Review of Fintech Abrasives

Topics Covered
1. How this review came about
2. Who is Fintech?
3. Abrasives Review
4. Sandpaper Review
5. Belt (4” x 36”) Review
6. Belt (3” x 18”) Review
7. ROS 5” Discs Review
8. Six-Inch PSA Type Disc Review
9. Belt Notes
10. Closing Thoughts
11. Request

 

1. How this review came about
I was contacted by Fintech in March (2014) with a request to review their abrasive products. Fintech said they furnish the industrial market with abrasives, and now they want to expand into the world of abrasives used by woodworkers. Fintech also carries abrasives for metalworking, knife sharpening, glass and stone, etc.

2. Who is Fintech?
Fintech is a family owned business started by Bob Greenland out of a garage back in 1982. Industrial customers made up Fintech’s customer base in the beginning, but since 2011, Fintech has been pursuing the consumer market also.

Whether you’re an industrial or consumer market customer, Fintech sells the same industrial grade products to both its industrial and consumer market customers. Industrial grade products, I like the sound of that.

Fintech’s literature states that they are one of the largest abrasive converters in the United States. They buy full containers of jumbo rolls from some of the best manufacturers worldwide. Fintech uses the jumbo rolls to fabricate abrasive belts, sheets, discs, rolls, and other abrasive products.

A listing of Fintech abrasive products and pricing can be found at their website. Here’s the link to their website:  http://www.fintechabrasives.com/ .

3. Abrasives Review
Fintech sent me samples to test on my random orbital sander (ROS), belt sander (3”x18”), and combination belt (4” x 36”) & six-inch disc sander. Regarding the above abrasive samples, Fintech can also provide abrasives custom made to order.

Photo 1 below shows the abrasives Fintech sent me.

1--DSC04617

Photo 1

I put the sandpaper, discs, and belts to work. And, I found them to work well.

The sandpaper, discs, and belts evaluated were open-coat & Aluminum Oxide type abrasive (unless otherwise noted).

Fintech sells both CAMI and FEPA rated abrasives.

4. Sandpaper Review
Where minor sanding is required, this is when we typical turn to sandpaper. Typically, it’s easier to grab a sanding block and sandpaper, as opposed to grabbing a power tool. Also, the sandpaper is faster and provides more control relative to using a ROS or belt sander.

Wrap a cut piece of sandpaper around your sanding block, couple of strokes with your sandpaper and sanding block, and you are good to go.

I used my sanding block (1-3/8” x 2” x 5-1/4”) to check out the 100, P120, & P180 grit sandpaper sheets supplied by Fintech. Cutting a 4-1/4” x 5-3/8” strip of sandpaper from each of the 100, P120, & P180 sandpaper sheets – I then sanded with each of the three grits.

The 100-grit sandpaper worked well at removing material. Cloth was used for all three of the sandpaper grits tested, but the cloth for the 100 grit was especially thick (but pliable). Now to me, the thick cloth is a plus, I feel it will be less likely to tear during use.

As expected, the P120 sandpaper removed the scratches left by the 100-grit sandpaper. And, the P180 smoothed the surface left after sanding with the P120 sandpaper even smoother. The sandpaper sheets used were actually sheets from Fintech’s ’10 LB Bargain Box of Sandpaper,’ which consisted of  10 LBS of end cuts from their manufacturing processes. The sandpaper from Fintech’s ’10 lb Bargain Box of Sandpaper’ consisted of 60 to 400 grit sandpaper and flexible cloth backing material (rated “x” to “j” weight wise).

After using each of the three sandpaper grits, I stroked my abrasive belt cleaner across each strip of sandpaper used. Photo 2 below shows the three sandpaper grits after being cleaned with my abrasive belt cleaner. Also shown are the sanding block and abrasive belt cleaner that I have been referring to.

2--DSC04649

 

Photo 2


5. Belt (4” x 36”) Review
I installed the 4” x 36” (40-grit) belt sample on my combination belt & disc sander and commenced to putting it to work. I was very impressed at how aggressive the 40-grit belt was at removing material. A YouTube video of the 40-grit belt in action can be found at the following link:

FINTECH MOVIE — 1 – YouTube

Clogging of the belt was very light, but I used my abrasives belt cleaner to give it a quick cleaning anyway. The belt cleaned up like new, after using the 40-grit to hog away material.

Fintech has belt grits up thru 320-grit for removing scratch marks from coarser grits used.

