How Do You Know When to Replace Sandpaper?

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Was that a trick answer? Damn, I hate tests...

mac
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Otoe wrote:

When the sanding action becomes too slow for me to put up with, which rarely takes more than 5-10 minutes of use.
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About twice as often as ypou probably do already.
Top quality sandpaper, replaced when necessary, is a very cost- effective expense when sanding. Costs a bit more, works a great deal better.
On some sanders (esp. belt sanders) you can clean the sandpaper with a rubber stick, rather than needing to rerplace it. This is less necessary on ROs though.
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Really just hitching onto Andy's posting, I wonder what actually happens when a coated abrasive paper apparently wears?
Some grits get detached.
The spaces between grits are filled with dust, thereby preventing the grits from working.
What is puzzling me is that I was taught that when grinding metals, abrasives work because the grits fracture in use, thereby presenting new sharp edges to the material. If they don't fracture the wheel doesn't cut and the job overheats.
Now wood generally seems relatively soft stuff - is it usually hard enough to fracture the abrasive grains? Perhaps mostly not, hence is most wear due to the two points above?
Jeff
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wrote

With the old sand papers, "flint, IIRC " the fracturing was especially true. with Aluminum Oxide particles, the typical wood sand paper, the particles simply dull and become less effective.
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On Mon, 14 Jan 2008 08:08:08 -0600, "Leon"

Thank you for the post. I learned something from it. You too Andy!
Otoe
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This thread reminds me of a conversation/disagreement that my Dad and I always have. He 'downgrades' sandpaper as it gets more use. 120 becomes 180, 180 becomes 220, etc.... My point is that you shouldn't do that, especially when final sanding (addressed elsewhere in this thread) because dull big rocks don't cut/sand the same as sharp small rocks. I *always* use a fresh sheet (disk) when final sanding, and change it often (about 10 minutes of use). My thought on lower grits is if you're spending a *lot* of time final sanding, you're probably not changing the paper on the lower grits often enough.
ymwv (probably)
Joe
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