March 31, 2006

Swirl Marks

Swirl marks are, unfortunately, inevitable when you sand with a disc sander. The good news is that there are some tips and techniques to make them less noticeable.
1. Use a disc sander with a vacuum attachment. You want to eliminate as much of the stray grit and dust created as possible while you are actually sanding.

2. Use graduated sandpaper grits. For the best finish you should not skip intervals (even though that is a common practice!) Swirl marks left by a 120 grit disc, for example, won't be as easy to remove with a 180 grit paper as with a 150 grit.

3. In between each grit change, blow off your workpiece with an air gun to clean any stray grit off your work.

4. Don't press down on your sander! Let the weight of the sander do the work--simply guide the sander.

5. Finally, your last step is to hand sand with the same grit you last used on your disc sander. Always use some sort of a block for even pressure and lightly sand in the same direction across your work piece.

Before finishing, set your work light at a low angle across the sanded surface. Wipe with denatured alcohol and any remaining swirl marks will be revealed...
Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact us at:

March 30, 2006

Wet or Dry Sandpaper

Here at Abrasive Resource, we sell sleeve after sleeve of waterproof silicon carbide paper. It's used in almost all of our markets--automotive & marine, cultured marble, woodworking, metalworking, stone, glass, plastic and even rubber!

The history behind this versatile abrasive is an interesting one. A man named Francis Okie, a printing ink manufacturer in Philadelphia, had an idea for a new type of waterproof sandpaper. Okie's idea was for a revolutionary new sandpaper that could be used with water or oil. Wet abrading would reduce the dust hazards created from some of the dry sanding applications and also create a smoother finish.

Francis was so confident of the cutting power of his wet or dry sandpaper, he supposedly kept a piece of it in his club locker and shaved with it before golfing!

In 1921 the 3M Company purchased the rights to waterproof sandpaper from Mr. Okie for $1.00.

Are you using the black SC waterproof paper in your shop? We carry several different brands and would be happy to help you determine which would be best for your application...

Contact Abrasive Resource at: 800-814-7358 or check out our website at:

March 29, 2006

How To Sand Moulding

Of course, large production shops have expensive machinery that will sand moulding. For the smaller woodworker, however, there is an easy and basic technique for sanding by hand.

Take a piece of the molding and glue some 80 grit sandpaper to it. Then take some foam insulation board and rub it over the profile, allowing the sandpaper to shape the foam board, creating a reverse pattern.

Once complete, glue a piece of sandpaper (now in the proper grit for finishing) to your new foam board sanding block!

For information on sandpaper sheets that you could use, check out our website at:

March 03, 2006

Sandpaper Ballet

Sandpaper is not just for's also used in making music!

Are you familiar with the American composer Leroy Anderson? He was best known for his short, light concert music pieces that are still played at pop concerts around the world. He's probably most well known for the songs "The Syncopated Clock" which was the theme music on The Late Show years ago and "The Typewriter" which included the sounds of a real typewriter in the music.

My favorite however, is of course, The Sandpaper Ballet. Written in 1954, Anderson tries to imitate the sound of soft-shoe dancers as they hoof-it across the old wooden stage that's been sprinkled with sand. The story goes that he rubbed 3 different grits of sandpaper on a block of wood during the piece to get the desired percussive sounds.

Go to and listen to a sound clip. Sandpaper Ballet is #17 on the list. It'll make you smile and maybe even buy the whole CD to listen to!
Leroy Anderson Favorites
If listening inspires you to buy your own sandpaper, visit our website at

Basic Sanders

The basic styles of portable sanders haven’t changed very much over the years. We have some old advertising posters from the Rockwell Manuf...