- HI-MACS® sheet materials are factory sanded prior to peel coat application.
The result of this superior quality factory finish offer fabricators less final sanding time in the shop or on the jobsite.
- Sanding is a very important part of the fabrication process.
- Be very sure to sell a finish that is right for the color and lifestyle of the customer.
- Do not oversell the performance of a specific finish, especially in a darker color selection and in a satin or gloss finish selection.
- Be forthright, in clearly expressing the performance of a finish option.
- The sanding and finishing process can also be the most time consuming and frustrating experience to the fabricator in the process of fabrication.
- HI-MACS® would like to simplify the process as you take your countertop finish from a standard matte to satin to high gloss finish.
- Additionally, it can be confusing to the fabricator because of the multitude of sanding equipment, systems and sand paper companies available to the fabricator.
- As you decide the best equipment and sanding papers to incorporate into your fabrication process, remember to purchase good quality sanding equipment and sandpapers.
- The final process of manufacture of all HI-MACS® elements is to sand (and/or to polish for special applications).
- Under normal circumstances, begin by sanding the entire element with 120 grit paper.
In instances where there has been no prior fabrication of the sheet, it is possible to start with 280 or 320 grit.
- Always use dust extraction systems at all times when sanding, this will help pick up loose particles of grit and prevent unwanted scratches.
- Build up to finer and finer levels of grit size, taking care to clean down between each change with a damp cloth.
Finish a 320 grit paper and than followed by Superpad S/G 1200 from Jost to reach a recommended semi-gloss level.
- To improve the gloss level of the surface use 1200/1500/1800 wet or dry, Scotch Brite pads, or polishing pastes available from 3M or other manufacturers.
High-gloss finish level is very sensitive in maintenance and not recommended for normal use, but for art subjects acceptable.
High-gloss finish Level is NOT covered under the 10-year limited installed warranty program.
- Keep the sander moving slowly in circles at all times, first in an East-West direction then North-South.
Insure to use proper equipment, like a random orbital sander with a flat pad.
For straight surfaces use a hard pad always.
Soft or super-soft pads are recommended for curved surfaces.
- Never concentrate on one specific area, particularly near seam, as this can lead to dipping.
- After each sanding step, wipe off dust, then start with the next step.
- Be aware that some dark colours need more careful sanding than some other lighter colours.
- To achieve a matte finish, you can either use a grit or a micron system.
Remember the numbering system or grades of papers between grit and micron systems are opposite to one another.
- First, use a 120 Grit or 100 micron abrasive.
Once this step has been completed, remember to clean the top and switch papers to a 180 or 220 Grit or 60 Micron paper.
- Finally, clean the top once again and surface the top with a #7447 Scotch-Brite pad.
- If you are working with a dark or black color, you may have to add an additional third step in sanding.
This will require a 320-400 Grit or 30 micron paper.
If this is done, you will then want to clean the top and then surface the top with a #7448 Ultra Fine Scotchbrite pad.
- If you wish to achieve a satin finish follow the same steps expressed to achieve a Matte Finish on a dark color.
Use a 120 Grit/IOO Micron, then switch to a 180-220 Grit/60 Micron.
Remember to clean the top between steps.
- You will want sand the top using 320-400 Grit/30 Micron paper. Clean the top.
- Finally, you will surface the top with a #7448 Ultra Fine Scotch-Brite pad.
Clean the top once again and examine the final finish.
- Follow the steps to the Satin Finish specification, but do not use the #7448 pad yet.
As you reach the 320-400 Grit/30 Micron step, you will need to add a few additional steps.
- Sand the top using 600-900 Grit/15 Micron paper. Thoroughly clean the top.
Remember to check the loading of your paper during the process and replace it frequently as necessary to maintain a consistent finish.
- Make sure to remove excess adhesives with a surfacing router equipped with a system of skis.
Avoid use of a belt sander as it generates a great deal of heat and can fail a seam. Furthermore, the belt sanding equipment is very aggressive and can remove material quickly.
That being said you can create more problems for your countertop fabrication if more material is removed than is supposed to be. You want to maintain control in the sanding process.
It is the final step of showcasing your work.
- An important step in the process of sanding is to thoroughly clean the top between steps or grit changes.
You can do so with a spray bottle of water or preferably denatured alcohol and a clean white rag.
Cleaning off sanding dust between steps allow for a more consistent and high quality finish.
- Apply equal pressure and overlapping coverage in both directions of the top.
For example, left to right and front to back. Complete one direction before starting the other.
- Change or clean your sandpaper as you sand as it will get loaded and become less efficient.
As you get to a more detailed finish the sandpapers will load more quickly.
If care is not taken to keep the sandpaper loading to a minimum, it will impair your ability to achieve a high quality, consistent finish. In a gloss situation, you may never achieve it.