood or metal for a smooth, polished, or finished look or to wear away a piece of material gradually until the desired shape is achieved.
Abrasives are classified into two main categories: natural and synthetic. Synthetic abrasives are produced to mimic organic material and are manufactured rather than mined. Both types of abrasives are used in a wide range of shapes and are most often coated or bonded. Abrasives come in the form of grinding wheels, belts, rods, discs, blocks, loose grain, sanding sponges, and sheets.
Abrasive backing types are paper, cloth, film, or fiber. Coated abrasive construction consists of the backing, adhesive, and the minerals. The minerals or grains are typically “glued” to the backing and most often include both a make and size coat. A make coat is applied to the backing then the mineral or grain is applied, followed by a size (or top) coat of adhesive.
Woodworkers do not typically need heavy duty industrial abrasives for projects and most often use sandpaper for use in orbital or palm sanders. Aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, ceramic, and garnet are the typical abrasive materials in fine to heavy coats. Open coat sandpaper typically with d weight paper backing is ideal for most woodworking applications.
Several abrasives exist for various applications in woodworking. Selecting the right one will ease frustration and ensure you achieve the optimal results. Choosing to sand by hand or electric sander depends on the surface of the wood you are working with. Whether removing paint, stain, or smoothing down wood always consult the manufacturer’s recommended safety tips when working with an electric sander.
Toll Free: (888) 223-8768 (8AM - 4PM EST)
Industrial/Distributor Inquires: (800) 545-1893
Local: (616) 794-4001
Fax: (616) 794-4003