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Marc David

What Grit Do You Prefer?

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I use 50 for rough shaping, 80 for final shaping, 120 for smoothing, and 400 wet and dry for wet sanding.

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I use 220 and 400 for wood baits and the brand is critical. I love Norton 3X sandpaper. Works easy and lasts long! I use a Dremel fine grit sanding cylinder to round over the edges on baits. Fine grit but running at 25,000 rpm do make a difference!

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I use 220 and 400 for wood baits and the brand is critical. I love Norton 3X sandpaper. Works easy and lasts long! I use a Dremel fine grit sanding cylinder to round over the edges on baits. Fine grit but running at 25,000 rpm do make a difference!

BobP couldn't be more right with "brand is critical". I have used Norton and it works well, but like 3M Pro Grade more. I use 150 and 400 grit on Balsa baits. I also use a Dremel sanding wheel for shaping the lure. I bought 1" tall one's made for another tool and slipped them over the 1/2" high rubber mount for the dremmel. Tightened it all down and it works well. I bought a 45 degree chamfer bit for the dremmel that comes in handy for quickly knocking off edges evenly, then round it with the sandpaper.

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50,80120 and 400 is purdy much the norm I purfur 3m and a little tool I made It uses 1/2 inch Bandfile Belts I use it for shaping purdy simple to make and it take less material off than a rotary tool plus it'll help keep the round in the bait plus plus its easy on the fingers

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The PTB wont let me attach a pic so its in the hard bait gallery as banjo file

Nice tool Hillbilly1.

I use 80 grit on the belt sander for all my shaping and a flap wheel in the drill press. I finish off with 120 grit. Seal, prime, then wet 400 if I was going to paint.

Dave

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Hey Dave, I tried a flap sanding wheel. Threw so much dust I thought I'd die! I still use my Dremel quite often. It's a handy little tool and can do just about anything when building baits - shaping, sanding, drilling, cutting. I also have a Foredom rotary tool now. Variable speed flex shaft with a foot control, and it takes tools with up to 1/4" shanks and has lots more power. But I'm used to the Dremel and that counts for a lot when precision matters.

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Hey Dave, I tried a flap sanding wheel. Threw so much dust I thought I'd die! I still use my Dremel quite often. It's a handy little tool and can do just about anything when building baits - shaping, sanding, drilling, cutting. I also have a Foredom rotary tool now. Variable speed flex shaft with a foot control, and it takes tools with up to 1/4" shanks and has lots more power. But I'm used to the Dremel and that counts for a lot when precision matters.

I wear a full face ventilated mask when ever I am sanding. I find the dremel deceptively dangerous when it comes to dust. I like the flap wheel because it is not too severe, it has some give in it and some shape (after it is broken in).

Dave

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I have worked with wood for a living for over 40 years, and thought I'd pass along a little of what I've learned over that time.

A note about sandpaper.

Basically, there are two types of sand paper for wood working, open coat and closed coat.

Most sheet sand paper, other than wet and dry, is open coat. The abrasive granuals are actually removed during sanding, and they have a friable, sacrificial medium that holds the granuals in place. This type of sand paper cuts fast, because it doesn't load up with the sanding dust and resins in the wood, but wears out quicker than closed coat. It's also less expensive.

The second kind of wood working sand paper is closed coat. As the name implies, the granuals are locked in place by a rigid medium. Sanding belts are made this way.

Closed coat papers, or cloths for belt sanders, last much longer, but will load up more quickly than open coat, and require the use of a gum rubber belt cleaner to open the grit faces periodically.

For me as a carpenter, the best paper I found for sanding blocks was either sanding belts, or the discarded carbide sanding belt from floor sander. A used belt is just right for my uses, and lasts forever.

Sanding belts are easily obtainable, and making a block for them simply involves cutting a piece of 1X to the width of the belt, and a length that will allow a snug fit, with rounded over ends.

Floor sanding belts require cutting a piece of 1X hardwood to the length of the belt width, the width that's comforable to hold, typically 3 1/2", and ripping a shallow slot down the length of one 3/4" side. Then it's a matter of tucking the sanding belt into the slot, wrapping it all the way around the block tightly, and cutting it off with enough extra to fold the other edge into the slot, too.

Because floor sanding belts are very stiff, the belt paper folds sharply at the corners. The paper is so stiff that I find I have to make the second fold with the paper off the block and the second edge in the slot alone. Then I fold the paper into the shape of the block, with the edges for the slot facing in, and slide the paper onto the block from one end. For me, it's impossible to tuck the second edge in with the first edge already in place.

Once you have a piece of paper molded to fit the block, you can slip it off one end, and slip another on, although I find it easier to just make several blocks for different grits.

You can make the same kind of blocks for full sheet open coat sand paper, but it wears out really fast, and there is a lot of unused paper wasted.

Edited by mark poulson

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Do you guys using dremels/foredoms ever use diamond burr bits? I like the longevity idea but was wondering about the balsa dust loading them up and wasting them???

Thanks, clemmy

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Clemmy, I have wood shaping cylinders for my Dremel and Foredom tools. Some of them (burrs) have carbide teeth attached in a pattern around a steel cylinder. Others are steel cylinders with sharpened grooves spiraled around them. I think the diamond and ruby burrs are generally too fine for working wood baits. Some of the carbide burrs are named "Typhoon", Stump Cutter", etc and are quite aggressive, leaving a pretty rough surface that requires lots of sanding. When it comes to hand shaping a bait with a rotary tool, my strong preference is a sanding cylinder. They do the job almost as fast as a metal cylinder and leave a smoother surface. The Dremel 1/2" dia fine grit sanding cylinders work just fine and last a long time. You can get a 1" or 1 1/2" dia rubber cylinder for a Foredom that allows you to clip on various grit papers (cloth backed paper recommended). You can buy packs of sand paper to fit it, or it's simple enough to cut your own. I get a lot of wood crafting and adhesives stuff here. Decent prices, good selection and service: http://www.texaswoodcarvers.com/

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Thanks Bob, yes I've seen those carbide burrs you're speaking of, and agree that they are too aggressive for balsa. I was speaking more of the diamond burrs that come in rated grits like 80 grit, 120, etc. Like these for example:

http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/6-pc-Medium-80-Grit-Diamond-Burr-Set-1_4-Shank/productinfo/240-9037/

I'm just wondering if they would load up so fast with balsa dust so as to be unuseable.

Clemmy

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