In the course of the past few years, it has become generally accepted that the best abrasives for woodturning are those which employ Aluminium Oxide as the abrasive grain and which Uncoatedbond this superb abrasive to a lightweight (J-weight), flexible cloth backing. The bonding of the abrasive grains is very important since the curse of the turner is the stray grain which, having come loose from the substrate, wreaks havoc as it is dragged across your masterpiece by the sanding process. This is best avoided by using resin bonding to secure the grains in place without inhibiting the flexibility of the abrasive.
Many turners, never having been exposed to genuine woodworking abrasives before may question the multiplicity of grit sizes (grades) offered here. After all, if they are presented with a choice of only 60/120/180/240/320 or 400 by other manufacturers, why would we be different? It comes back to being a specialist in the application of woodturning abrasives - and a bit of common sense. Let us suppose that you start by using 60 grit abrasive: which grade will remove the 60-grit scratches most quickly? 120 grit or 80 grit. Obviously the answer is that 80 grit will, because it is much more coarse and much closer to the size of the scratches to be removed than is the 120 grit. Now which grit will remove the 80 grit scratches quickest: 100 grit or 120 grit? Again, the clear winner is 100 grit. In fact, you can demonstrate to yourself that if you use the full range of grits which we provide, you will finish the overall sanding job faster, you will generate less heat during the sanding process and you will consume less abrasive in total, saving you money - and you will have a far superior surface finish. If you would like to see why this is true, then take a look at our comparative grain size chart and all will be revealed. Lots of initially sceptical people have decided to try our challenge and every one has come back and admitted that what we say is true. Use the full range of grits and you win, win, win and win. That's why we sell our Woodturner's Abrasive Pack, below - it gives you an easy and economical way to demonstrate these facts to yourself.
For most woodturning, where work is confined to hardwoods and non-resinous timbers, we would recommend the standard finished cloth. It is worth remarking that the manufacturers - experts in woodworking abrasives - advise that the use of coated cloth in inappropriate circumstances is likely to lead to results inferior to those that can be achieved using the standard un-coated products. Why spend extra cash to get an inferior result? With its very llimited application in turning, we no longer offer stearated cloth online, though we may have some at the shop for personal callers.
NB: Having had experience of both over many years, we STRONGLY recommend the use of the 50mm/2 inch cloth as this avoids the stresses caused by tearing 100mm/4inch material across into convenient-sized strips, prolonging the abrasive's life and easing the turner's task! When you tear across a fabric-backed abrasive it is the same as tearing any other fabric in the wrong direction (is it warp or weft?): try it with an old shirt - it will tear straight down the back easily, but much less so when tearing across. That's what those rippled edges along your tear are telling you: that's not the way the cloth likes to be cut! Tears like that give rise to loose abrasive grains: loose abrasive grains sitting on top of your lovely flat abrasive sheet are like mini gouges scoring those lovely, deep but totally unwanted tramlines around your work. The price difference is absolutely minimal too. Give yourself a break - give your turning a whole new standard of finishing.!