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[Q] How to thin down a Bone Blank?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Luthi3rz, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. Luthi3rz

    Luthi3rz Tele-Meister

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    So I got a set of 10 bone blanks from a place called Philadelphia Luthier Tools
    https://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/
    I asked if these blanks were the right size for a Stratocaster. Tells me yes but the Blanks
    are over sized.
    I check them with a caliper and they are around 0.180. I need them to be 0.125

    So I get out sand paper, and piece of tile to sand on and start sanding.
    Man that would take all day even using 100 grit sand paper. Maybe I'm impatient?

    I do have a spindle sander that also has a belt sander attachment for it. This one right here.
    WEN 6523 Oscillating Belt & Spindle Sander
    http://a.co/62uIajk

    I couldn't think of a good way to do it holding it with my fingers so
    I had to stick the bone blank to a block of wood
    using double sided tape to give my self some room.
    before I knew it I sanded off to much and create a wedge shaped blank
    that was too thin at the back.

    I really don't want to have to go and buy yet another machine to do this right
    so I'm asking for help on how to do this with what I got
    Any ideas?

    If I could get the thickness right I'd be okay on everything else.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    I use a Dremel sanding drum to get material off moderately quickly with reasonable control. It's never flat so I stop short of my line and then finish flat with a grinding stone or file. I hold the nut in one of these cheap little hand vises (I don't use the white pillars) ..
    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=182607768247
    [​IMG]

    I have also used a file in the past with the nut in a drill press vise.
     
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  3. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You have a spindle sander so you can clamp down up a fence and run the bone between the drum and the fence to thin it while the drum is turning. It'll shoot back at you, so you need to go against the feed and use a pushstick and safety glasses. Make incremental adjustments until it is where it is at. Pieces of masking tape on the fence can help as it is thin. Adhering the nut to a block makes that even easier to hang onto and push.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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  4. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Make some jig if you want to do the 10 (now 9) blanks.

    If you need only one it is really fast to file and sand by hand. Stick it to a board up or down. It’s very fast to get a wedge too, check the thickness very often.
     
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  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    spray stick some 180, 0r thereabouts paper on something flat... glass, piece of corian, marble, etc...

    place the bone on the paper and push back and forth.. checking it with calipers and the neck slot... that's how I've been doing it for 50 years.... ain't failed yet..


    Oh, I was taught by the guy that worked on Segovia's guitars, so I reckon he knew what he was doing..

    you don't need anything special except something flat, spray glue and sandpaper...

    rk
     
  6. Festus_Hagen

    Festus_Hagen Tele-Holic

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    Start with a file, then go to sandpaper.

    Patience .
     
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  7. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

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    I do exactly as you tried. I stick the blank to a block of wood and use my edge sander. I take my time and test fit several times, especially when I'm close to final thickness. I may even stop the sander and just manually move the blank back and forth to ease up to my final dimension. It really just takes patience.
     
  8. Finck

    Finck Tele-Afflicted

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    Tried sand bone blocks only 2 times, both were very easy to me. I have used 150 grit if I remember. Sometimes I think that use a coarser grit is worse, because its large grains make the sanding more difficult.
     
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  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    OK,, so I had to make a few today, so I dug out the 'ol Nikon... they say a picture is with a thousand words,,, so consider this very verbose couple of posts...

    DSC_5623.jpg DSC_5624.jpg DSC_5625.jpg DSC_5626.jpg DSC_5627.jpg DSC_5628.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    DSC_5626.jpg DSC_5627.jpg DSC_5628.jpg DSC_5630.jpg DSC_5631.jpg DSC_5632.jpg And a few more...
     
  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    and even more...

    DSC_5633.jpg DSC_5634.jpg
     
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  12. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I made this jig a couple years ago just for that purpose. It fits in the miter slot in my ROSS and has worked great!

    The bottom base slides in a dado groove with a matching tounge on the top part to fit it. Double back tape or spray adhesive the nut blank in the slot and rotate the back knob to turn it into the sander. I have markings on the side that get me close to the thickness I need before starting to trial fit. Cut my nut making effort way down.

    Eric 1533156695085.jpg

    1533156429951.jpg 1533156439557.jpg
     
  13. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    As always, thank you Ron & Eric for the pic tutorials when it comes to things like this.
     
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  14. Luthi3rz

    Luthi3rz Tele-Meister

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    You guys are the greatest.
     
  15. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Where'd you get that disc sander? :) I made a smaller one on the cheap but couldn't easily find a bigger platter like the one on yours:

    I've had excellent luck shaping nut blanks (slightly softer ivory, though, not bone) using my little 3" disc sander. Would love to have a slightly larger one without going to a 'big' 4" belt/6" disc combo sander. The next common size of disc sanders seems to jump to 12" diameter (with huge over-powerful motor for the small work pieces).
     
  16. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    I made that one.. the disk is 3.5 inches ..

    Made the disk out of Lexan I turned on a lathe and the base and table are all Corian....

    r
     
  17. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    Good howto Ron, thank you.
    maybe a tip for others.
    if you are gluing some pieces of wood and have some small pieces leftovers of wood, what you could do is to take some sanding paper on a roll, put some wood glue on the back and wait a while.
    the paper on the back will soak up the glue and stretch.
    then put it on the pieces of wood , clamp them and let it dry.
    drying will remove the moister out of the paper and it will shrink and you get a flat surface.
    this way, maybe sawing pieces of wood to your favour, you have nice sanding blocks.

    o, don't forget to put wet sanding paper a night in water, holds much longer and when folded the edge point will not scratch
     
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  18. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    OK, I received a lot of requests for info on making the little sand disk.. here's a few photos.. the base is Corian.. easy to work with and durable.. you can get it by Dumpster diving about any Solid Surface Counter top fabricators shop.. ask first...

    the Motor is a Bodine I got off eBay.. controlled with a Sewing machine foot pedal...

    I made the disk by finding an old pulley, glueing it to a piece of Lexan, Lexan only because I had Lexan laying around.. the Corian would do just as well... then I turned it on my mini lathe to true everything up... every thing else is pretty much self explanatory..

    Oh, ya glue Corian with CA.. and get it right the first time... Corian has a particular affinity for CA and bonds instantly.... and watch your fingers... freeing fingers from Corian that's glued to 'em can be a bit of a challenge :lol::rolleyes:

    rk

    DSC_5635.jpg DSC_5636.jpg DSC_5637.jpg DSC_5638.jpg DSC_5639.jpg DSC_5640.jpg
    DSC_5635.jpg DSC_5636.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  19. Luthi3rz

    Luthi3rz Tele-Meister

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    Here is my jig. I'm waiting for some finer grit sand paper before I test it out.
    Maybe you guys wanna make one as well and try it out?
    It's slightly based on eallen's design.


    IMG_1602.JPG
     
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  20. Cantbreak100guy

    Cantbreak100guy Tele-Holic

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