Dura-GRIT TruSanders - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

More economical than sandpaper and ideal for job site use

duragrit_trusander

Dura-GRIT TruSanders



Tungsten carbide (tungsten steel or carbide) is, like titanium, one of those 'space age' materials that cropped up way back in the mid-20th century. It's properties are a little like titanium, in that it's quite dense (making it lighter than steel), hard, and very wear resistant.
 
In fact, it's much harder than either tool steel or titanium. The darn stuff is everywhere - in all kinds of cutting tools, studs in high performance bicycle tires, ballpoint pen tips and, of course, your armour-piercing ammunition. You can read more about its physical properties at Wikipedia.
 
Woodworkers will be most familiar with the use of tungsten carbide (TC) in saw blade teeth, router bit inserts, and drill bits. One of the main reasons we like TC is because it holds an edge longer than high speed steel in between sharpenings.


058
120 grit (L) 60 grit (R)
066
Sole square to side
Dura-GRIT manufactures a variety of TC abrasive tools, including a line of TruSander sanding blocks. These look, and work, just like conventional sanding blocks. The only difference is that there isn't any sandpaper. The blocks come in four grits - 60, 80, 120 and 150. I tried both the 60 and 120 grit blocks.
 
The TruSander blocks are 2" wide by 1-3/4" high and 5-1/2" long. The ends are sloped, making it easy to sand up tightly into corners. Grooves on the top and sides make the blocks easy to hold. The TC plate is precisely square to one side of the block, so that you can sand the edges of your stock square. And, Dura-GRIT has thoughtfully offset the placement of the TC plate to ensure a clean edge when using the TruSander on its side to square stock. The plate has a Swiss cheese pattern that keeps the TC plate from becoming overly embedded with sawdust. Briskly knocking the blocks against a piece of scrap wood dislodges any sawdust that works up into the grooves behind the plate.


060
60 grit finish
061
120 grit finish
I found that the TruSander blocks cut very aggressively, and they don't load up very much (when they do, a quick tap seems to dislodge the dust). The scratch patter they produce is very uniform. They'll be very handy on a job site for rapid removal of material, or in the shop, for quickly leveling glued up panels, rounding over edges and working end grain on hardwoods. The finish that the 120 sander leaves will, naturally, require some follow up smoothing with a hand plane or card scraper. The TruSanders are very comfortable to use, and at $20 will quickly pay for themselves (considering that $20 will buy you about 30 sheets of sandpaper). Plus, by reducing the amount of sandpaper you chuck out you'll be doing your little extra for the environment.

002
Plate is offset to prevent damage to surfaces
068
Comfortable fit, highly functional

duragrit_logo

KEY FEATURES:

  • Tungsten carbide cutting surface
  • Available in 60, 80, 120 & 150 grits
  • 2" W x 1-3/4" H x 5-1/2" L
  • Contoured handle
  • Sole 90° to sides
  • Ideal substitute for conventional sandpaper up to 150 grit

MANUFACTURER:Dura-GRIT
AVAILABLE FROM:online
RETAIL PRICE:$19.98 each
MODEL #:HT-TS5-060 - 60 grit
HT-TS5-080 - 80 grit
HT-TS5-120 - 120 grit
HT-TS5-150 - 150 grit
MADE IN:Canada
Carl Duguay, May 2010
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