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Sanding

BASICS_sanding

Sanding comes after filing. Many tool lists will call for “sandpaper” while others will refer to “abrasive paper.” The terms are largely interchangeable. Common types of abrasive are silicon carbide, emery/aluminum oxide, cerium oxide, and diamond. Use sandpaper to remove scratches and marks for a smooth finish.

Grit refers to the size of the abrasive particles on an abrasive paper. Typical abrasives used in making jewelry are 180–2000 grit, but there are coarser and finer grits available. Unlike common sandpapers, micron-graded abrasives have particles of uniform size. Micron-graded papers are sometimes listed as “coarse,” “medium,” “fine,” and “very fine” instead of given a definite number designation.

To give your metal the desired finish, smooth the surface and/or edges by sanding with progressively finer grits of sandpaper. Begin with the coarsest grit available (180–220) and work up to a fine grit (600–1000). Rub each grit of sandpaper back and forth across the metal surface in one direction. When you switch to the next-finer grit, rub the sandpaper perpendicular to the marks from the previous grit until you can no longer see them. If desired, follow with polishing papers up to 2,000-grit.

To sand along edges or in tight spaces, you can wrap your sandpaper around a paint stirrer or a fine-tipped tool.

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