Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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Hans W
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby Hans W » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:15 am

oski79 wrote:Interesting thread... I really had no idea players go beyond 500 grit paper. That's all Rosewood Guitar sells. I do use one of those buffers you can get for $2 in the drugstore to finish mine off after filing then sanding.

And I thought 1200 grade was too course :lol: :lol:

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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby mezzo_piano » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:55 am

oski79 wrote:Interesting thread... I really had no idea players go beyond 500 grit paper. That's all Rosewood Guitar sells. I do use one of those buffers you can get for $2 in the drugstore to finish mine off after filing then sanding.


I also bought buffers for a week. I use it after 1500 grit paper... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby kkruecke » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:29 pm

Autozone sells 1500 grit -- and other grades -- of sandpaper. You can get it online or at a local autozone store. The price is around $5US.

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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby Nick Payne » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:40 am

The best I have found is Norton SoftTouch sanding sponge. It's made in different grits up to one labelled 1200-1500, comes in squares about 10cm a side, and is washable. I cut it into strips a couple of centimetres wide, and keep one in my guitar case. A single sheet costs about $2 and lasts a long time (much longer than paper-backed sandpaper). I use a sapphire nail file for shaping the nail, and the sanding sponge for polishing it.

Just google "norton softtouch sanding sponge"

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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby Brynmor » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:47 pm

If you youtube "Douglas Niedt+nail" you will find a video, in 3 parts, describing how nails should be filed and what to use.

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robin loops
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby robin loops » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:02 am

Cheapest I've found is at a the local hardware store... A little over a dollar for 8.5x11 sheets... I use 400 for shaping, 600 for fine shaping and 1500 for buffing... Then rub them on my jeans if I want a smoother finish... A strip of thick smooth leather works great for that too (instead of jeans). Something like the leather strips used for shapening straight razors... Also older worn out 1500 gets finer with use and can be used for final buffing as well. Would much rather spend my cash on strings or sheet music than nail care...
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby Wayne S » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:30 am

I use 1200 wet and dry paper to smooth my nails then I turn the paper over and use the back to polish the nails.

Works a treat and cost about $1.50 per sheet which lasts for about 3 or 4 months.

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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby barry haywood » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:58 am

I use progressively finer wet&dry to shape and polish my nails. Then I "buff" them to a glass-like finish using the inside of a whisky glass - after I've drunk the whisky, of course.
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Brad Little
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby Brad Little » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:14 pm

I use a glass file, similar to the one pictured in an earlier post. Then a couple different grits of paper, down to 1000.If I'm really into classical, I'll finish with some leather buffing. If I'm being real compulsive, I'll dig out a stone that came from a barber shop, used to put the edge on a strait razor before stropping on leather then buffing with the leather. Biggest problem I have is that I play a lot more steel string these days, and my flatpick technique chews up my index nail.
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby freestroke » Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:52 pm

I wonder about the law of diminishing returns here. While 2000+ grit would get the nails to near optical quality, the business end of the nail would dent and change rather quickly against the strings, wouldn't it? Especially on the wound strings. There's a golf analogy here, concerning "perfectly balanced" golf balls. One can take a golf ball and float it in a concentrated saltwater solution and determine the balance point, marking it with a magic marker or something and making sure that is the axis where you roll the putt, but one whack with a driver will completely change that point (never mind digging into the surface with the grooves of a nine iron). By the time you get to the first green, it won't matter a bit. I've gone all the way to something like 10000 on a sharpening steel, but my technique (or hearing) certainly is insufficient for me to discern any difference from the 1000 grit sandpaper. A few loud rest strokes against the wound basses would surely mess up all that, wouldn't it?
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby robin loops » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:04 pm

One of the main advantages to polishing the edge of the nail is the added durability. At some point the sound difference is probably impercievable. In fact I've noticed that too glassy may even not sound as good. But the smoother the edge ( even on a microscopic level) the less theyll wear. An example of this is if you sand glass. At first it is nearly impossible and takes a long time to make the first little blemish. Once you have the first scratch in its surface it becomes much easier.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby kkruecke » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:14 am

You can go to an Auto Zone store. They sell 1500 grit sandpaper.

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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby gasman » Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:06 am

Hello, I am trying to find 3m 405n Tri-M-ite 500A but I can´t find it on his website. Maybe did their change his name??

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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby freestroke » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:24 am

gasman wrote:Hello, I am trying to find 3m 405n Tri-M-ite 500A but I can´t find it on his website. Maybe did their change his name??


Not sure it has to be anything that special, does it? 3M 1000 grit seems about all the specification one would need. It's not the arrow, it's the archer as they say.
Hell is full of amateur musicians -- GB Shaw

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Re: Guitar nail sandpaper - Recommendations?

Postby Adam » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:37 pm

Check out the Oasis OH-19 Fingernail Shaper. It's only $4 and works really well. It has four different grits and will leave your nails "glassy". I buy several at a time and keep them in different places for convenience. They last a pretty good long time too.


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