Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a product manager for a major steel wool manufacturer looking for feed back on the main uses for steel wool in woodworking and how we can offer new products to better accomodate your needs.

I welcome your thoughts and suggestions on the following:

What are your Main Uses for Steel Wool?

What Grades do you use?

How would you change the design to make it work better for you?
1) Larger Pads
2) Smaller pads
3) Round pads
4) Cut to size Rolls
5) Blended with nylon pad material
6) 2-Ply pads (1/2 Steel Wool & 1/2 Nylon Pad)
7) Other Suggestions?

What New Steel Wool products would you like to see available?

Your responces will help us determine how we can provide new inovative products for you. Please let me know if you have interest in testing and evaluating new product designs?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,690 Posts
I don't use as much steel wool in finishing as some (I use different finishes) I use plenty just around the house/shop for cleaning. In woodworking I use steel wool almost exclusively when doing refinish/resto work. I do alot of varnish/paint stripping. All grades of wool are needed from very course to very fine.
Can you improve steel wool ? :laughing:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
I use 00 steel wool a lot for finishing with lacquer.
I generally rub everything down with it after the sealer coat to
get rid of the nibs and dirt, right before topcoating with lacquer.
My biggest gripe with steel wool is some brands have those little
pads put together to where you can't unwind them.
Makes for a lot of waste so I started using wool by the roll.
I like that much better, cut off what I need and use all of it.
I think mine is 4" wide in a 5lb spool. That's about perfect.:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
rub my steel table tops with it and wax sometimes, wipe with cloth of course. some rubdown between coats on clear finishes to get rid of dust and micro bumps usually 3 or quad aught.

wouldn't go after the lacquer market, it'll probably be illegal in a couple of years, good riddance is my call. uv turns it into free radicals and i can't think of a finish that is so electrostatic in attracting dust. soft and toxic.

i do hate the way i always have to clean up after using it. can't use a magnet on the tools or get one safely near a finish. it seems best to blow it off, but that displaces it other places and if someone just laid $14,000 of black walnut flooring as in the house i am currently slaving in, that is not a good combination.

i'll try to think of something and ask my son and wife if they can think of anything.
 

·
johnep
Joined
·
2,140 Posts
steel wool

For the average DIY person, steel wool in various grades available in fairly small packs would be great. would be used by me and modellers etc. Having to buy large rolls of each grade is a bind.
johnep
 

·
johnep
Joined
·
2,140 Posts
steel wool

By small packs I mean no more than 100grm.
Large rolls just sit around and go rusty.
A pack containing 100grm of each grade would be ideal for me.
johnep
 

·
Senior Member from MN
Joined
·
219 Posts
Maybe less shedding?

It makes a mess. Sometimes the little threads get caught in the grain and are hard to clean out.

Steel wool is good for conforming to small, round surfaces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
steel wool

maybe a great way to profile "sand" would be worthwhile, but again the little filings are a killer. perhaps one needs to develop stronger fatter strands that lie tightly and have a fine barb or applied abrasive. it would need to not dull the corners, maybe a way to mold some steel wool into a profile using the profile itself to be used after the surface is smoothed to a degree.

trying to escape from the box here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
steel wool

you said:
rub my steel table tops with it and wax sometimes. . .
then
i do hate the way i always have to clean up after using it. can't use a magnet on the tools or get one safely near a finish. it seems best to blow it off, but that displaces it other places quote]

I'd be careful about using steel wool on your 'steel' table tops as machine tops are made from cast iron...
cast iron is very porous (lots of pores)
as you say, steel wool sheds trillions of tiny particled when you use it and you can't use a magnet,,, and many of the particles will in fact lodge in the pores and create more rust...
I use scotchbrite pads
I never use steel wool
Cheers
Jedo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
No longer use steel wool. Have changed to 3m scotchbrite. It lasts longer and never leaves slivers behind in the finish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
No longer using steel wool either, Did a project with dental moulding and used steel wool and a water based poly and rust developed over night, ruined the project. I use the sinthetic wool pads and have been using 800, 1000, and 1200 grit automotive papers. I can lightly sand imperfection in a finish and then machine buff to achieve a perfect finish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Uses for steel wool

You are spot on, I did get sidetrracked, my apologies. What are my uses for steel wool? None.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Hi guys,
I also work for a major manufacturer. Saw this thread last night and laughed out loud. I had to create a user account to put in my two cents. Steel wool is a thing of the past, I think a lot of the posts in this thread reflect that. I work for an abrasives company that is the technological leader in the industry and we have developed a replacement for steel wool. I think everyone has identified the big reasons why steel wool has got to go. Let's see.. machining oil is a problem. steel fibers/residue is a problem. rust has always been a big issue with the stuff. it also kills your hands, and it's highly flammable- for example, don't get your steel wool near any sparks, or even a 9V battery. good chance it'll ignite.
So what we have is fibral abrasive wool. It looks and acts just like steel wool, but it's actually synthetic fibers, with a blend of abrasive grits interweaved throughout. It lasts an incredibly long time, can be used wet or dry, works with most solvents/paint strippers, is easy on the hands, will not rust, is safer in the workshop, and so on. You also don't need to buy huge 5 lb. rolls of it.
I loved reading what people said about steel wool in this thread. My favorite? EDP, who said "What are my uses for steel wool? None" You are spot on, dude. Anyone interested, contact me and I'll send you a sample and give you more information.
http://www.webbabrasives.com
This link will take you straight to a pdf with some info on our non-woven abrasives (the aforementioned fibral wool, and our non-woven hand pads, similar to the 3M scotch brite product, edp):
http://www.webbabrasive.com/productsheets/Non-wovens.pdf

