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Just want to say...thanks for this thread...surprisingly hard to find these type of recommendations on the web. Most seem to thing of vac systems as the non-portable kind...painters gotta keep moving :)
Yep, since this thread started, I have aquired 3 festool sanders and the vacuum to go with it. It has been a game changer. Mostly use the RTS 400 for prepping cabinets and drywall repairs with the mesh paper. Sanding has never been so pleasurable.
 

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re: sandpaper

The Festool Granat line of sandpaper is considered their most "versatile" paper, but it is a "non-loading" sandpaper, meaning it has a stearate coating on the surface.
In the past, stearate were known to cause fish-eyes in water-based finishes. It has been argued that todays sandpaper manufacturers have made their stearate coating compatible with today's water-based coatings.

Anyone care to comment?
 

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@finishesbykevyn "Yep, since this thread started, I have acquired 3 festool sanders and the vacuum to go with it. It has been a game changer. Mostly use the RTS 400 for prepping cabinets and drywall repairs with the mesh paper. Sanding has never been so pleasurable." I do hope you remain happy with the acquisitions! I ended up selling all of my Festool products except the RO 90 DX & even that, I rarely use any more because the corner attachment has had to be replaced 3 times at some cost.
 

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re: sandpaper

The Festool Granat line of sandpaper is considered their most "versatile" paper, but it is a "non-loading" sandpaper, meaning it has a stearate coating on the surface.
In the past, stearate were known to cause fish-eyes in water-based finishes. It has been argued that todays sandpaper manufacturers have made their stearate coating compatible with today's water-based coatings.

Anyone care to comment?
Edit:
Silicon abrasives are a no-no according to a statement by Ilva (see later post), and can result in fisheyes..which I’m guessing includes silicon carbide sanding sponges, 3M 64660 gray synthetic pads, and silicon carbide wet/dry sandpaper.

I do however disagree…can’t find any info to validate that silicon abrasives cause fisheyes and haven’t experienced it myself.
 

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Silicon abrasives are a no-no, and can result in fisheyes..including silicon carbide sanding sponges, 3M 64660 gray synthetic pads, and silicon carbide wet/dry sandpaper.
copy that.

1. Is Granat in fact a non-loading paper?
2. Which (Festool) paper is recommended for general use in painting, and which is best if fisheyes are a concern?
 

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copy that.

1. Is Granat in fact a non-loading paper?
2. Which (Festool) paper is recommended for general use in painting, and which is best if fisheyes are a concern?
The Granat is a non-loading abrasive replacing the Brilliant & uses synthetic resins rather than wax plus aluminum oxide w/no silicon…it’s good under waterbornes and won’t promote fisheyes..

I use the Granat as a general purpose abrasive except for sanding bare wood…it cuts wood poorly..
 

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On the topic of power sanders I have a question about silicon carbide abrasives for straight line sanders:

Fact or misinformation regarding silicon sandpaper resulting in fisheyes, poor flow out, and adhesion loss?

(I made note in a previous post that silicon is not to be confused with silicone, so I’m aware of the differences.)

I was hoping someone could offer an educated opinion on the following quote from page 77 of Ilva’s HIGH PERFORMANCE INDUSTRIAL WOOD COATINGS manual:

“Never use silicon sanding paper to sand sealer. The failure to observe this fundamental rule may result in "fisheyes", adhesion and flow out problems with all finishes.”

https://www.ics-ilva.com/downloads/ILVA-Red-Book-5-20-20.pdf

I had stumbled across it when reviewing the sanding and polishing schedule for Ilva’s paraffinated polyester clears to be utilized for some upcoming non-business related work.

Is there any validity to silicon sandpaper potentially resulting in fisheyes and why?
 

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On the topic of power sanders I have a question about silicon carbide abrasives for straight line sanders:

Fact or misinformation regarding silicon sandpaper resulting in fisheyes, poor flow out, and adhesion loss?

(I made note in a previous post that silicon is not to be confused with silicone, so I’m aware of the differences.)

