Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Conner Michaux

Sand paper

Recommended Posts

I was wondering what sand paper I should use because I don't have any  grinders. I will most likely be using files and sand paper, is there better sand paper to buy? And what grit should I buy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Files will work pre heat treat, but after that you can't really use steel tools to grind the blade to final shape. Until you can get a grinder, I'd honestly start out with an angle grinder (like $15 used) fitted with a flap disc, and very (very) gently and carefully grind down from there. You won't get crisp plunges, but you'll get a very good feel for steel; how it acts, how quickly it can heat up (and it will heat up quick), and how to get a feel for angles. Then I'd finish up with sandpaper. 

(Get comfortable with sandpaper, y'all will be spending a lot of time together).

For files, depending on the coarseness of course, starting at 120 grit should do fine. Then just go up through each progression until you're happy; a clean 400 is usually on the lower tier of satin finishes. Hardware stores have 'em pretty pricy, but Combat Abrasives (I get all my stuff from them) have excellent prices and a good selection. Just get the cheapest for now. Oh, and two bits of advice for hand sanding: sand in alternate directions with each grit, so you can very clearly eliminate every scratch from the previous grit. Also, be comfortable buying a lot and throwing it out. You'll be happier without continually trying to sand with a worn out piece. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Caleb but would just try to clarify that you should sand at a right angle to the last grit you used. "Down the length, change grit, across the width, change grit, down the length" and so forth.

I tried some interesting experiments at one time. I was looking for the great undiscovered short cut. I wish I'd documented them. Would make a great "don't bother trying....." thread.

Buying abrasive paper in bulk is the way to go. Learn to drawfile, build a jig, back your paper with something inflexibly rigid and "become one with the process".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of guys around here swear by Rhynowet Red-line sandpaper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the advice of my mentor I bought 220 and 400 grit rolls of sandpaper 1" (or 25mm) wide, and they've proven to be very economical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay thanks ill pick up an angle grinder sometime soon and a lot of sand paper and a lot of files.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a 4.5” Ryobi from Home Depot. Best $30 I have spent for a tool. I have seen $15 versions at Harbor Freight. I wouldn’t pay the $90 for that Dewalt unless it has specific features you don’t find in another. Spend around $30 for a good one and then you will learn what you like/do not like for the more expensive feature set. My $0.02

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheaper angle grinder work okay, but should be considered a consumable tool.

I have an upper-end Milwaukee industrial 5" that I got in 1999 and it's still going strong.  It's $125, though.  What I like on an angle grinder is a paddle switch.  A toggle or push switch is not as reliable or safe.  Paddle switches are sort of a "squeeze and it's on, let go and it stops" thing.  And they have a grip safety so they can't start unless you deliberately want it to.

And get your files from an industrial supply place like MSCdirect.com.  They are higher quality than hardware store files.  Now that Nicholson only makes file-shaped objects, I like Simonds brand.  NOS Nicholsons stamped Made in USA turn up on eBay as well, and they are good.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whats the best Angle grinder I can get for under 100$?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Cheaper angle grinder work okay, but should be considered a consumable tool.

I have an upper-end Milwaukee industrial 5" that I got in 1999 and it's still going strong.  It's $125, though.  What I like on an angle grinder is a paddle switch.  A toggle or push switch is not as reliable or safe.  Paddle switches are sort of a "squeeze and it's on, let go and it stops" thing.  And they have a grip safety so they can't start unless you deliberately want it to.

And get your files from an industrial supply place like MSCdirect.com.  They are higher quality than hardware store files.  Now that Nicholson only makes file-shaped objects, I like Simonds brand.  NOS Nicholsons stamped Made in USA turn up on eBay as well, and they are good.  

That is a very good point, angle grinders especially it's worth it to get a safer one. Dangerous little buggers, but at least they're scary enough to keep you alert (unlike buffing wheels). I still have two halves of a cutoff disc lodged in the shop wall, gonna frame them when I get the chance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On files, I lucked out and picked up a ton from a retiring machinist. Old Nicholson's (from when they were good), used, but definitely still sharp. If you can pay shipping via paypal (like $10) I'll send you one or two suitable for draw filing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caleb you are a fine gentleman.

I have a DeWalt angle that I've never used because my last cheap Harbor Fright is still running despite the fact that I got it so hot once it started oozing bearing lube. I kinda want to see how long it will go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whats the best cheap grinder you can buy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Conner Michaux said:

Whats the best cheap grinder you can buy?

It doesn't really matter all that much. Heck if I were you I'd just keep my eyes peeled at yard sales, craigslist, or facebook marketplace and buy one cheap there. I've got a dewalt, have used it (and it was used before me) a ton for a good five years now and it's never failed me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know about brand, but I'd get at least a 6 amp. Smaller will do the job, but you may end up fighting it, and that leads to premature failure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got the cheapest 4.5" angle grinder harbor freight had, I think it was 18$, been doin just fine for over a year now. I've left it outside, I've dropped it, gotten epoxy and oil and all kinds of other stuff on it... Best $20 bucks I've spent on a tool so far. Does everything i want it to, and couldn't care less if I had to go get anothet one tomorrow. 

