Mirka Abranet Mesh Abrasive - Tool Review
by Jeffrey Fleisher
New Market, VA
Mirka's innovative 'net' sanding concept is unlike any other sandpaper on the market today and is a feature in their Mirka Abranet Mesh Abrasive. Their patented construction consists of a dense network of polyamide fabric threads onto which the abrasive grit is bonded. This open weave, net structure means that no dust particle is more than 0.5mm from a dust extraction hole. The result is phenomenal dust extraction across the entire abrasive surface and virtually dust-free sanding!
Mirka is a leading supplier of abrasives to the automotive industry, the wood and furniture industries as well as the metal finishing industries. They specialize in coated, non-woven and dust-free sanding products for surface finishing. According to Mirka, their unique concept of dust-free sanding has replaced traditional sanding methods in many industries.
I have been using Mirka mesh sanding disks on my orbital sander in my shop for the past five or six years. I also use Mirka's pneumatic random orbital sander which has a large number of dust collection holes on the pad but any random orbit sander with hook and loop pads will work with these disks. The more dust collection holes the better…I get virtually no surface dust when sanding with these disks.
The mesh sanding disks come in a wide range of grits from P80 up to P1000 in individual packages as well as two options for assortment packages. They offer a 9 grit pack that includes a pad protector plus one of each of these grits: 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, 220, 320 and 400. There is also a 35 pack assortment that includes five disks in each of these grits: 80,120, 180, 240, 320, 400 and 600. The disks also come in a range of round disk sizes which include 2", 3", 5" and 6". That makes them very suitable for both flat panel sanding with the 5" and 6" disk as well as for curved surfaces with the 2" and 3" disks for woodturning.
In addition to very little dust I've noticed an extended wear for the disk. Since there is virtually no clogging of saw dust in the pad there is no overheating and no saw dust to collect between the pad and your work piece. This results in a much better surface quality. The disk retains its original aggressive sanding performance for far longer resulting in fewer abrasives being needed for a given job. Therefore, I would recommend starting with one of the assortment packs to determine the grits that you need for a particular job. I have also noticed that because of the more aggressive cut with the Abranet disks that you may need to sand to a grit one step higher than you normally would do with conventional sandpaper. For example, if you normally stop at 180 then you may need to sand to 220 with the Abranet system.
The Abranet mesh Abrasive system by Mirka is a unique sanding system for woodworkers. The open mesh disk will give you a dust free sanding environment with long lasting aggressive sanding at a very reasonable price.
Purchase your own Mirka Abranet Mesh Abrasives today!
Jeffrey Fleisher has been a woodworker for approximately 20 years and a professional woodworker for the past 6 years. He is the president of his local woodturning club, the Woodturners of the Virginias and past president of the Northern Virginia Carvers. You can see some of the furniture he has made at www.jeffswooddesigns.com. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.