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Byrnes Disc Sander Replacement 5" Sanding Discs

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Looking for some replacement 5" PSA sanding discs for the Byrnes Disc Sander. Any recommendations on which brand to buy and where?

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I use 9x11 sheet sandpaper.  Use the disk as a template for a knife.   Coat the disk and the back of the paper with rubber cement. I use Besttest, but Elmer's should do.  It holds just fine and rubs off the disk with your thumb when a new disk is needed.  The rubber cement precludes using 10X sandpaper.  The 10X has a no-slip coating that is not compatible with rubber cement. The 3X paper is plain paper.  There is a cloth backed that comes in 5" wide rolls from Klingspor.  My local Woodcraft sells it by the foot - I think the 5 1/8" may be part of their stock.  It is a bit more robust than I need.

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Sandpaper is sort of like underwear. It's a matter of personal preference and quality is pretty much indicated by price point.

 

These days, everybody wants sandpaper with holes in it so their dust collectors will work with it. That makes it more expensive. And they've been pushing "hook and loop" (Velcro) attachment, too. Obviously, you don't want either on the Byrnes sander. (And "hook and loop," which softens the face of the disk, tends to round the edges of pieces being sanded, so that's no good for modeling purposes. The vast majority of 5" disks are made for hand-held sanders and so they're making most of them with holes and "hook and loop" these days. It is possible to purchase PSA (adhesive-backed) 5" disks, though. Any of the good quality brand would be fine. I'm partial to aluminum oxide abrasive, which works well with metals, too, but again here it's a matter of personal preference. There are premium abrasive disks made for heavy use on stationary disk and belt sanders which do last longer, but the real determinant, I think, is the backing, which is thicker, sometimes even cloth. For a disk, I don't think the heavy duty stuff in the grits used in modeling is worth the upcharge for the heavier backing.

 

The issue is cost. Pre-cut PSA disks are expensive because you are paying for the waste of the trimmings when they are cut out of square stock at the factory. The convenience of pre-cut disks can be justified in a commercial production environment where time is money and there's a lot of disk changing going on. There's little or nothing to be gained from pre-cut PSA disks in a non-commercial environment. If you go and price sandpaper, you will be amazed at how much less you are paying per sheet if you purchase standard size sandpaper sheets in sleeves of 100 sheets. The investment in 100 sheets may seem a big chunk to pay at once, but the savings justify that and you will save even more by not having to run to the store for more so often. I buy what I use the most often in my home shop in 100 sheet sleeves, 120, 180, and 220. (I buy 80, 320 and other grits in smaller packages because I don't use ad much of those. I store it in a dry place. I have a stacked "in box" sort of desk filing thing from the office supply store and I put each grit in a separate box in the stack.

 

All of my disk sanding equipment, hand and stationary, is set up, like the Byrnes sander, for use with adhesive. I use 3M Feathering Disc Adhesive or the equivalent to stick the sandpaper to the disk. This stuff is sort of like rubber cement. You can put it on and then pull off the paper fairly easily (if you don't over-do it) and it remains sticky through several sheets, depending how fast you use them up.  (It comes in a tube or a spray can. The spray can is more expensive, the nozzles always clog up, and the overspray gets all over your tools and makes a mess. Forget the spray can.) If it sits for a long time, it's harder to get it off, but a bit of a warm up with a heat gun or hair dryer and the disk will peel off okay.  When the disk adhesive starts to build up on the disk face, you just clean it off with acetone on a rag. For hand sanders, I just put a bit on the disk, and place the disk face down on the back of the sandpaper sheet and slide it around a bit to spread the adhesive and then just cut around the edge of the disk with a drywall knife while the paper is face down on the bench and I'm good to go. You can get two 5" disks out of a sheet of sandpaper. The "trimmings" I save for other uses, such as on my  Fein Multitool, which otherwise takes those really expensive triangular sandpaper pieces (I sanded the "hooks" of the face of the Fein pad and use disk adhesive on it.) or for little bits of paper for hand sanding in nooks and crannies. (Obviously, for the Byrnes sander, I just take a compass and make a 5" circle on the paper and cut it out.)

 

You won't go wrong on the top brands of sandpaper, 3M, Norton, Klingspor, and the rest of the usual suspects. I've found that a good place to find good sandpaper at reasonable prices, particularly in the super-fine grits, is in auto body and fender repair supply houses. Those guys use a lot of sandpaper!

 

The Byrnes sander comes with a 180 grit disk. I'm using 220 on mine. I found anything coarser was too aggressive for my taste. It's all up to you, though. Guys in the business of using sandpaper have their personal favorites, but anybody who's earning their living using the stuff has probably pretty much figured it out and you can go with their recommendation.

 

 

Edited by Bob Cleek

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Thanks guys. Good advice. I hadn't thought of cutting out my own 5" circles. 

 

Y.T. Your link is to your orders so won't work for me.

 

Jeff

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Jeff,

 

I have used Klingspor for years and had good results with the adhesive holding over a long period of time. I would agree with Bob on the 220 grit, probably about as coarse as you need unless you are cutting some brass with it.
 

I just listened to an article on the Fine Woodworking podcast that recommended changing sandpaper whenever you think it might be time and not waiting until you really think you need to.  Probably good advice and I would be less likely to change it when needed if I had to stop and cut a piece although you could cut a few pieces prior to waiting until you need it. 

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