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
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.
here for basic information on how to use
diamond hand pads to grind and polish glass.
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.