Picking Your Grits And Making Them Last

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Most suppliers designate 36- to 60-grit belts as coarse, 80-to 100-grit belts as medium, and 120- to 150-grit belts as tine. But a supply of 50-. 80- and 120-grit belts will handle most woodworking tasks.

Most belts tor wood sanding have an open-coat aluminum-oxide abrasive, which is bonded to a cloth belt with glue or resin. Resin-bonded belts outlast the cheaper glue-bonded ones. Closed-coat belts aren't recommended for sanding bare wood because they cut slower, clog quickly and cost more.

Typical belts are designed to run in one direction only. If you run the belt backward, the seam might rip. A few premium belts, such as 3M's purple, ceramic aluminum-oxide belts Grits, graphite and a cleaning stick. Belts are sold in (see photo, right) will run in both directions, reducing clogging coarse, medium and fine grits. To increase belt life, use a and increasing the life of the grit. belt-cleaning stick (left foreground) and equip the sander

A belt-cleaning stick will increase the life of any belt. This with a graphite platen (right).

eraserlike block, sometimes mounted on a handle, lifts saw----

dust, wood resin and dirt out of the sanding belt. To use a belt cleaner, simply rub it across the moving belt.

A graphite platen will also extend the life of your sanding belts. This accessory, which replaces the sander's stainless-steel platen and cork backing, reduces friction and heat buildup on the belts. If it's unavailable from your sander manufacturer, you can buy graphite platen material from Woodworker's Supply (800-645-9292) and trim it to fit. —I.B.

Entertainment Center

Build a custom cabinet for your audiovisual gear by Edward Schoen

Article Contents

Design guidelines for entertainment centers page 48-49

Construction drawings page 50, 52-53

Installing pocket doors page 51

Installing "magic" wires page 52-53

Gadgets & gear tor entertainment centers page 54-55

Sources page 55

Inner beauty.

Behind this traditional exterior is a full-featured entertainment center. Turn the page for the inside story.

Although entertainment cciucrs come in all .shapes and sizes, I find myself building the cabinet shown here—or variations of it—most often. I attribute the piece's popularity to its dual personality. Open the doors and you have a full-featured entertainment center that can handle a TV as large as 35 inches. Close the doors and you have a well-crafted cupboard that keeps the electronics out of sight.

In this article, 1*11 discuss the features and design considerations that go into a well-crafted entertainment center. Of all the projects you could build for your home, this one will return plenty of pleasure for the time, skill and money you invest. ►

Continued on next page z

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