The best abrasive products have a long life when applied properly. But eventually, you'll want to swap them out. How do you tell when to replace sandpaper belts, discs, and sheets? In this post, we offer some advice on how to tell when a product needs to be replaced.
When your product performs poorly, figure out why. It's likely that the grains are clogged with debris or the abrasive side has worn down. This is if the abrasives take an excessively long time to work or you need to apply additional pressure to achieve results. In either scenario, you should change your sandpaper.
If it has been a while since you have used abrasives, you could be tempted to either throw away your sandpaper as soon as you start to notice early symptoms of wear and tear or to use it until the abrasive side is nearly completely worn out. A third method is available to you, albeit how you go about it will largely rely on the kind of abrasive product you have.
Before tossing away your sanding belt or disc, try cleaning it if it appears blocked but is otherwise in pristine condition. If the backing is not paper, try soaking it for a few hours. Once it has soaked through, use a steel brush to scrub away any residue. Let the sandpaper air dry after washing it before using it again. Try cleaning it by rubbing a rubber pad along the grain to remove debris. This is if your abrasive product has a paper backing or the clogging is only mild. Cleaning sanding belts involves:
If you've been using an orbital sander, especially if you've been operating it for a while, you might have noticed that the abrasive pad is wearing down. Instead of discarding the sandpaper disc, mount it on a piece of wood and utilize it for manual hand sanding. The actions you should take are as follows:
It can be difficult to predict how long your sandpaper will last. What you use it for and how often you use it depend on each other. For instance, an excellent product will last you months if you sand by hand or apply abrasives for polishing or touch-ups. The sanding disc, however, loses sharpness faster if you operate an orbital sander or belt sander. This is because of the machine's higher speed and spinning force.
Along with bottles, cans, and paper, sandpaper is made of a variety of non-degradable materials, therefore it cannot be recycled. If you're hesitant to discard used or old sandpaper, consider using it again in the following situations:
You could also try cutting off rectangular pieces and adhering them to the back of your business cards. This is if you own a company where sanding is a key procedure.
It's only natural to want high-end abrasives like zirconia or EdgeCore ceramic to last as long as possible once you've invested your hard-earned money in them. But eventually, it will stop working, and you'll either need to replace it or risk lowering the quality of your work.