Abralon wet-sanding discs

Discussion in 'Fiberglass/Wood/Gelcoat Repair' started by RollerCoastr, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Active Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 8212 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    Has anyone used these? A friend of mine gave me some samples to use on my heavily-oxidized project boat. Another friend of mine saw them and was surprised that I was wet-sanding by hand, so I figured I was late to the party and was eager to try them with my PC 7424.

    He gave me some 2000 and some 3000. I wet a 2000 disc, squeezed out excess water, slapped it onto the PC and hit an area of gunnel that I had previously wet-sanded with 1500 by hand. It really didn't do anything, so I tried an un-sanded area, which clogged up the disc quickly, but even after a rinse, it wasn't doing much. I tried the 3000, with the same results. I really couldn't tell the difference between the 2000 and the 3000, even though in wet-dry sandpaper terms, that's a big jump.

    I'm assuming I need to adjust my technique...
     
  2. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    I use them when finish sanding wood projects when I need a glossy mirror smooth finish. They clog easily and frequently so never use them dry. I will usually block sand with up to 1500 grit with wet/dry paper then use the Abralon on an oscillating sander as a final step before rubbing compound. Works for me on small projects but I don't think they are practical on large areas. They load up so fast that you spend more time cleaning them than just changing paper.

    If you are working on oxidized spots onyour boat, try using a water based leveler (compound) like this:

    http://www.topoftheline.com/32ozexcutpow.html

    We use it slightly diluted paint on an area about 2 X 3 with a throw away brush, then go to it with a wool pad on a slow speed rotart buffer. Buff it completely away then wax or polish with your favorite polish. Used this way, it does not leave swirl marks and you can cover a big area fast.
     
  3. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Active Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 8212 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    Ok, this is exactly my experience. They're not very expensive, so I guess I could stock up on them if I wanted to commit, but I'm not sure I want to. My current practice yields excellent results, I was just hoping to reduce manual labor. I did wonder if they were wearing out or loading up, but it sounds like you're saying it's more loading up?

    I'm using Presta cutting products and Finesse-It to finish (because Presta's finishing product costs about as much as high quality cocaine...). I like the pricepoint of that leveler - thanks for the tip. I'll try that when I run out of coca.. I mean Presta.

    Another issue is that I've never really like my Porter Cable. It's clearly a quality machine, but I enjoy not having all the blood shaken out of my hands...
     
  4. CliffA

    CliffA Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    Frank,
    The product in your link looks interesting....what is the difference between the extreme paint leveler and the extreme cut?....

    thanks....
    cliff
     
  5. Leardriver

    Leardriver Member

    95
    May 24, 2016
    Denver, CO
    2004 270 Sundeck 8.1 Bravo III
    5.0, 5.7, 6.2 8.1 Bravo III over the years
    The local boat shop uses 600 grit and finishes with 1000 when wet sanding fiberglass. Maybe 3000 doesn't have enough cutting action?
     
  6. boatman37

    boatman37 Member

    705
    Jun 6, 2015
    pittsburgh
    1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer
    5.7 Merc
    I used 600 then 1200 on mine then used Presta gel coat. This spring I removed the stripe above the rub rail with a 3M eraser wheel but it left a nasty ghost stripe. I tried wet sanding that out but it would have taken me all summer so I went to 200 then 400 then Presta Super Cut. I ended up getting about 4' up from the back on both sides before giving up. I did try a small spot with 200 (started with 600 then 400 then to the 200) on my DeWalt palm sander and it worked good. Just had to be sure to keep it moving so I wouldn't cut through
     
  7. 1956olds

    1956olds Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 31, 2009
    michigan,saginaw bay
    1992 370 ec
    twin cummins 6bta's 300 hp
    Rl80 pathfinder radar/chartplotter,SH 2150 matrix vhf w/ais
    quicksilver 8
    If you have a little wizards mist and shine try useing it on the surface to luricate the discs while on your porter cable.Those 2000-3000 grit papes are mainly for clearcoat finishes,i have used them on stainless trim i refurbished on my 56 olds also before buffing,gel coat seems to surn to liquid plastic when it is sanded and heated therefor clogging the paper quicker,the lubricant will help some with heat buildup.I am not saying it will be a ton better but it helps some.
     

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