Understanding Sandpaper Grit

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Sandpaper grit describes how fine a piece of sandpaper actually is. Figure out how to understand sandpaper grit with help from a home remodeling expert in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Home Repair Tools
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery, and I want to talk to you today about sandpaper, the different grits, and how it's used with woodworking. It's a pretty simple system, if you just keep in mind the lower the number, the coarser the sandpaper. The higher the number, the finer the sandpaper. Most woodworking today, you got to work from grits anywhere from 60 to 80 at the coarse end, to 220 or 320 on the high end. That's not to say you can't go finer, but it depends on the finish you're going to work with. Most of the ones you'll see in the shop are 80, 120, 180, 220, in that range there. Basically, what the numbers mean, is if you had a screen with little grids in it, the number of open spaces per inch. So, if you had 80 grits per inch, whatever sand would fall through that would be an 80 grit paper. If you had 220 grits, little squares, per inch, whatever sand would fall through that would be a 220 paper. So, it's the higher the number, the finer it is. One thing to keep in mind when you're sanding, especially hand sanding or using a tool like a belt sander, is to always sand with the grain. And, with the grain, what I mean is you can see on this piece, the grain is running top to bottom, and you want to sand this way. If you sand against the grain, you're going to get scratches that are really difficult to get out, so you really want to avoid that at all costs. So, always with the grain. So, that's a real quick synopsis of sandpaper, and how to use it. I'm Dave Trull at the Trull Gallery, the fine art of furniture making.

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