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My sand paper experience.

Discussion in 'Fit & Finish' started by Icho-, May 13, 2013.

  1. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    I've been getting a pretty good mirror finish on my blades but I wanted to go for as close to flawless as I can reasonably get. In the past I would go to 600 grit and buff. A while back I picked up some 1000 and 1200 grit from harbor freight tools in the states. I hand sanded like I have done in the past up to 600 grit then went with the 1000 and then 1200. The harbor freight sand paper sanded real nice but it felt like it was actually coarser than my 600 that I got at Canadian Tire a long time ago. After the 1200 I decided to buff. I was not happy with the finish at all. The finish on my past knives was actually way better. Sitting there looking at the blade I decided to go back to the Canadian Tire 600 and then buffed. It is now the best mirror finish I have got to date.

    I know you get what you pay for but wow. I don't know if I got a batch that was labled wrong or what. It seems to be the perfect grit to use just before I go with the better quality 600. The 1000 and 1200 from harbor freight has nice even texture and I may try to do a satin finish with it.

    I just thought I'd share my findings and to see if anyone else ran into this.
     
  2. stevebates

    stevebates Active Member

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    Icho, I get mirror finishes on my Stainless blades that are flawless (not one line on the blade). I sand to 600 before heat treat and after I sand 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, 2500 then VERY light buff with VERY little white compound. I have found in my experience is that if you want to achieve a flawless mirror finish the biggest trick is you MUST have all these grits from the same manufacturer. It's like buying a pair of shoes ths size 12 fits better than that size 12 there just not quite the same...lol!!! I buy my paper from eBay from Snyder abrasives simply because they have the same paper in assortment packs with all of these grits. I hope this helps!!!
     
  3. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    The other thing to note is that the grits scales vary by country and manufacturer, a certain size such as 400 grit, is not necessarily the same as another companies. Also noteworthy is that XXX grit and pXXX are not the same thing. Xs used in place of numbers just to clarify.
     
  4. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    I've been in the auto body trade for 12 years now and have come across that before. It seems like the cheaper paper has a more uneven structure then the more expensive stuff. I have had good luck with the norton black ice wet dry paper. It's pricy but I think it's money we'll spent. The norton 600 grit is finer then the 3m 600 grit that I have. The minimum I go before buffing is 1200. I have also found that using oil with it makes for a finer more even finish.
     
  5. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    I have never tried oil but i use windex for my hand sanding. Seems to keep the paper from plugging and keeps it cutting longer too. I have stuck with that just because i felt that oil would leave a film and be messier to work with, never tried oil though. Currently i use mostly 3M paper but may try Rynowet Redline sandpaper since it seems to get a lot of praise on other forums. Another tip from Nick Wheeler is "use your sandpaper like its free". A new piece is cheap compared to wasting time with a piece that is worn or plugged.
     
  6. skookumrob

    skookumrob New Member

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    This chart should help you with the differences in grit... The most common (including Klingspor) is to use the "FEPA P" rating system:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    Thats the chart i was looking for, i had seen it somewhere but could not remember where I had found it
     
  8. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys. I think the chart also explains why the harbor freight 1000 seems coarser than the canadian tire 600. I definately have to invest in some descent quality fine grits. I really do like the harbor freight 1200 as a pre 600 grit because it does a great job at taking out scratches that I may have missed with the 400 but leaves a really nice fine and even finish.

    I usually use varsol and I even kind of like just plain old water with some of the sand papers I have. I will also sneak some windex into the garage and give it a try cause that sounds interesting.
     

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