Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
canada

Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby canada » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:40 pm

Can anyone recommend the most common/useful grades of guitar nail sandpaper to purchase? I rather not cut my nails anymore and only do the daily polishing/filing with the fine sandpaper.

Thanks!

GuitarVlog

Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby GuitarVlog » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:56 pm

I recommend a Trim 7-way buffer. Use the sandpapers to shape the nail and the 4 buffers to polish the edges to glass smoothness. I find them at large retailers for US$1. Each one lasts me 1-2 months.

StringByMail has a this set for $18. I haven't tried it.

Image

ksjazzguitar

Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby ksjazzguitar » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:12 pm

For everyday sanding, I just use a file and 500 grit paper. I got tired of going down to the guitar store to buy sheets so I just found it online and ordered a stack of 100 for half the price. It is the 3m 405N Tri-M-ite "fre-cut". The grade is 500A.

It costs $50, but you may never need to buy it again, and I always have a sheet to give to students.

Peace,
Kevin

PS They took out the link to the 3m site. If you go to the 3m site, and search for "405N 500A", it will come up. The last entry is their "solutions" web site where you can buy it. Contact me if you have any problems and I will send you the link.
Last edited by ksjazzguitar on Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

6000miles

Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby 6000miles » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:38 pm

I second the 3M Tri-M-Ite Fre-Cut silver. It's all you need, the paper loses grit as you sand, which has the effect of using a 500, 1200 and 2000 paper consecutively in just one quick sanding (make sure you sand well from underneath the nail), gives super glassy nails for a beautiful tone.

I buy mine fom guitar solo, 8 sheets last me for years.

canada

Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby canada » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:37 pm

Thanks for the replies... :)

My guitar professor gave me a sheet of the 3m Tri-M-ite 500A grade a few years ago and I've been very happy with it since. 6000miles, I've never thought of it that way - re: the finer effects of using the paper over time (500,1200,2000). Alrighty, I'll be ordering some more soon!

Shaun Mahood

Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby Shaun Mahood » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:47 pm

I use 3M Micro-Abrasive paper (0.5 micron, approx. 9000x) to polish my nails, works really well. You can get it from Lee Valley

Aurore

Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby Aurore » Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:00 pm

Hi Canada, canadian tire, automotive section, body finishing, I buy 3m 2000, less than $3

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Dragonbones
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby Dragonbones » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:10 pm

I also like using a steel file followed by the 3m 405N Tri-M-ite 500A, but it's hard to get under the edge of the nail with the latter, so sometimes a Micro-Mesh Quad-Grade Nail Buffer 4N1731 is also useful, as it's shaped like a nail file but has a sandpaper-like section followed by progressively finer buffers. It's dirt cheap at stringsbymail so you can get several. If you like flexible sheets, the MicroMesh Multi-Pack (12000, 8000, 4000, 2400), 4 sheets is also quite good.
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freestroke
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby freestroke » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:59 pm

I go with a basic glass file, then use 1000 grit which, by the process above, degrades to a finer sand. I buy the 1000 grit sheets (10"x10"? Not sure.) in an auto parts store; it's used for polishing car finish repairs or something. Cut them into 2 1/2 inch squares, stack 'em up and put them in plastic bag. (Old plastic string packets are perfect.) One 3 sheet package has lasted me almost 5 years at this point and I'm not out yet. I've tried the buffers and meshes, but the little squares seem perfect to me, because you can easily get under the nail. I've noticed more than one player use these in performance, for example the Brasil Guitar Duo, so I don't seem to be alone with liking them. Cheap, small, convenient, effective.
Hell is full of amateur musicians -- GB Shaw

arby
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby arby » Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:13 pm

I use and like 600 grit Gator brand sandpaper from Home Hardware and Canadian Tire. I tried 3M, but prefer Gator.
BTW, sandpaper does not get finer with use, only duller. Instead or cutting, dull sandpaper burnishes.

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freestroke
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby freestroke » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:08 am

arby wrote:BTW, sandpaper does not get finer with use, only duller. Instead or cutting, dull sandpaper burnishes.


I thought about that before I more or less agreed with the poster who said it got finer. I thought about how they might make sandpaper, and decided that what's stuck to the paper is mostly the biggest pieces for the grade; there are none bigger, but there might be a lot of finer particles. Then I decided there were probably a lot of smaller pieces, too. The big pieces would break off first and the finer pieces last -- at least that's my guess. So...after a while, the "big" 1000 grit boulders slough off the page, leaving carborundum dust that was mixed in during the grinding and sorting operation. Then again, it might well be totally uniform bits of a certain size, in which case it merely grinds slower and slower.

:idea:

Possibility two: Filing would start to bury the particles beneath nail dust, with their tops poking out the top like minute mountains in fog. This would make them a finer grade, would it not?

I would definitely doubt that the grains become duller. though. That would be like butter making the knife dull.
Hell is full of amateur musicians -- GB Shaw

arby
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby arby » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:20 am

I didn't say the individual grains got dull, but that the sandpaper got dull.
It gets clogged, dirty, has missing grains, and exposed paper, making it dull.

Rick-in-Annapolis
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby Rick-in-Annapolis » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:54 pm

I use a glass nail file for initial shaping. Then I follow it up with 600 grit wet sandpaper. You can get it at any
hardware store and an 8x10 inch piece cut into small pieces may very well last you a lifetime. Finally, I highly
recommend micro-mesh sandpaper for the final round. I bought an assortment (as I recall from strings by mail). The
coursest grit is 3200 and the finest is 12000. If you work your way up from coursest to finest your nails will be as
smooth as glass when you are done. It makes a remarkable difference in tone!

magigemini777

Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby magigemini777 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:54 am

I usually use Micro-Mesh after shaping with a file of some sort, 2400,4000, then 12000. I just recently found a 3 way buffing file from a company called ASP, is has 600 grit sandpaper type on half of one side as well as 4000 grit like micromesh on the other half, the entire other side has 12000 micromesh type surface. Personally, the micromesh brand seems a little better, if I don't use it, my strings seem to get that "wisp" scratchy sound, which makes me cringe, kinda like some of those "rectified trebles " do.
Of course after some playing the bass strings start to take that glasslike edge off, but I just make sure to use the micromesh pretty much daily. Quality tone is achieved very easily this way, simply by just making sure the nail contact edge is just as smooth as the treble strings.

Best,
Michael

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Sobers
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby Sobers » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:23 am

I recommend this viewtopic.php?f=87&t=50129 but in case you don’t have such things, I have a better suggestion.

Just use a Nail File (to file them) and some Newspapers (to polish them).
Newspapers or cotton clothes also work.

This works best with no investment.

Sobers


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