What’s emery paper?

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Emery paper is used for metalworking, while sandpaper is used for wood. Emery paper is made by gluing abrasive mineral particles to paper, while sandpaper has a constant grain size for precision. Emery products come in different grits for different purposes and projects require different grits for desired finish.

Sandpaper is a type of sandpaper used to grind and polish metal. This product features a textured surface with a smooth paper backing. While sandpaper looks and feels like sandpaper, these two products are actually very different. Generally, emery products are designed for use on metal, while sandpaper is mostly used with wood. This paper is commonly used during watchmaking, jewelry making, and automotive repair or detailing.

Manufacturers make emery paper by gluing abrasive mineral particles to sheets of paper using a special adhesive. Emery, a type of naturally occurring mineral, may also be known as iron spinel or hercynite. While the most basic forms of this product feature a paper backing, emery cloths are much more common and can be used in the same way as traditional paper versions. Manufacturers can also create emery board by applying this mineral to a wooden or cardboard backing.

Sandpaper comes in sheets of various sizes, similar to sandpaper. Some manufacturers also attach this product to sanding discs or bits so they can be used with sanding tools. Emery cloth is typically sold in rolls, similar to pieces of fabric, that vary in size to meet the needs of different users.

Compared to sandpaper, sandpaper offers more precision and predictability. This is due to the constant grain size of the emery particles, as well as their stable structure. These qualities make this paper the best option for high-end metalworking and also result in a more consistent finish or polish.

Buyers choose emery products based on the level of abrasiveness or grit. Very course versions are designed for sanding large areas or removing large amounts of paint and rust. They can be identified by their grit number, which generally ranges between 40 and 50. Medium-grit paper is designed for general purpose sanding and has a grit number between 50 and 90. Bond paper is the least textured and has a value greater than 90. Fine grain paper is suitable for finishing work or polishing metals.

Many projects require users to work with different grits of sandpaper to achieve the desired finish. For example, a sheet of paper will be used first to remove excess metal and smooth the seams. Next, a medium grit paper is used to smooth the surface and remove any remaining impurities. Finally, a fine grain paper refines the metal and brings out its natural sheen. Each of these papers can be used wet or dry depending on your final finish requirements.

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