Have you ever added up how much money you spend on woodworking’s most disposable supply?
If you did, you might develop a serious interest in prolonging the working life of your sandpaper – especially those spendy specialized abrasives that go on your disc, drum and belt sanding equipment. Unfortunately, there’s still no way to sharpen sandpaper, but you can get a lot more mileage out of it while it still has an edge by keeping it clean. And if you do take the time to clear away all of the resinous gobs of dust with some frequency, your abrasives will actually stay sharp longer. Not only will they cut better, but they’ll run cooler, and won’t break down nearly as fast.
So, how do you clean sandpaper? With one of the most popular products in Rockler’s entire catalog – an Abrasive Cleaning Stick. This magical device consists of a specially formulated rubber that abrades away slowly when moved against a sandpaper surface. The heat generated causes dust particles stuck in the grit to bond to abraded rubber particles, which are in turn whisked away in the process. You just hold the stick up against your belt, drum, disc, or whatever kind of sander’s abrasive material while it’s moving and watch it magically restored, often to like new condition.
It really does work. If you ask around, you may even run into a few abrasive cleaning stick “enthusiasts”. Normally, we wouldn’t expect people to get excited about a product with such a prosaic purpose as cleaning sandpaper. But everyone who ever tries one seems swear by their miraculous sandpaper rejuvenating properties ever after.