Festool Granat Abrasives Can.
No kidding. In mid 2011, we began testing Festool Granat abrasives, which are designed for paint removal and finish sanding. In one of our early tests of Granat, I started with a piece of 1×8 sapele that was primed solid with exterior oil primer. Using an RO150 sander, I stripped the piece at 60 grit, then took it up through the grits to 150 in preparation for dye stain application. It was a drastic situation in which to test the ability of the sander and abrasives combo, and check out an opposite extreme finish after the strip. Dye stain is very unforgiving, and the complete other end of the spectrum from oil primer on wood.
Check out the video. Look at the condition of the sandpaper at the end. I apologize for the quality, but as is often the case, I was taping with one hand and sanding with the other. Still, you get the idea. Note the absence of dust on the surface of the wood – a tribute to the dust extractor attached to the sander. No swirls or abrasive scratch marks after final buff. Also, note at the end of the video where the Festool Granat disc is shown, it is not very loaded up with clumps.
Sander, Abrasives and Extraction working together.
The key to an extreme manipulation of wood like this is proper tools, abrasives and pragmatic approach to going through each grit. Dust extraction is especially critical for exotic wood preparation for stain because if all dust is not removed from the surface during sanding, you are grinding it into the grain of the wood and your stain will be cloudy as a result. As a wood snob, I prefer rich, crisp stain in the grain. And dye stain does it best. Nice combination of process and product to file away for future use.
As always, we thank Festoolusa for supporting the concept of better resources for painters, and for submitting their gear for our assessment in paint related applications.