As such, I always suggest going with the cheapest model of whatever first. You're almost definitely gonna screw it up somehow, and probably not always gonna use it as intended. I find it's much more comfortable to screw around with the cheapo tools, then invest in the good ones once you know what you're doing with said tool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At work, I go through one of the high end (expensive) Dewalt grinders a year. I say "I" because I only work with one other person, and we have 2 main grinders. About one year is all a good angle grinder seems to last in my line of work.

We even switched to Milwaukee and sure enough, after 1 year (give or take)it was dead (prefering the ergonomics of DeWalt; we switched back). However, we grind probably 10 hours a week I would say. It takes it's toll on a grinder. 

I bought Dewalt's $59 grinder from lowes for personal use years ago and it's still going strong. So, it all depends on how much abuse you're going to put it through, and how long you will run it at a time. 

Edited by Zeb Camper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And, I'll add a note of caution:

Don't take off the guard! I use my personal grinder without a guard in order to get a better view of the wheel and where I'm cutting. I have gotten steel in my right eye on 3 different occasions, I had to get it sugically removed once because it was in my pupil and i couldn't see it until it was rusty and infected. It kicks that peice of metal up off of the back 4 o'clock of the wheel (where the guard should be) and right under your glasses. 

Another note: be careful grinding in corners. If that wheel snags a nook or cranny in te wrong spot, it will give its best effort to maim you. I hit myself right in the face on the western portion of my mustache once like that. Also, an exco-worker of mine hit himself right in the neck grinding a weld between caprail and channel. Complacency is your worst enemy. Fear these little things. It's going to bite you. 

 

Edited by Zeb Camper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The guard does nothing to protect your eyes, there is so much mess thrown off by a grinder that you cant see because its not a spark, I have had stuff hit around my eyes while wearing safety glasses and its not enough. Im sure I wasgetting plenty of stuff in my eyes but you cant always feel it.

Angle grinders are a special tool. treat it like a chainsaw, it will kick back at you when it binds and if your body is not positioned to deal with the kickback it can hit you in the face, like a gun. my dad wont ever be able to grow a unibrow again because a grinder bit his face, "at least it wasnt a cutting disk". when the grinder kicks you are likely going to bend at the elbows, if you let the grinder come straight at you it will hit your face. Its stupid to stick your face too close to the work but I know its hard to see through the grinder. the problem is leaning forwards, your center of gravity is forwards so you cant move your body back and all the force goes to bending your elbows. If you can, lift the grinder and turn to the side a little bit when it kicks, ive never had a bad kick but ive still got stuff to grind today.

A full face sheild is the only thing i trust and you still might need glasses. the guard is only there so you can make the tool more dangerous by taking it off.

Aside from all that even the cheap harbor freight angle grinders can be a great help, I would like to try one with variable speed and a paddle switch, im not fully confident with the "push forward and hope it locks in place" type switch and if you need to drop the grinder it would be nice of it to turn itself off.

 

I have been pretty happy with the 3M brand sandpaper I get from home depot, its got a sticky backing, it lasts a very long time on wood and its fine with metal, but the sticky backing makes it harder to pull it tight on a sanding block and it also makes it a little thicker which I think is a problem if you need accuracy. there are trade offs but its nice stuff, I think home depot only has up to 400 grit so I have to go to auto zone to get higher grit paper. You can do a good finish with 400 grit but 600 is much better. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I gotta disagree with you on the guard not helping just from years of experience with both guard and no guard. The guard seems to deflect at least most of the sparks away from you when the grinder is cutting straight down. 

All your other points I agree with. I use 3m too, but will try rhinowet on the next round i hear it's better for steel.

That's really sad about your dad's follicle damage. I guess not everyone can have a unibrow as thick luscuius as mine...

Edited by Zeb Camper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The guard also helps keep wire brush wires out of your nether regions.  :ph34r:

The 3m sandpaper is great for wood, crap on steel.  I used to use the black wet-or-dry paper from the auto parts places for everything from 220-grit on up, and still do from 600-1500 on the rare occasions I go that high, but the Rhinowet is seriously nice paper.  And it's far cheaper than the black SiC paper.  At first I didn't think it would be as good because it is aluminum oxide, but it is indeed everything it's supposed to be.  And the paper backing is stronger than that on the black stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

The guard also helps keep wire brush wires out of your nether regions.  :ph34r:

 

Game, Set, Match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I know I should get a cheap angle grinder, but I have been looking at this one for a few days and really like it. It has great reviews and I like that it comes with 4 grinding wheels and a diamond blade + the case and it looks like its of good quality. Seems like a steal.

https://www.amazon.com/Makita-9557PBX1-2-Inch-Grinder-Aluminum/dp/B0010DHFTK/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=HWGSXN7FZ2A525N2HE9V

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×