I was hoping someone could offer an educated opinion on the following quote from page 77 of Ilva’s HIGH PERFORMANCE INDUSTRIAL WOOD COATINGS manual:

“Never use silicon sanding paper to sand sealer. The failure to observe this fundamental rule may result in "fisheyes", adhesion and flow out problems with all finishes.”

https://www.ics-ilva.com/downloads/ILVA-Red-Book-5-20-20.pdf

I had stumbled across it when reviewing the sanding and polishing schedule for Ilva’s paraffinated polyester clears to be utilized for some upcoming non-business related work.

Is there any validity to silicon sandpaper potentially resulting in fisheyes and why?
like you said…silicon carbide should not cause fisheyes, but stearates have been known to.

I read in a woodworkers forum that ‘white’ silicon paper is sometimes looked at as a culprit for contamination, but I have not been able to verify that again. It could come down to a coating on the paper, or an adhesive in the paper itself, but that wouldn’t apply in a general sense.

I like how the article has a sentence that doesn’t end. Could be misinformation.
 

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"Stearated sandpaper is most often of the silicon carbide type."
I do recall one member here using a 3M silicon carbide synthetic pad before a final waterborne clear, and the clear fisheyed like mad, yet the previous coat(s) when not used were fine..might very well be the type of stearate used or that silicon carbide cuts too uniformly, not providing an adequate scratch profile for finishes requiring a mechanical bond, which could result in crawl/fisheyes.
 

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@finishesbykevyn "Yep, since this thread started, I have acquired 3 festool sanders and the vacuum to go with it. It has been a game changer. Mostly use the RTS 400 for prepping cabinets and drywall repairs with the mesh paper. Sanding has never been so pleasurable." I do hope you remain happy with the acquisitions! I ended up selling all of my Festool products except the RO 90 DX & even that, I rarely use any more because the corner attachment has had to be replaced 3 times at some cost.
That is so weird. I bought a Festool MIDI and the DTS 400 a number of years ago and have done a ton of work with them without a single mechanical issue with either.
I hated sanding window sills, doors, trim, etc, but having the Festool took what was an odious chore and turned it into something that is almost pleasurable - almost. When I bought it I figured that when I retired and really wouldn’t need it much any more I would sell it off to recoup some of the initial cost. Nope! Gonna’ keep that baby.
 
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I do recall one member here using a 3M silicon carbide synthetic pad before a final waterborne clear, and the clear fisheyed like mad, yet the previous coat(s) when not used were fine..might very well be the type of stearate used or that silicon carbide cuts too uniformly, not providing an adequate scratch profile for finishes requiring a mechanical bond, which could result in crawl/fisheyes.
Other than a typo here and there the rest of the information (especially in regards to sanding) is explicit...adhesion/crawling makes sense. Would be interested in hearing the details if you ever find out. The Poly is listed as a "spray" finish. Could that be a factor?
 

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On the topic of power sanders I have a question about silicon carbide abrasives for straight line sanders:

Fact or misinformation regarding silicon sandpaper resulting in fisheyes, poor flow out, and adhesion loss?

(I made note in a previous post that silicon is not to be confused with silicone, so I’m aware of the differences.)

I was hoping someone could offer an educated opinion on the following quote from page 77 of Ilva’s HIGH PERFORMANCE INDUSTRIAL WOOD COATINGS manual:

“Never use silicon sanding paper to sand sealer. The failure to observe this fundamental rule may result in "fisheyes", adhesion and flow out problems with all finishes.”

https://www.ics-ilva.com/downloads/ILVA-Red-Book-5-20-20.pdf

I had stumbled across it when reviewing the sanding and polishing schedule for Ilva’s paraffinated polyester clears to be utilized for some upcoming non-business related work.

Is there any validity to silicon sandpaper potentially resulting in fisheyes and why?
A great question, but likely one which won't be answered conclusively any time soon. The foremost "authorities" can't even seem to agree. With regards to Festool, Jerry Work's manual states that one should never use stearated sandpaper on pieces that will receive a water-based finish. Michael Dresdner seems to be in complete agreement. Bob Flexner is on the other side of the argument and professes that fisheyes in water-based finishes are absolutely not caused by the use of stearated paper. Since I respect all 3 of these gentlemen and their contributions to our trade, I'm left no more clear on the matter.