Here's my company: www.webbabrasives.com

E-mail me: [email protected]
or call the 800 number you'll see on our website. I will get you a sample of anything you'd like to try. If the wool sounds interesting, just wait until you see our sanding sponges.

Thanks, looking forward to hearing from some of you folks.
-Abrasive Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
"SIA wool" is OK but it ain't steel wool...

Webb Abrasives has some great products and SIA Wool, made in Switzerland, is a very nice version of the Scotch-Brite style abrasive. That is, mineral grit glued to polymer fibers. However, fundamentally, it's just "3D Sandpaper" and that means the mode of smoothing is scratching. Granted, fine grits leave very fine scratches, but scratches nonetheless.

Steel wool, on the other hand, is unique among abrasives. The mode of smoothing is more like a plane. The edges of the fibers scrape along a surface, usually cutting off peaks but leaving valleys undisturbed. This is particularly true with soft resins like urethane finishes, varnish, lacquer and the like. That's why the smoothest finishes result from many coats, with a steel wool rub between each one. A tack cloth removes resin dust and fibers alike, after rubbing.

Sandpaper and synthetic fiber abrasives also give off particles. Don't kid yourselves. They are harder to see because the resin dust looks about the same but they are there. It's true, steel wool sheds fibers and those fibers can rust, producing staining. The key is to pick up all the fibers. They're easy to see. You don't need a magnet or compressed air. Just a tack cloth or lintless rag, barely wetted with a solvent. Any embedded fibers can be removed with an old toothbrush or the like.

Steel wool is a proven, century old material and it worked well for our fathers and grandfathers. This is a modern world and modern materials bring many fine attributes to the table (no pun intended). I believe there's a place for both. With all due respect for the converts to SIA Wool, Bear Tex and Scotch Brite, I pose to you all that steel wool has its place in your shop. And RPETE and I are trying to learn what could make it better for you - the craftsmen.

Progress has not passed the steel wool industry by. We have new materials and patented techniques for improving metal fiber abrasives. We hear you when you say that rust is an issue; that fallout/shedding is an issue; or that a large package means wasted product for certain (hobby) users. This is valuable feedback for us to bring 21st Century products to the store shelves for you. Won't you help us to help you by telling what you would really like to get from your abrasives?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
would love steel wool pads for sanders

I'm not a woodworker but I do have to deal with how to finish a resin product....I design and hand cast resin purse handles....some of which contain metal powders like copper, brass and bronze.....when polished with steel wool they really look great, very metalic and they look much more intrinsically valuable....

After doing this by hand for a while I realized that there had to be a different method of finishing these handles...especially if I start to get lots of orders for them...so I have tried several things...from jewelry polishing dremel bits to grinding wheels from 3M to drill attachments....and nothing worked as well as the steel wool....

I finally found a small detail sander by Grizzly and got it today in the mail...it contained a packet of different sandpaper grits and a steel wool pad....that worked like a charm!!! WONDERFUL....
Until you try to find a replacement pad....they only sell the packets, not just the steel wool pads...so I am back to square one..

I would love to be able to buy steel wool so that I can replace the pad on this sander, or find something like it...
 

·
johnep
Joined
·
2,140 Posts
steel wool

There, you have the answer. Steel wool sold as such is a commodity, to turn it into a higher value added item, it needs to be supplied in various products such as pads to go on sanders etc. After all, in the old days sandpaper only available in sheets or rolls. Now available precut to fit power tools.

Suggest the design people produce a plastic holder which you virtually give away and then sell the preformed pads to fit. Other items can be produced for power sanders etc.

If one was available, I would buy it as a scraping action always better than lots of points leaving scratches.

as a first step, show the manufacture on 'how its made' to raise awareness.
johnep
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Steel wool in sheets

Labeana - it's your lucky day!

First off, the Grizzly die cut abrasive product/detail sander is a Chinese made knock-off of a Black & Decker Mouse Sander. Years ago B&D included a die cut steel wool sheet in their kit, made by GMT under our patent. Grizzly is selling a Chinese produced product without a license from the patent holder and I'll be taking that up with them.

In the meantime, there's a US distributor who sells the official "made in USA" licensed product under the name "Magic Sand". This comes in 9" x 11" sheets that you can cut to fit your sander. I don't know if it will stick great to the hook pad, as it's sold as a hand product, but it should serve your purpose and it's reasonably priced.

http://www.hutproducts.com/products.asp?dept=51
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top