August 27, 2014

Back to Basics: Cloth Sheets

Most abrasive products, like sanding belts and sanding
discs, are ready to use right out of the box. But other sanding
supplies--like sandpaper or cloth sheets and rolls, usually need
to be cut to size before you are ready to sand with them. And
some abrasives benefit from being “broken in” before sanding
to improve their performance. Here are some “tried and true”
tips for handling cloth sheets:

  • Cloth sheets can usually be torn evenly along the weave of the fabric backing
    by ripping carefully across the sheet from one edge to the other. Otherwise,
    a utility knife cuts nicely from the back of the sheet. Common sizes are
    4-1/2” x 5-1/2” and 3-2/3” x 9” for power sheet sanders.
  •  When sanding curved or irregular surfaces, your cloth sanding sheet will
    benefit from a little additional flexing. Just pull the back of a 9 x 11 sheet
    over the edge of a benchtop or machine table. Then turn it 90 degrees and repeat.
  • Even if you choose the most popular name brand of abrasive, it won’t do
    you any good if you continue to sand with that cloth sheet once it’s dull.
    Change out your cloth sheet with a new one as soon as you notice it is
    no longer sharp. Dull abrasive sheets require more energy to remove
    stock, decreasing your productivity. In addition, they will contribute to
    a poor finish on wood.
Most cloth backed sanding sheets have a flexible, J weight fabric backing and
are available in grits 40-400. They are seen as a general purpose abrasive for
wood or metal and can be used by hand or attached to high speed vibrating
sanders. Abrasive Resource also converts custom-sized cloth backed sheets
for specific industrial or artistic applications. 

For more information on cloth sheets, visit the Abrasive Resource website 

or call us at 800-814-7358.

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