This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
Emery paper is extensively employed for cleaning and polishing metals, but all the kinds in use hitherto have the great disadvantage of not retaining an equal efficiency. The fresh parts bite too much, and the paper itself soon gets worn through in places. Emery on linen has been tried, but without success. The emery paper recommended by the Manufacturer and Builder is not a pasteboard with emery on both sides, but a board in which emery enters as a constituent part. Fine and uniform cardboard pulp must be procured, and 1/3 to 1/2 its weight of emery powder thoroughly mixed with it, so that the emery may be equally distributed. The mass is then poured out in cakes of 1 in. to 10 in. in thickness. They must not be pressed hard, however, but allowed to retain a medium pliability. This paper will adapt itself to the forms of the articles, and will serve until completely worn out.