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Wet or dry sanding of stainless steel?

  1. M'Bob

    M'Bob Dec 2, 2019 4:40pm

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    I have an older stainless Rolex with many scratches on both sides that were originally a polished surface. So I attacked them with progressively finer sandind sticks, wasting time by starting too fine, at 12,000, and working down to 1800, which seemed to do the trick. Then back up again, with a liquid polish finish.

    Looks good, but I wondered: would results have been either easier, or better using a wet-sanding technique? Supposedly, it cuts down dust and makes for a better finish, because the paper doesn't clog as readily. Some use water, alcohol, or a light oil. Anyone have experience with this? Thanks.
     
  2. Spruce

    Spruce Dec 2, 2019 4:45pm

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    Any before/after photos?
     
  3. M'Bob

    M'Bob Dec 3, 2019 6:04am

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    Did one side, my watchmaker had an opening for service, so it's on his bench. No pics at the moment.
     
  4. 03Hemi

    03Hemi Dec 3, 2019 7:54am

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    I have on stainless firearms and the result is about the same. Water or oil just adds lubrication, but the end result is the same.
     
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  5. STANDY

    STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Dec 3, 2019 8:22am

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    Wet and dry sandpaper -wet for metals- start low go to high then polish.
    Repair old knives and wet sandpaper always. Don’t use a piece of sandpaper for too long without cleaning under running water is recommended
     
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  6. M'Bob

    M'Bob Dec 3, 2019 10:55am

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    Thanks. The theory is that the clogged paper can cause particulate bunching that can be larger than the sandpaper grain itself, thus causing scratching. Interesting that you've found no difference- in practice, maybe its insignificant.
     
  7. M'Bob

    M'Bob Dec 3, 2019 10:57am

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    Yes, thanks, this is in line with what I've heard. Nice to have it confirmed. What grit do you finish with prior to a finial polish?