As I understand these things, garnet is a mineral which easily
fractures, leaving sharp edges. As it is used, the garnet fractures and
two things happen: 1) the fracturing leaves new sharp edges, and 2) the
fracturing leaves the remaining garnet a smaller size, meaning your 80
grit paper becomes finer and finer.
Aluminum oxide is a much stonger abrasive. It doesn't maintain it's
sharpness as long as garnet (and it seems to me that it starts out not
as sharp), but lasts much longer.
For sanding/polishing metal, garnet is not a good choice, aluminum oxide
is much better.
For hand sanding of wood I like garnet paper, it works well and it is
cheaper so I have less of a problem using a fresh piece (I am cheap by
nature). For sanding house paint I also prefer garnet paper.
For sanding/polishing metal or lacquer paint, I prefer aluminum oxide.
For any kind of power sanding I stay away from garnet - it seems to have
a very short lifetime in any power tool application.
Landaiche Ken (Nokia/PL) wrote:
> Well, it's been a little quiet here, so what do you all think of garnet
> Learning all of my woodworking from my father, I somehow got the idea that
> aluminum oxide sandpaper was the only way to go. But my wife has been using
> garnet and last weekend I ran out of my old AlOx. The garnet stuff worked
> great for the refinishing I was doing. Any wisdom?
> Ken Landaiche