Hand sanding liquid? Windex vs tapping fluid?

Taz575

Well-Known Member
Most of the places I have seen recommend Windex for hand sanding a blade. I used Windex on a HHH Damascus 254mm gyuto I made (Also a S Grind) and it worked pretty well to go up to an 800 grit finish before etching and then 1200 after etching. I made up a sanding block about 3/8" thick and one edge flat and the other edge has a radius to match my radius platen. I have a 210mm Magnacut K tip S Grind blade I had to hand sand. Started at 120 and worked my way up to 800. Partway through the process, I decided to try some tapping fluid (Tapmatic IIRC??) instead of Windex and I was shocked at how much better it worked! Sandpaper stayed cutting a LOT longer; I used maybe a 2" section per grit instead of 6-8" per grit and it seemed to give a cleaner, more even finish. Anyone else try tapping/cutting fluid instead of Windex for hand rubbing blades??
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I've been using either Mobil 1 or cutting fluid for some time now. The cutting fluid seems to work better than the Mobil 1. And, to me at least, they both work better than Windex. A bit more expensive. But such small quantities are used I think it's worth it.
 

Taz575

Well-Known Member
Yeah, a 5-6 drops was all I needed after each time I wiped down! I've had the stuff for years, still have a ton of it left! Glad I am not the only one not using Windex!
 

fitzo

Gold Membership
Don't particularly like Windex, prefer WD-40. I'll try some Tap Magic next time, and some Cool Tool II.

Thanks for the tips!
 

opaul

Well-Known Member
I’ve seen posts where oil is used for when you want to remove sanding lines and then switch to windex when you want to polish/finish sanding. It’s the method I use.
 

coachk

Well-Known Member
Windex user here... the difference for me wasn't enough to warrant me having greasy hands all the time
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I’ve seen posts where oil is used for when you want to remove sanding lines and then switch to windex when you want to polish/finish sanding. It’s the method I use.
Interesting. Now that I think about it, that makes sense. I think I'll try this and see how it goes
 

MTBob

Well-Known Member
I'll suggest it doesn't matter much what liquid you use for hand sanding, though thinner is better. Using a liquid of any kind is beneficial only to the extent of helping "float" sanding debris out of the sandpaper grit surface, and keeping the grit as sharp as possible. Perhaps the biggest consideration is how fast the fluid stays liquid due to either running off the work surface or evaporation. In either case once the fluid stops lifting sanding crud from the sandpaper surface, grit cutting action is greatly reduced. Another consideration is whether the liquid will react with the work surface - plain water left on a carbon blade may cause rusting.
My preference is Windex (original, with Amonia) in a spray bottle for hand sanding only because it is, a thin fluid, relatively cheap, has a fairly good cleaning action - and, since I'm really messy when sanding, it doesn't leave residue all over the shop floor like oil does.
Having said all that, I think I'll give a thread cutting oil another try and see if Taz is right.
 

Chris Railey

Well-Known Member
It's funny this has come up now because I just recently have switched to not using any liquid when I hand sand. I use an occasional blast of compressed air from my compressor to remove sanding debris and rock on. I have not noticed a large difference in how long the paper lasts but I do really like not having wet (oily) sanding debris everywhere. For me, I will not go back to using any liquid to hand sand.
 

Boatbuilder

Well-Known Member
I hate the mess of using any liquid for cutting. I hand sand all dry. I use left over pieces of sandpaper from my disc grinder of all my hand sanding.
 

FD Kingery

Well-Known Member
I have heard this debate for a long time, obviously it come down to preference and personal style. For me, I learned with WD-40. My reasoning to continue using it is that as you are handsanding you open the surface pores in the grain, at least to some degree. I would rather have something that prevents rust /oxides in those pores than something that will flash rust as soon as I stop working on it. I have used water and that was my experience. I have also used Goo Gone with good results, dish soap and water and kerosene (hated the smell), but I can buy WD by the gallon, fill up my spray bottle and not have any issues or need to repurchase for at least year (for me anyway). And yes, all of the wood and floor in the area where I sand is well preserved. Just my 2 cents, but it works for me, find what works for you and go with it, no need to jump from the newest fad to the next. Try new things, if they make sense to you, it makes all of this journey much more fun. There are few if any unbreakable rules.
 

MTBob

Well-Known Member
All good comments. Like Fred said, whatever works for you is the best choice.
I'll add one additional thought. Sanding ferrous metal is one thing... but, sanding non-ferrous metal, like aluminum, copper, bronze - that's a whole different kettle of fish. That's where a copius amount of fluid is mandatory since sandpaper will clog up the grit quickly. I've got a very old 4x36 dedicated wet grinder that floods the belt with plain water and washes away the metal and grinding debris. It's quite impressive to see how fast non-ferrous metal clogs a belt without fluid spray.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
All good comments. Like Fred said, whatever works for you is the best choice.
I'll add one additional thought. Sanding ferrous metal is one thing... but, sanding non-ferrous metal, like aluminum, copper, bronze - that's a whole different kettle of fish. That's where a copius amount of fluid is mandatory since sandpaper will clog up the grit quickly. I've got a very old 4x36 dedicated wet grinder that floods the belt with plain water and washes away the metal and grinding debris. It's quite impressive to see how fast non-ferrous metal clogs a belt without fluid spray.
I wasn't aware of that. Thanks for the tip
I'm almost wishing I didn't get rid of my 4x36. That could have been useful for that.
 

Taz575

Well-Known Member
Good to know about the non ferrous! I am playing with making Mokume and noticed really slow cutting of the material and belts clogging a lot.

I want to try hand sanding dry next and cleaning the paper with a rubber belt cleaner block and see how long the paper lasts for! I found the tapping oil stayed on the blade better than the Windex did, but it is oily.
 
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