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beanbag
08-13-2009, 08:28 PM
For sanding metal:

Sand wet or dry?
Press hard or gently?
Rinse frequently or infrequently?
etc...

torker
08-13-2009, 08:48 PM
Wet and Dry sandpaper...use with WD40.
Wipe the sludge off every now and then with a rag and give it a clean shot of WD.
I use that a lot on aluminum....up to 2000 grit.
Russ

Forrest Addy
08-13-2009, 09:22 PM
When it's dull it's dull. Push the envelope if you must but sandpaper of any kind has a finite life; it's a consumable item. Bite the bullet and replace when the productivity of the process drops to an unacceptable level.

Glenn Wegman
08-13-2009, 10:05 PM
Depending on what you are rubbing on it...

Lapmaster sells diamond paper.

J Tiers
08-13-2009, 10:52 PM
Sandpaper is "done" when the grains fall off, the paper gets loaded too much and can't be cleaned, or the grains get dull.

Oil and using "wetordry" type (3M) paper helps.

But its a "consumable"....... it wears out.......

DaHui
08-13-2009, 11:31 PM
I find the best way to prolong my sand paper life is to keep it in the drawer.

Black_Moons
08-13-2009, 11:48 PM
Depends how your ruining your paper ;)
If its cloging up on drywall/plaster, maybe you should use a screen insted
if its cloging up, using expensive paper won't help you unless you use wet and start washing out the sludge
Iv also heard of sandpaper 'helper' some kinda stick that you wipe on first.. though I think its more for belt sanders and such.

if its losing it sharpness, maybe you should change types (aluminum oxide verus zerconia)

You can also often find 5lb boxes of high grade cloth backed sandpaper in small chunks, appearently belt sander offcuts or something, in verious 'surplus' tool stores for like $10 for the entire box. good deal.
(All assorted grits, from like 400 or 600 to 23 or some insanity)

darryl
08-13-2009, 11:54 PM
Ya, that was my first answer too. I've had some that seems to last forever- until I use it. :)

Seems best to lubricate it if it can take it. Some of it is so crappy that it just falls apart right away- hmm, I wonder where that comes from-

Another part of the answer seems to be to keep it under tension, in other words keep it tight on the sanding block or whatever you wrap it on. Try to keep from digging the corners of things into it, in other words, spread the pressure over some area- and don't use too much pressure. Last part of the answer I'm going to suggest is to throw it away before you think it's finished.

Black Moons idea is one I like too- belt sander 'seconds' have been pretty good pieces for me so far. Chances are a woodworking shop will have some that maybe has been damaged in the machine, or only worn in certain areas- some of what I got was basically new but wrecked on one edge, etc.

Falcon67
08-14-2009, 12:30 AM
Buy Norton paper, not 3M - Norton is significantly better, if you can get it. I have a friend that sells Norton items to body shops (strictly to body shops - not trying to drum up business for him LOL) and they LOVE the stuff. It blows 3M in the dirt. If you rub Norton and 3M paper together, the Norton stuff will eat the 3M up. Literally. Norton is made in USA, my friend gets the stuff from the Stephenville TX plant. I think Home Depot carries Norton, but I'm not sure about wet/dry paper. I have been hammering on a 60 grit Norton flap disk and it has lasted about 4 time longer than anything else on the angle grinder.

When I use sandpaper on metals, I use wet/dry paper and typically lube it with WD-40. Unless it's a paint job, then I use water.

beanbag
08-14-2009, 03:22 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I'd prefer not to use WD40 as that is smelly, but I haven't tried oil yet...

Your Old Dog
08-14-2009, 09:36 AM
Ditto what Forsest says and let me add what my friend told me. He said not to skip any grits. The more different grits you employ the faster the job gets done and the longer the paper last. When wanting a polished finish on saw cut steel I drawfile then, 60,80,120 150,180,220,300,400,and 500 and then buff with chrome green rouge. My 8x10 sandpaper is cut into 4 pieces and folded double from there. I backup with 4 oz leather. I don't bother with 600 grit but do use 4/0 jewelerys paper on the cutting edge of all tools to both impart finish texture and to make cutting edge last longer by eliminating fissures (stress risers) on the edge.

I sand cross direction to the previous grade. The only job the 150 grit has is to eliminate the 120 lines and so on and on.

