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Old 08-21-2018, 05:12 PM
mongraffito mongraffito is offline
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wet sanding? Something I dont get

dear Sculptors
I moved from ebony and marble sculpture to alabaster. I think this is the material for me.
I finished a 40x20x10 cm human body statue, lots of little negative spaces.
I polished it with 250 and 800 but I read about wet sand paper polishing at higher grits. What is wet polishing actually doing to the statue?
Thanks
Mon
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:29 AM
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musket musket is offline
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Re: wet sanding? Something I dont get

Regular closed coat silicon carbide paper (the uniformly grey stuff) needs to be used with water to prevent the paper from clogging.

If you're speaking of micro mesh papers, the higher the number assigned to the paper, the finer the scratches.

Micro-Mesh differs from regular sandpaper in several ways.

https://micro-surface.com/micro-mesh-types

Micro-mesh can be used wet or dry but I don't know what would be best for alabaster. Probably wet, but you'd have to experiment.
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:16 PM
mongraffito mongraffito is offline
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Re: wet sanding? Something I dont get

Thanks Musket, much appreciated!
In the Netherlands Micro-Mesh is not sold, just plane ole sand paper. Maybe that's why that knowledge was unavailable here.

Last edited by mongraffito : 08-22-2018 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 08-22-2018, 05:44 PM
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musket musket is offline
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Re: wet sanding? Something I dont get

Going from 250 to 800 won't yield good results.

I don't know if grit sizes over there are the same as here but if not, you should be able to find a comparison chart somewhere.

Basically, it's the same as with hard wood. Start with 120, then 180, 220, 320, 400, 600. You can go finer if you like but it probably isn't necessary. This will not give you a highly polished surface. It's a prepolish. The usual final treatment for alabaster is a wax polish, preferably micro-crystalline, like Renaissance Wax.

It may be possible to buff alabaster, but you would have to look into the various buffing compounds to see which are appropriate. Also, buffing by hand is extremely tedious.

Rule number one for any kind of sanding: let the abrasive do the work. Alabaster is a soft stone. If you bear down too hard with the coarser grits, you may find it difficult to remove deep scratches with the finer ones.

Rinse the slurry off the paper frequently, and if the paper stops cutting, use a new piece of paper.
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Last edited by musket : 08-22-2018 at 05:47 PM.
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