Steel wool is also known as iron wool:

Steel wool is made from low-carbon steel in a process similar to broaching, where a heavy steel wire is pulled through a toothed die that removes thin, sharp, wire shavings.  It has many industrial uses so during WWII, steel wool was almost impossible to get your hands on some. Can you imagine how much steel wool is used to manufacture bomber aircraft?

Steel wool, also known as iron wool, wire wool or wire sponge, is a bundle of very fine and flexible sharp-edged steel filaments. It was described as a new product in 1896.  It is used as an abrasive in finishing and repair work for polishing wood or metal objects, cleaning household cookware, cleaning windows, and sanding surfaces.

First described as a new product in 1898, steel wool is also known as wire wool, wire sponge, and iron wool. It made from low-carbon steel by running the stock through progressively finer shapers and dies. The more you role it, the finer it gets and this is how we have so many monitors: “super fine” “fine” “medium” “heavy’, etc.

There are a huge number of cleaning uses for steel wool:

  • Super fine:  Great for cleaning windows and polishing metals. I imagine one could even use it to buff finger nails.
  • Fine: Again this can be used for many of the same uses listed above.
  • Medium: This could be used to adjust dry wall mud and other such.
  • Course: for semi-clean surfaces.  One would use this before going to fine.
  • Heavy: takes more work than very course, but it takes more elbow grease.
  • Very Course: is maybe for cleaning grills, engines and the like.

Fine steel wool can be set alight with a Bic lighter.  It burns quiet slowly but could be used to light a camp fire.

Steel Wool has a number of brothers and sisters:

Bronze wool
Glass wool
Mineral wool
Wood finishing

Cleaning wood with steel wool can be easier, in some siturations, to get into curves and such.  You would use very fine steel wool before you wipe it down with tack cloth. Do this just before you paint on a  primer coat.  If you’re not using primer, you’re really missing out on cost, finish and durability.

When I was a youth, SOS pads were ubiquitis. It’s a waste of money!  Just buy the cheapest steel wool and add your own soap.  For a great deal on steel wool, roll by Home Depot and get a year’s worh.

Finishing of wood requires careful planning to ensure that the finished piece looks attractive, performs well in service and meets safety and environmental requirements.[6] Planning for finishing begins with the design of furniture.[6] Care should be taken to ensure that edges of furniture are rounded so they can be adequately coated and are able to resist wear and cracking. Careful attention should also be given to the design and strength of wooden joints to ensure they do not open-up in service and crack the overlying finish.[7] Care should also be taken to eliminate recesses in furniture, which are difficult to finish with some systems, especially UV-cured finishes.

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