Choice of types

The final quality of any piece of furniture depends in large degree on a correct choice of abrasives at all stages of manufacture. A key factor in performance is the way in which grit particles are arranged on the backing support. Densely packed grains are used to form close-coat surfaces. In theory these should give a greater speed of cut, due to there being more cutting surfaces, but close-coat papers tend to clog rapidly with dust and wood resins. This defect is overcome by spreading the grit more thinly. This type of abrasive paper is known as open-coat, and is generally less expensive and longer lasting than close-coat paper. Open-coat papers should always be specified for use when hand- or machine-sanding resinous woods, or fine sanding lacquered surfaces. Clogging of the abrasive surface with dust is also reduced by applying the grit in a pattern of small dots to the backing support. This is because dust and loose grit is able to escape into the clear spaces between abrasive patches. Stearate lubricated silicon-carbide papers are now preferred for fine sanding of polished work, since the dry lubricant is clean and convenient.

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