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Thread: Advantages of wet sanding versus dry sanding

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    Default Advantages of wet sanding versus dry sanding

    Some of you have modeled in other media, such as cars, boats and planes, so I hope you enlighten me as to the advantage of wet sanding.

    I've used the technique for a couple decades, but only based on a hunch, not knowledge, that I should be doing so when working with styrene/injection molded plastics. What's the science behind it?

    And how many of you simply wet the sanding stick with your tongue for a quick job?

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    The main advantage is it prevents the clogging of the sandpaper and make the sandpaper lasts a lot longer. The cut particles are floated away before it gets a chance to clog.

    It also gives you a smoother finish since the sanded material is floated away and only the sandpaper grit is cutting. Otherwise the sanded material, often larger in size, starts to scratch the surface you are sanding.

    Wet sanding is usually used for hard materials that result in fine particles when sanded. For example, hard plastics, carbon fiber, etc. You wouldn't want to wet sand wood.

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    Hi Paul,

    It's also good idea to wet sand resin castings.

    Many resins are based on hazardous chemicals(Cyanide, Photopolymer, etc.) and fine particulates are never good for your lungs.
    Happy Modeling

    Bruce

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    Excellent information, @kingmeow and @BruceNscale!

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    I am embarrassed to ask this because it is a really stupid question.

    How do you wet sand? Do you submerse the piece being sanded in water and sand it while it is submersed? Do you just spray it down so it is damp and then sand it? Do you wet the sanding paper?
    Regards,
    Warren

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    Quote Originally Posted by African Pirate View Post
    Do you wet the sanding paper?
    That's it. Dampen the wet/dry sanding paper or sanding stick.

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    When I do it, it's dripping wet and sloppy. Not necessarily submerged. I want the drippings to carry the sanded material away.

    Now if I'm wet sanding (the only way to do it) carbon fiber, I submerged the entire piece as CF dust is extremely dangerous if gotten into your lungs. Doing it submerged captures everything.

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