Frank Ford
08-14-2009, 09:46 AM
Dull is dull for sure, and lubrication can reduce loading or excessive scratching. I tend to use what I have on hand and being a woodworker, there's always sandpaper around.

You can use kerosene, WD-40, or oil to lubricate regular "dry" sanding sheets:

http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/ShopTips/104.jpg

Falcon67
08-14-2009, 10:42 AM
WD-40 is perfume around here :p

You haven't lived until you've worked a ratted out aluminum wheel - or some runny paint for that matter. Wet sanding, start with 240 on aluminum - then 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, scratch remover, polishing compound, then Mothers mag polish. Then go show off your Popeye arms.

saltmine
08-14-2009, 12:28 PM
The most "sure fire" way to make sandpaper last is to leave it in it's original package.

Kinda ike construction equipment. The best way to make a piece of machinery last is to keep the operator away from it.

Davidhcnc
08-14-2009, 01:37 PM
..use it like you are not paying for it:)

lazlo
08-14-2009, 01:55 PM
if its cloging up, using expensive paper won't help you unless you use wet and start washing out the sludge
Iv also heard of sandpaper 'helper' some kinda stick that you wipe on first.. though I think its more for belt sanders and such.

If you're sanding hard material, then you'll typically dull the abrasive grit before you clog it up.

But if you're sanding soft stuff like aluminum or paint, those gummy rubber sticks are great -- a couple of swipes across it and the sandpaper is shiny new.

They carry the rubber sticks mounted on a wide wooden "paint stick" in the power tools section at Home Depot and Lowes.

Alistair Hosie
08-14-2009, 02:09 PM
Best way to make it last is don't use it.Seriously when you use it it gets duller and duller and eventually you might as well sand with cotton wool there is now way I know to get around this.However I would encourage you to try the new abranet sanding sheets they seem pretty good and do last ages but are expensive for general work try them and see if you were nearer I could send you afew sheets to try.Alistair

Paul Alciatore
08-14-2009, 07:38 PM
Wet or dry depends on what I am doing. Coarse paper I usually use dry and a quick finger smaped against the back side will remove some of the material clogging the paper. This makes it last longer.

You can use an old toothbrush or other small brush to try to unclog paper that has been used wet (or dry). It will need to be wet to do this. It may or may not work.

Another thing I do is use a well worn coarse grade as a finer grade while finishing. Thus, 150 grit that is well worn can be used instead of 220 grit if it is still not torn. When I use dull paper in place of a finer grade, I always use a fresh sheet of the finer grade to finish up.

Also, cut the sheets into the sizes you need for the job. Much of the sanding I do is with 1/4 or 1/2 sheets. On the lathe, I use 1" wide rolls and tear off an 8" length or so. I also tear off strips from the sides of used sheets for lathe use, as the center is where most of the use is and the edges are often pristine.

And, yes, do buy in bulk.

John Stevenson
08-14-2009, 07:54 PM
Sand paper is for wood and budgerigar cages.

Emery cloth is for metal.

tattoomike68
08-14-2009, 07:57 PM
For sanding metal:

Sand wet or dry?
Press hard or gently?
Rinse frequently or infrequently?
etc...


you have got to be Bull$hitting. Buy sand paper ya cheapo.

Black_Moons
08-15-2009, 01:42 AM
John does have a point, sand 'paper' tends to rip apart on sharp metal edges, and be poorly made so it falls apart before it clogs on metal

Wet/dry 'paper' is a lot better, and sanding cloths like emery paper or belt sanders etc work WAYY better and longer. also for really hard metals theres better abrasives (zirconia iirc?) that will stay sharp for longer (if dulling and not cloging is the issue)
Some materials also don't clog nearly as much if perfictly dry before hand (idealy clean off any oil/etc with solvent)

Your Old Dog
08-15-2009, 09:24 AM
Best way to make it last is don't use it.Seriously when you use it it gets duller and duller and eventually you might as well sand with cotton wool there is now way I know to get around this.However I would encourage you to try the new abranet sanding sheets they seem pretty good and do last ages but are expensive for general work try them and see if you were nearer I could send you afew sheets to try.Alistair

Do like the Japanese woodworkers do and use cabinet scrapes. It leaves a better finish then sandpaper on wood.