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Posted By Richard Smith on 07/30/2008 3:25 PM
For brass I'd use a benchtop grinder. They are available quite cheap with two wheels for two different abrasive wheels and don't take up much space. Uneven sharp brass edges will make short work of sandpaper.
For plastic and wood I use a 12" disc sander mostly. The smaller ones work fine for stripwood and small objects but are not as good for some of the larger components we often have to smooth in largescale.


Metal-grinding paper disks are quite common and are very good for grinding brass, which is relatively soft and tends to clog a standard vitreous grinder wheel. I have a 12" disk sander which I've fashioned a second faceplate for. One has a metal-grinding pad on it, the other a wood-only pad.

I'm weary of switching disks, it's not simple, so I'm making a second disk grinder from a cheap Asian wood lathe headstock. My particular one has a 3-sheave pulley for speed regulation, some have an electric speed control.

You're right on about sharp brass making hash of a wood-sanding wheel.

Also, to make your belts and discs stay clog-free longer, when you first put 'em on, rub a stick of beeswax across them, or the standard dressing gunk available at metal-tooling supply houses.

Les W.
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