On a side note, I find it interesting that the addition of a fisheye eliminator (Smoothie, for example), seems to be nothing more than a silicone surfactant, so the remedy for fisheyes is to "contaminate" your work piece even more, at least enough to sufficiently reduce the surface tension. In all fairness though, I think there are as many proponents as opponents for fisheye removers, but that's a topic for another debate. My first experience with them was a disaster; brought about by my own doing, and resulted in sheen inconsistencies and adhesion issues. It was entirely operator error though, as I have had success with such products since.
 

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Excuse my stupidity, but how do you know if it's "stearated"? Would that include any of these?
White Road surface Rectangle Asphalt Line


@ Redux I may have been the one with the fisheye problem after using the grey synthetic pad similar to the maroon one on the left..
 

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IMO, these types of questions - on a subject like this, highlight the best of what forums such as PT can offer people in the trades.
 

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The following was taken from a Festool Owners Group chat. It worries me, because I’m not sure which Festool sandpaper is safe to use with waterborne products, and they’re not cheap. Granat appears to use zinc stearate.

“Zinc stearate is used on abrasives intended for sanding finishes as it helps prevent loading of the abrasive.
The reason to beware of it's presence is that it can cause fisheyes and other adhesion problems if you later apply a water based finish.”
 

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The following was taken from a Festool Owners Group chat. It worries me, because I’m not sure which Festool sandpaper is safe to use with waterborne products, and they’re not cheap. Granat appears to use zinc stearate.

“Zinc stearate is used on abrasives intended for sanding finishes as it helps prevent loading of the abrasive.
The reason to beware of it's presence is that it can cause fisheyes and other adhesion problems if you later apply a water based finish.”
Festool claim is that they don’t use wax(es) in Granat’s stearated non-slip coating layer. Many zinc stearate coated papers did or do contain wax/wax blends in the coating layer, wax being the concern resulting in fisheyes & adhesion loss. I’ve done a lot of adhesion tests of waterborne coatings using the Granat, particularly for floor coatings where adhesion is a critical concern, and the use of Granat hasn’t resulted in adhesion loss when testing.
 

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Festool claim is that they don’t use wax(es) in Granat’s stearated non-slip coating layer. Many zinc stearate coated papers did or do contain wax/wax blends in the coating layer, wax being the concern resulting in fisheyes & adhesion loss. I’ve done a lot of adhesion tests of waterborne coatings using the Granat, particularly for floor coatings where adhesion is a critical concern, and the use of Granat hasn’t resulted in adhesion loss when testing.
Edit:
thanks @Redux,
Before I drop a couple hundred on papers I just wanted to be sure.

*I appreciate the peace of mind.
 

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thanks @Redux,
Before I drop a couple hundred on papers I want to be sure. is there a better paper?

just checking:
Has anyone experienced “fisheyes” or have negative experiences with Festool Granat paper?
I’ve used the Granat on a couple of hundred thousand square feet of finished surface area under clear waterborne coatings and have not experienced one fisheye.
 

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I love all my festools. I love that they form a “system” and it all works together. It seems the Surfprep (or Ekasand) 3x4 sanders seem to be very highly regarded right now, my experience is mixed. I really like the size and the way it fits in my hand. They sand really nice, but there is nothing magical there. There are some things that I don’t love.

The number one thing that bothers me is if I have it set on Low or Medium speed, it doesn’t activate the AUTO setting on my Festool dust extractor.
I do not like the paddle on the Surfprep. It forces one to keep their hand in the same position. On my RTS 400 the taller form factor and constant on switch allows multiple hand holds. This somewhat makes up for the form factor. Also if you move your hand off the paddle for for a split second, it triggers the dust extractor to cycle off/on. It irritates me.

I prefer Festool paper. I prefer Surfprep pads. 🤷‍♀️

Surfprep seems rock solid, very little vibration, excellent customer service. I use it, but not as often thought I would.
 
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