Category Archives: Sanding

Blue Flex Sanding Disks

Updated: 9/30/2019. Change bars in Blue on left. 

Recently someone asked me for advice on sanding disks. That is easy!

I like the “Blue Flex” sanding disk sold by Vince’s Wooden Wonders. http://www.vinceswoodnwonders.com

I have been using these for the last 4-5 years and I am very happy.

Note: Recently Craft Supplies USA started selling some “Deerfos” blue sanding disks. I don’t think they are the same. They are made by a different manufacturer. I found something I like and it’s not broke, thus, I am sticking with Vince.

• Blue Flex Disks

I use 2-3/8” disks and 3-3/8” disks Blue Flex Disks.  80, 120, 180, and 220 grits. Around $8 for 50 disks on 11/18/2014.

Note: I have eliminated 150 grit sandpaper from my world. I use to sand 80, 120, 150, 180, 220 grit. Then, I decided that 150 grit was a waste of time. To close to 120 and/or 180. I no longer use 150 grit sandpaper. I now sand 80, 120, 180, 220 grit.

The velcro on Blue Flex disks is glued onto a very tough sandpaper. They work wet or dry.

Heat will build up and soften the glue if you sand aggressively with these disks. When you try to remove the disk the velcro will get screwed up. To avoid this problem you need Innerface Pads!

• Innerface Pads

vince_innerface_padsI use 2-3/8” & 3-3/8” to Innerface Pads that match disks.

I use 1/4” thick “Firm Yellow Tapered Innerface Pads” for 80, 120, and 150 grits.

I use 3/8” thick “Soft Blue Innerface Pads” for 150, 180 and 220 grits.

1 interface pad for each grit works best! Allows quick and easy grit change without screwing up the velcro.


I also really like the 2″ & 3″ “Intermittent Velcro Pad” from “WoodTurners Wonders” www.woodturnerswonders.com

• Low Profile Back Up Pads (aka Thin Back Up Pads)

Vince changed the name from “Low Profile Back Up Pad” to “Ultra Thin Back Up Pad”.

vince_thin_backup_padI use 2” & 3” Ulta Thin Back Up Pads. The thing that you chuck up in the drill. 2” pad goes with 2-3/8” disks and interface pads. 3” goes with 3-3/8”

I like the “Ultra Thin Back Up Pads” (only sold by Vince?) better than the thicker pads. They are better are getting into the tight space between headstock and bowl.

If you are using interface pads to adjust softness of pad then you don’t need and really don’t want a thick back up pad with lots of flex.

• Angle Drill

I like to use a low profile angle drill for my sanding on the lathe. I have 2 of them.  One for 2″ disks and one for 3″ disks.

One of the $40 ones available from Amazon, Harbor Freight, etc.

I no longer recommend the angle drills from Amazon, Harbor Freight, etc because they have a bad reputation for plastic gears that melt and quickly fail.

I now recommend the angle drills from “WoodTurners Wonders” www.woodturnerswonders.com that have metal gears.

• More Info

For more info see my “Great Polyurethane Finishes” handout at http://www.carlford.info/pages/demos_classes/great_poly_finish/Great_Poly_Finish.pdf

Lathe Disk Sander

A variable speed lathe makes a great disk sander. You can adjust the speed of the sanding disk to control how fast you remove wood and to avoid burning the end grain on woods like Cherry.



Photos

I mad my own 12″ disk sander. For more informatin click on any photo. Each photo has a caption with more info.

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Full Disclosure: Anyone who has visited my studio knows that I also have a big 6″ x 89″ belt sander that I use for most things. My students use the disk sander. I probably should use the disk sander more often because I get really frustrated when my high speed belt sand burns woods like cherry.