Mirka Abranet CEROS – sanding kit with dust extraction
Mirka CEROS was part of a journey for me. When I first came across the Mirka Abranet dustless sanding system, I couldn’t quite get my head round what was involved with the whole abrasive-sanding-dust extraction system. But this video joins all the dots between marketing bumf like polyamide netting, 10000 holes, interface pads…
In my opinion, Abranet abrasives are the best show in town for sanding down surfaces for painting.
They come in all required grades, from 80 grade to 1000, 4000… for fine finishing, and back up to scary 40 grades that would rip down the side of a car door in no time. The principle advantages of Abranet over anything else on the market are the thousands of holes that allow dust to pass through into a vacuum unit, plus the velcro backing, and ease of use.
There are 3 types of sanding tool that I use regularly.
The CEROS palm sander is a powerful and light Random Orbital Sander for use with abranet. It has with a neat lever to control speed. It is light and a joy to use on wide open ceilings and walls. With 80 grade Abranet, I find it is especially efficient at refinishing wood shelves, table tops, panels, ie taking off varnish back to a beautiful new finish in no time. The surface can then be fine sanded accordingly.
A handheld sanding block about 8″ x 3″ is very very efficient for sanding ceilings, walls or timber panelling. It fits just right on door stiles and rails. And in fact for sanding down rough emulsion, I have found it can sometimes be just as quick if not quicker than the mechanical sander, and gives you a good work out too!
Sanding sponge It has a thick flexible half and a more solid less forgiving side. There is no dust extraction for this! I wrap the abranet strip over the end to get into corners more easily. The velcro keeps the abrasive in place without any trouble.
To get the biggest benefits, attach Abranet sanding kits to dust extraction units.
Numatic Henry. I have used a Henry to good effect. It isn’t a 100% efficient unit on ceilings and walls, but is pretty good for sanding woodwork. It works as only Henry can, but long term, it is not in the right league really. Numatic do some monsters for power tool dust extraction, as do Mirka and Festools.
Mirka do a very well specced dust extraction unit for the CEROS for about £330. It is an M type, so plenty of filtration for all but the most hazardous dusts (lead and asbestos) and is a powerful unit.
Festools Many tradesmen swear by Festools mobile extraction units – mini, midi and the 26L capacity version. They are reliable, powerful, clever design and come with HEPA grade filters which catch 99.9% of hazardous dust down to 0.3 microns. A good bit of kit.
I suspect tradesmen invested in Festools won’t be swayed by another extraction unit, but they should be swayed by Abranet abrasive.
I speak as I find, and the Abranet product has revolutionised how I work. I have always been big on preparation, but I sand more than ever, it really isn’t a problem. And clients comment on the high levels of cleanliness and lack of dust. A win-win in my books.
Extraction of hazardous dusts
In the course of sourcing a vacuum for myself, I learnt that there are 3 types of vacuum – L captures 99% of bog standard dust, M captures 99.9% of finer dust (fine wood dust) and H- captures 99.95% of the tiniest hazardous lead and asbestos dusts.
Hepa filters do filter down to 0.3 microns, the size that H-type vacuums are required to deal with, but adding a Hepa filter does not make your standard vacuum cleaner safe for hazardous dusts!
For instance, if you work with lead or asbestos dusts, you may get in trouble with H&S if you use a Festools unit. The Hepa filter may ensure that 99.9% of dust sucked into the unit is filtered and captured, but the units don’t have a legally binding recognised factory certificate / aerosol test to prove nothing can escape from the unit once it has been filtered. So, technically, Festools can probably do the required job, but in the eyes of the UK authorities, they are an M type vacuum. See Blogging Painters about the Hepa Upgrade
H types are very spendy. Starting at over £500. But if it is what you need, it would soon pay for itself!
For further on-going information or answers to questions on sanding and abrasives, check out the thread on Traditional Painter forum
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