Hand Sanding Techniques
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  1. #1
    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Hand Sanding Techniques

    Hand Sanding Techniques

    Here's a few tips for how to use a backing pad with your choice of sandpaper when hand sanding.

    For this article we'll be using

    #2500 Unigrit® Finishing Papers
    Meguiar's E-7200 5 1/2" Sanding Backing Pad









    There are two ways to fold your paper around the backing pad, which way you use is personal preference.

    Wrapping an unfolded single sheet of paper around a backing pad















    After wrapping your paper, sand in back & forth straight lines, don't sand in circles.

    Don't hold the pad like this when sanding...



    Don't hold the pad like this when you're sanding...



    This is correct, hold the backing pad at about a 45% degree angle in
    relationship to the direction you're moving your hand.










    Wrapping a folded single sheet of paper around a backing pad.

    First fold your paper in half...



    Then fold it around your backing pad...




    This is a little trickier to master as compared to simply wrapping an unfolded sheet around the backing pad but id does provide you with a uniform flat surface while sanding.





    The other method has an edge of the paper under the sanding surface of the paper. Note that under the flat side of paper against the face of the backing pad there is the edge of the paper.

    Mike Phillips
    Office: 800-869-3011 x206
    Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
    "Find something you like and use it often"

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    Rasky's Auto Detailing RaskyR1's Avatar
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    Re: Hand Sanding Techniques

    Hey Mike,

    I'm not sure on the size of the Meguiars pad and paper, but with the 3M I've used you can also fold the sheet with 2 folds like a letter into an envolope (3 equal sections). This way there is no edge under the pad and it is still easy to use like the wrap method. If this doesn't work with the Meguiar's pad/paper feel free to remove my post.



    Rasky

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    Avatar Czar BlueZero's Avatar
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    Re: Hand Sanding Techniques

    You the man Mike! Thanks!

    Do you sand in the same direction for all the passes? Or do some perpendicular, like all left to right or mix in some up and down.
    Scott

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    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Hand Sanding Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by RaskyR1 View Post
    Hey Mike,

    I'm not sure on the size of the Meguiar's pad and paper, but with the 3M I've used you can also fold the sheet with 2 folds like a letter into an envelope (3 equal sections). This way there is no edge under the pad and it is still easy to use like the wrap method. If this doesn't work with the Meguiar's pad/paper feel free to remove my post.



    Rasky
    That's a full sheet size, half sheet would be to cut that full size piece of paper in half, then that would be a half-sheet size.

    Mike Phillips
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    Rasky's Auto Detailing RaskyR1's Avatar
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    Re: Hand Sanding Techniques

    It's been a while for me.

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    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Hand Sanding Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueZero View Post
    You the man Mike! Thanks!

    Do you sand in the same direction for all the passes? Or do some perpendicular, like all left to right or mix in some up and down.

    There's a lot of different opinions on how to wet-sand and the directions to go, remember there's a difference between prep sanding, (before paint), and finish sanding, (after paint).

    When it comes to finish sanding Meguiar's teaches to use back and forth motions usually sanding each panel from front to back as in the direction of the front of the car to the back of the car. Of course you also have to let the panel be your guide, that is if you're working on a narrow area then you sand in the direction of the length of the panel for that area.

    Just as important as the direction you move your sanding pad is to do everything you can to work clean, that means clean shop, (sometimes hard to do), clean panel, clean supply of fresh water to spray on the panel, clean bucket of water to soak your papers and sanding blocks if you're also using these.

    As for size of area to sand, you want to sand an area that you can insure equal material is being removed, that can be an average of about 16" to 20" square. If you have long arms you can certainly reach more area with longer strokes but the further away your hand gets from your body the less pressure you're likely to apply and thus you won't be sanding evenly and removing an equal amount of material throughout your stroke, so don't try to carve out too large of an area at one time.

    Next week we'll try to take some shots showing a good pattern to follow for flat panels.

    Mike Phillips
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    Formerly 101impala Andy M.'s Avatar
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    Re: Hand Sanding Techniques

    I think I have seen that truck before.

    Great article Mike!


    Andy
    Keeping MOL family friendly! If you need help or have a question, don't hesitate to shoot me an email or PM. 101impala@gmail.com
    Andy M. Moderator

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    Re: Hand Sanding Techniques

    Thanks Mike!
    Scott

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    Registered Member yalerd's Avatar
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    Re: Hand Sanding Techniques

    Nice article Mike, thanks

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    Re: Hand Sanding Techniques

    Good photos Mike, step by step.

    The areas of paper not used can be made to used for smaller jobs or detail spots.

    One thing I avoid is folding both ways- it makes the corners protrude into paint surfaces and can make crevices.

    Great info for all the FAQ's on wet sanding

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