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Diamond Hand Pads

Although there are many electric sanders and grinders that can be used to cold work glass, there are times when it's preferable to grind and polish by hand.  The most common hand finishing tool is the diamond hand pad, which consists of a layer of flexible, synthetic diamonds that have been glued to a stiff foam base.

Diamond hand pads are especially useful in situations that require accessing tight spots, or for cold working small areas where machinery is not practical. 

Although diamond hand pads come in several shapes, the most common is a rectangle approximately 4" by 2 1/2" (6cm by 10cm).  This size fits easily in the hand, and is available in two basic configurations:

1.  Electroplated grits

These are the most common for glass applications and range from very coarse grit sizes (50 to 100) to finer grits such as 240, 400, and even 600.  This type of pad uses a metal coating to hold each individual diamond in place.

2.  Resin grits

More common in very fine grits (600 to 800, and even finer), these are much less aggressive than electroplated pads.  The resin simply holds the diamonds in place, allowing the pad to more gently work the surface of the glass without causing deep scratches.  Resin pads aren't as durable as electroplated pads, but since they're not used as aggressively this is usually not an issue.

The major manufacturers of diamond hand pads include Abrasive Technology (Crystalite) and 3M, but the pads are made by a number of smaller companies as well. 

Click here for basic information on how to use diamond hand pads to grind and polish glass.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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