Sanding Belts, 19″ x 8″
Available in 16-, 24-, 36-, 60-, 80- and 100-grit. Allow one belt for every 250 square feet. 8″ wide, 19″ circumference designed for Clarke EZ-8 Expandable drum sander.
$7.75 – $10.75
Available in 16-, 24-, 36-, 60-, 80- and 100-grit.
8″ wide, 19″ circumference designed for Clarke EZ-8 Expandable drum sander. Allow one belt for every 250 square feet.
If you want more information about the different grits and how they work in sequence to sand wood floors to bare, read about the Sanding Process.
16-grit belts look intimidating, but they are what you need when you have a floor with an old shellac or lacquer finish that melts and completely coats finer sander belts. 16-grit is also great when you’re dealing with old painted floors, especially porches. Older, thickly coated floors need this extra-coarse paper, not to sand the wood, but to scrape off all that molten finish.
16-grit belts will hold waaaay more of that gooey mess than a 36 grit. Which means you will use fewer of them. We’ve seen people use seven or eight finer belts to do the work of one coarse belt because nobody told them that 16-grit even existed! We’ve included some photos of what a properly used 16-grit belt should look like; that belt has done it’s job!
Here’s the thing though; don’t expect 16-grit to remove all the finish, and sand the wood to bare. 16 grit was not designed to sand down to bare wood! Think of it more as a “pre-sanding” grit. It was designed to remove enough finish so that that finer grits like 24 and grit can sand the wood clean. Sure, 16-grit will eventually sand wood bare, but it will leave the wood so deeply scratched that it will take multiple passes at 24-grit and possibly even again at 36-grit to remove all that damage. And you should never need more than one pass at any grit. So, save yourself; let the 16-grit remove 2/3 of your floor finish, then proceed through 24-grit and then 36-grit to get the wood fully bare, then sand with 60-grit and then 80-grit to make it smooth.
24-grit is the second coarsest grit available for our preferred drum sander, the Clarke EZ-8. The abrasive mineral on this sandpaper is silicon carbide, appropriate for removal of thin shellac or lacquer and most polyurethanes. If you have paint or thick, old finishes, you will want to use a16-grit belt before you use this grit.
INSIDER TIP – if you believe your floor hasn’t been sanded for 40-50 years, this is likely to be your starting grit.
36-grit is, hands-down, the most commonly used grit in floor sanding. In our entire time in the floor sander rental business, we have never seen anyone sand an old, finished floor without it.
Many customers test a small spot on their floor with a palm sander and 60-grit and make a little spot of bare wood, then they come in and insist that they can start at 60-grit on the drum sander. It sounds reasonable, but it never works when they scale up to the big sander – over the larger areas that drum sanders must cover, even small amounts of finish cause 60-grit to glaze over quickly.
And 60-grit is not strong enough to sand down the high spots in the wood. 36-grit is your friend because it sands wood fiber like the biggest boss. 36-grit is also calibrated to soften scratches from any 24-grit sanding that may have come before it. 36-grit doesn’t remove 24-grit scratch completely; it shrinks it down and gets it ready to 60-grit to do her magic.
If you floor is newer with a thinner finish, sometimes you can start with just this grit. Many brand-new, bare floors need to start sanding at this grit because the lippage or overwood from board to board takes a coarse grit to make it level. Just about every rental customer leaves the store with 36-grit, and they rarely bring it back.
60-grit drum belts must always be used after a 36-grit pass on a floor, to shrink the 36-grit scratches in the wood, so that the next grit in the sequence, 80-grit, can do the job of making the scratches almost disappear. So, 60-grit is a bit under-appreciated. Many people try to either start just at this grit, or, if they start at 36-grit, they try to skip over straight to 80-grit. Don’t do it, my friend. In the carefully calibrated, engineered sequence of grit steps, 60-grit is irreplaceable.
80-grit belts are the most common FINAL grit for sanding with the drum sander. If we finish a floor at 100-grit, we usually do it with a buffer or some other, gentler machine that also helps to blend the drum and the edger cuts. The main exception is fir – we like finishing a little finer especially on old fir to help control the splinter risk.
But for every other wood species, we finish on the big machine at 80-grit because it removes the scratch from the 60 grit that came before, it but leaves enough “tooth” or texture in the wood that a finish will soak in and bond well to it. This is a hard pill to swallow for many woodworkers or auto-body finishers – they really want to hear that we finish around 200- or 300-grit to get that sweet, smooth finish. But remember, floors are designed to be walked on, and we need to make sure we leave enough texture in the wood so that the finish will hold, when we tromp across with our rough, dirty shoes.
Don’t worry – it will be smooth enough that your babies can crawl across with harming their hands, but still bonded well enough to the finish coats that those same babies can run across it when they get older.
This is the finest grit we carry in belts for the Clarke EZ-8 drum sander. Use it after 80-grit if you want a particularly closed texture on your wood, especially if you want to control grain raise or are worried about splintering on an older fir or pine floor.
Not necessary for all wood floors.