Since writing a review of the Work Sharp 3000 at the beginning of the year, I’ve been approached by several people, asking for advice on where to look for spare and replacement abrasive discs. The kits that Rutlands sell aren’t cheap and, any other PSA-backed abrasives seem to be available only in bulk (from a quantity of twenty-five to one-hundred). My search for ‘ceramic oxide’ [same as the original coarse abrasives] discs in the UK left me in limbo and I wasn’t sure whether even silicon carbide (available from CSM Abrasives) would have the durability required.
So, after a some more ‘Googling‘, I decided to take a chance on a pack of Mirka Gold abrasives – Mirka claim it is suitable for all manner of applications and materials…
Mirka Gold PSA Abrasive Discs
…They were right, as well! 😉
I’ve spent a couple of hours this afternoon playing with two of these abrasives discs. In that time, I’ve managed to regrind all my plane irons and most of my chisels – some needed the work more than others but, I wanted to see how long the grit would really last. As it turns out, this stuff will remove material from both O1 and A2 steel at a fair rate, which is where I’ve ordinary (cheap!) aluminium oxide discs dull very quickly. After all that, there’s still enough life left to flatten the backs and then some!
I ended up buying a box of fifty at 60g, and I’ll probably offer the spares for sale on the UK forums, at some point. While I can now recommend this stuff for fast material removal and coarse grinding, it does produce a lot of sparks – be warned! Though, this has more to do with the grit/particle size, where I’d expect to see many less sparks when using a finer grade.
My next step is to buy a box of 120g to supplement my coarse grinding arsenal. These only seem to be available in boxes of one-hundred so, I’m sure I’ll also be offering the leftovers to takers, in the near future… 😉
Another thing I’ve learned today is that while substitute discs made from 12mm MDF may seem like a cost-effective solution, I’ve found that they wobble more than the glass discs. You may think it’s ‘fine‘ for the initial re-grinding stages but, let me tell you from experience; it’s a good way knock your edge several degrees away from 90°!! 😳 So, on that note, I would advise you to spend £20.95 on a tempered glass wheel, when required…
Unless anyone knows of a cheaper, alternative supplier?
If you follow this blog often then, you’ll know that one of my more recent Rutlands purchases came in the form of a Quangsheng block plane. Upon inspection of the plane iron earlier, I noticed the following, much to my horror:
Now, this could be as a result of the joinery work I’ve been doing recently, while also trying to salvage some of the old timber (iroko) from our old back door… If not then, I would be concerned for the quality of these ‘Qiangsheng‘ [???] planes that Rutlands are offering… Certainly, the one I tested previously from Workshop Heaven didn’t seem like it was going to crumble under general use…. While this did present an ideal opportunity to see what the Mirka Gold abrasives could do, I’ll have to keep a sharp eye on the edge more closely, from now on…!
Thanks for reading.
PS. ‘Workshop Tour’ coming up soon! 😀