Which abrasives to use for woodturning

Posted by Nicholas Mayne at

Over many years, abrasives have come and gone, with some old favourites still around and new modern abrasives being produced.

For woodturners, an old favourite is a very flexible cloth backed abrasive with a special stearate coat. Sanding wood can cause particles to clog abrasives, which encouraged manufacturers to would cause a slightly uneven sanding pattern, so finer grits may be needed more. VSM kept a closed grit surface, but coated the surface with a special stearate which helped to minimize clogging and produce an evenly sanded surface. 

VSM Vitex

This particular sanding cloth was very well appreciated for its quality and long-lasting cutting edge. For many years the KK532F was used as a standard for comparing other abrasives against.

A cheaper version by VSM is produced with a slightly more open grit, but without the stearate coating. These come in narrow strips and are also cloth backed.

When woodturners produce fine delicate work, cloth abrasives may be too thick to sand fine details, so we recommend sanding paper. These can be Sandpaperbought in sheets in many grits, but we prefer the Indasa sanding rolls where pieces can be cut to the required size.

The most recent abrasives are the variety of Net Abrasives, including Abranet & Sianet. These are designed so that dust from sanding can be extracted through Net Abrasivesthe net abrasive to minimize clogging and reduce dust in the air. Using a dust extraction sanding block may not be suitable when sanding on the lathe, but the abrasives can be used by hand.   

No matter what you are turning, we have quality abrasives to suit your sanding needs.

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