In reply to both JGS and John Poole:
I buy my Abranet, by the box, in 180, 240, 320, 400 and 600 grit.
Usually larger quantities in 240 and 320. That's the solid surface
business for ya.
I buy mine from www.justintimefactorysupplies.com in St. Thomas
Ontario, near London. I know he stocks my disks, I am not sure if he
stocks sheets and rolls. Abralon is another way to get to much finer
grits-that competes with 3M Micron papers.
Norm is the guy to talk to. He also carries some of the replacement
Mirka pads for different sanders.
Velcro and Hook&Loop are quite different in make-up. The Abranet sticks
way better to H&L and that is the one reason to use an intermediate
pad. The Abranet screen itself does not have abrasive on the back, and
is isolated from the pad by the loopy part. The Lee Valley replacement
pad doesn't do well with Abranet. The hooky part isn't tall enough.
For finer grits, I change my strategy to another product, Jost
abrasives. Available at
http://www.specialtytools.com/index.php?cPath=2_35_3169 and yes, that
is over $3.00 for a single 8" disk for my Fein. Sooo that means if a
client wants more than semi-gloss, they pay large.
John at Specialtytools.com sells the replacement 'long-life' Festool
pad for the 6" for around $30.00. One of those lasts me a year using
Abranet and Jost.
Regarding the 400 grit feeling like it becomes a 600 grit, I think the
oil/resin in ebony is have some clogging effect, John. Abranet 400 grit
is very durable and 2 disks do an average kitchen counter. Slow the
sander way down for that. Just a hunch. The world of oily woods wreak
havoc on any kind of granular abrasive. A piece of pine can turn an 80
grit disk into a polishing pad tout suite.
European grit ratings are a bit different too. FWW has done a good
article about this in the recent (1 year?) issues. On some solid
surface products, when adjusting sanding speed, I can get a more
aggressive cut with 240 grit than 180. Weird but true. The speed of the
sander and the pressure applied vastly varies the differences in
If, on an acrylic countertop, I take the Abranet route to 600 grit,
then switch to Jost disks to 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 1800, 2000, 2500,
then a single application of 3M compound and I end up with a genuine
mirror finish that is as glossy as the nose on a Porsche...