My once fertile source of shop rags seems to be drying up. The local
thrift shop was once a source of used, white, all cotton tees at 5
shirts for a buck. Lately these have been fewer and farther between. I
use a lot of shop rags since my finishing is mostly wipe on. So what
do you guys use for shop rags and where do you get them?
I have dozens of industrial rags that I launder from time to time. I
don't use these with finishes or oil--for that I use worn out
T-shirts, socks, or any worn out cloth or paper towels. I get enough
spent cloth from a 2-person family. Lots of old clothing at garage
sales for less $ than buying rags at the BORG.
For about $12 at Sam's I can get either 100 standard shop towels, or 50
terrycloth bar towels. Both types can be laundered depending on what you
use them for. For staining and wipe-on poly, I just reuse one till there
are no clean spots left, then throw it away.
Also, Lowe's carries a small bundle of tee-shirt type rags for about $5.
Kind of expensive, but I keep some on hand for when I want the smoother,
I got a box of squares of t-shirt material from the BORG. They're
just right for finishing, and a box lasts me quite a while.
"We can't all be heros because somebody has to sit on the curb and
clap as they go by." - Will Rogers
Do a search for: Cloth Rags
Scroll down to a selection of rags.
You want low-lint rags.
Lint fibers embedded in a finish will make one cry.
Also, EBay on occasions has unused cut up tee shirts for sale.
There use to be a 100% cotton muslin low lint rag around called 'washed
sugar sack' or just plain sugar sack. One time use cotton cloth, a bit
lighter than a cotton Tee, was really used as a cloth sack for shipping
sugar in. After use, got washed and sold as rags. You may see on EBay
Some places they call sugar sack rags, flour sack rags. Google.
I have two sources.
My local St Vinnies still sells big bags of old tshirts for five
bucks, but I have to sift through them looking for bags that are
mostly white. If they ever stop selling, I'd go to garage sales.
For a lot of finishes, I took a finishing class at Woodcraft and came
away with a few tips: General Finishes SealACell and ArmrSeal, and
Viva paper towels. I didn't believe it at first but Viva is lint free
and sturdy, and does a great job applying both of those. That's what I
use for most of my finishes. The cloth shop rags are mostly for jobs
where they can be washed.
Make sure all the buttons are off..lol
I use old t-shirts for big messes, but for things like polishing on the lathe it
just isn't worth the effort of removing the seams and stuff..
Paper towels are my friend..
Please remove splinters before emailing
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