6. Belt (3” x 18”) Review
The 3” x 18” (40-grit) belt quickly removed and shaped the wood. You can see this belt in action at the following YouTube video link:

  FINTECH MOVIE — 2 – YouTube

Again, clogging was light, but I used my abrasives belt cleaner anyway to give it a quick cleaning. This belt also cleaned up like new.

After shaping the wood with 40-grit, additional belt grits are available up thru 320-grit for removing scratch marks from coarser grits used.

7. ROS 5” Discs Review
I used the discs (hook-and-loop type) sent to me by Fintech and I found them to work well. The coarse 40-grit disc was aggressive at removing material. The medium (100 & 120) and the fine (150, 180, & 220) grits removed the 40-grit scratches, and a progressively smoother finish was achieved as I stepped thru the medium and fine grits.

The discs I used were the no holes type discs (see photo 3 below). However, Fintech also cares ROS discs with holes (five and eight-hole patterns).

3--ROS Disc No Holes

Photo 3

Personally, I like the no holes type ROS discs. You might be saying to yourself – is he serious? Here is my rationale. I sometimes apply glue to small gaps (e.g. – gaps between wood members jointed together), and then I use my ROS to sand the glue and saw dust together. After the glue and saw dust mixture dries, the gap is gone. And, by using solid ROS discs, there is no way for glue to be deposited on your ROS pad.

If glue hardens on your ROS pad, then the disc is not going to be able to hook and stick where glue has harden on the ROS pad.

I asked Tony about no-holes versus holes regarding discs. Tony said the majority of ROS discs they sell are with holes. Five and eight-hole patterns being typical of what they sell. However, Tony went on to say that, ROS discs without holes would not hurt your ROS.

 8. Six-Inch PSA Type Disc Review
As the following YouTube video link shows, the 40-grit 6” disc sandpaper is aggressive as all get out. It will definitely remove and shape wood pieces in no time flat.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPkNEi3ckck&feature=youtube_gdata

After using the above disc, I used my abrasives belt cleaner to clean the disc. The abrasives belt cleaner does a nice job of keeping any saw dust from building up and clogging your disc. Do you need a belt cleaner? Fintech also sells belt cleaners. If you already own a belt cleaner, then you know how useful they are. If you do not own a belt cleaner, you really should consider buying one.

However, if you prefer a less coarse grit, Fintech has other discs available in grits up thru 220 (for woodworking). If you want a coarser grit, they also carry 36-grit discs.

It should also be mentioned that the cloth backing is not flimsy. The cloth backing is thick and tough, but it’s flexible enough for easy removal from your disc sander pad.

The pressure-sensitive-adhesive (PSA) held up well to being removed and reapplied to the disc sander pad. I removed and reapplied the PSA disc three times without any problems with the PSA disc adhering to the disc sander pad. If eventually reapplying the disc becomes a problem (lack of adhesion), I plan to then use a spray on type of adhesive.

Also, if you are using multiple grits for your sanding process, then Tony recommends protecting the adhesive side of the discs that have been removed from your disc sander pad with wax paper. I tried out the wax paper suggestion, and it works. Thanks Tony.

9. Belt Notes
I was wondering about the installation of belts on belt sanders. Some of the literature I had been reading talked about the belt having to be installed such that it rotated in the direction indicated by an arrow on the cloth side of the belt. So, I talked with Tony at Fintech.

Regarding direction of belt rotation, Tony said their belts are bi-directional. I was thinking that the arrow on the cloth side of the belt indicated the required direction for belt rotation. However, Tony said the arrow comes with the abrasive rolls, which Fintech buys in bulk; the abrasive rolls (with the arrows) are used to fabricate not only belts but also discs and sandpaper. Therefore, you can install your belt on your belt sander without any concern over which direction your Fintech belt is rotating.

In addition, when sanding, for proper safety be sure to wear safety goggles, earmuffs, safety gloves, and a dusk mask.

10. Closing Thoughts
I have been pleased with the performance of Fintech’s abrasives that I have used. They are definitely worth your consideration.

Now Fintech’s abrasives are not carried at your local big box or hardware store – as far as I know. Therefore, you will have to order the abrasives you want by mail…but hey, it’s always nice when the USPS or UPS delivers a package at your door. It just feels like Christmas, right.

11. Request
If you enjoyed this post, I would be very grateful if you would share it by email with a friend, on Google+, and/or Facebook. While I am being needy, would you give me a “Like” on my Facebook page (Woodworking with AJO)? My Facebook page “Like” button is on the right side of this page, or you can click on the link shown below for my Facebook page. Thanks a bunch.

Woodworking with AJO | Facebook

Until next time, Take care
AL

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