Turning Archive 2005

0000 vs. synthetic?

GaryG in MD
>The recent chains on finishing techniques and sandpaper grit-size standards and comparisons were very interesting. I would like to take the next logical step and ask for information on the practical tradeoffs between 0000 steel wool and synthetic products like Scotch Bright or Bear Tex as far as typical uses in finishing are concerned.

Personally, I really dislike steel wool -- because of the residue. I would prefer not to use it, but I do want to achieve a reasonable quality in the finished product. Now that pads of synthetic materials that don't shed like that are available, I assumed that the use of 0000 in finishing (between coats, etc.) would decline significantly. On the other hand, I still see lots of articles and posts reporting the continuing use of good-ole 4-aught.

So what's the deal? What am I missing? Can some of you run through the important factors for me? Can I go synthetic, or is there some good reason to stay with 0000? (I would like the answers to include the differences between standard 0000 and the better Liberon product, as well.) Given all the time and effort that a good finish takes, I would not consider cost differences to be an important factor. TIA. ...Gary

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