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Mirka Abrasives offers a revolutionary solution to the long-standing problem of woodworking dust inhalation: their Abranet sanding discs look like a sanding screen, but the abrasive particles are arranged in a row formation.  This means that dust is never more than half-a-milimeter from an opening through which dust collector can extract it — and prevent it from entering the air.  As a side bonus, Mirka says the discs also last three to five times as long as standard abrasives.

They claim the discs also prevent piling — when clumps of wood dust collect in one place and introduce defects into your sanded surface — and that the discs work well for everything from auto body to metalworking and woodworking applications.

But there’s one drawback: Abranet’s uniquely-shaped abrasives also makes it easy to “catch an edge” with the disc, which can instantly tear and ruin the sheet.  To remedy that, Mirka offers an “interface pad” — essentially a 1/2″ thick foam pad that adds some “give” and flexibility to the sanding surface.  The interface pad also simplifies curved sanding, like sanding the inside of cove moldings. 

You’ll pay a premium for Mirka’s miracle discs, but if they deliver the promised longer life it’s a wash.  Of course, considering the ill effects of inhaling sanding dust and other airborne particulates, the life you save through better dust collection could be your own.  Street pricing starts around $30 for a pack of 50 5” discs, but you can source them in smaller packs from numerous retailers.  The abrasive is available in rolls and sheets as well.

You’ll pay an additional $14 for a 5″ interface pad, and Mirka alsos sell a pad protector, which they claim helps protect the sanding pad from excessive wear.  (Though we’ve heard conflicting reports about the effectiveness of those.)  If you want to give ’em a shot, they run around $17 for a two pack (5”).

Abranet [Mirka]
Street Prices [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]

 

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