Would this work well for fret leveling?

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by tubegeek, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    I bought some of this for its normal purpose and I noticed that it's rated at 600 grit. I know some folks use DIY fret leveling beams made from a flat slab of metal or stone, and some kind of stick-on adhesive sandpaper. Well, this is stick-on adhesive sandpaper, no? Is 600 grit usable? Any thoughts?

    It's 2" wide.

    20200930_131544.jpg
     
  2. Ghostdriver

    Ghostdriver Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I think I have seen Ben Crowe from Crimson guitars using his beam with 600 grit, I also have used 600 for fret levelling with no problem, I would say go for it!
     
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  3. Rockhead

    Rockhead Tele-Meister

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    I looks too course to be 600 but what do I know? I would just buy a roll of abrasive paper that's actually made for sanding. You don't know how well it will hold up sanding metal frets.
     
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  4. WalthamMoosical

    WalthamMoosical Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Good lord and I thought *my* methods were innovative. That's awesome if it works.
     
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  5. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    That looks more like 60 grit. But it's not designed for sanding, unless it's the corns off the bottoms of yer hoofs ;) It probably would come apart if used as sanding media.

    A cheap and easy sanding beam is an 18-24" aluminum level that's at least 1" wide, like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. gmm52

    gmm52 Tele-Meister

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    Zero chance that's 600 grit. It's floor grip, probably 60. Friend, fret dressing is not your gig.
     
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  7. Bk50

    Bk50 TDPRI Member

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    I agree with gmm50, got to be 60. Way too rough to be 600.
     
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  8. Danb541

    Danb541 Tele-Afflicted

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    71hRqnyPcML._SL1500_.jpg I had to make sure it wasn't April 1st on this one...

    Here is what 600 grit looks like.
     
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  9. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    I use a coarser grit than 600 for leveling, and I agree with Rockhead - that stuff in the pic looks considerably coarser than 600 grit.

    My concern using a sandpaper purposely designed for providing traction is that there might be less consideration given to the consistency of grain size. You might have some larger random sized grains in that stuff that could make a mess of the fret tops.

    I use 3M brand red stik-it abrasive because that's what my local auto paint supply shop carries. There are some other good brands out there as well.

    If I'm leveling one of the necks I've built, I use P320 grit because I know it's not going to take much sanding to achieve flatness :).

    I've also got a roll of P180 grit which I've used on some other necks because they needed more work to bring the tops of the frets into line. I follow up the 180 grit with a final pass with 320 grit on the sanding beam to eliminate the 180 scratches.

    Then it's time to break out the fret files and re-profile the frets while leaving the tops un-touched

    After the frets are profiled to satisfaction, I use 600 grit rubbed in line with the frets (at 90 degrees to the direction of the beam) to eliminate the 320 scratches.

    Then I go with 1000 or 1200 followed by 1500 grit, and a final buff with a small buffing wheel on a Dremel charged with some of the white or light green compound for buffing stainless steel.

    That leaves a real nice finish for bending notes ;).

    What you want to do is make sure that you use grits that eliminate the scratches left by the previous grit without taking off any more fret metal than what is necessary.

    These grits work out good for me. They let me get the job done quickly and efficiently :).
     
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  10. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Afflicted

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    That's a rubberized material for grip, not for abrading anything. I put some on my son's wheelchair footrest and it grips really well, even exfoliates a little bit of dead skin off his heels, but I highly doubt it would sand anything harder than your calluses. I wouldn't bother trying it on frets.

    I was at our local auto body supply shop a couple years ago and got a roll each of 180 and 220 grits adhesive sandpaper. They were a bit pricey, at about $25 a roll, but they will likely last me 10 years. I use it for all kinds of things besides fret leveling; it turns just about anything you want into a custom sanding block.

    Good thinking looking to repurpose materials, even though I really don't think this one will work for you.
     
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  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    600 grit wouldn't keep you from slipping off a step.
     
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  12. Dan_Pomykalski

    Dan_Pomykalski Tele-Meister

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    Harsh.
     
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  13. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes to all. I'd stick that to my garage floor while I used actual 600 grit sandpaper to level the frets, so I don't slip and fall while getting another cup of coffee. You know, over 90 percent of all accidents in the home are unintentional.
     
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  14. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    Hmm. I have to agree with those who say this doesn't really LOOK like 600. But it says it is, which is what threw me off.

    I think I'll try to source some more appropriate stickyback stuff, or else use a little spray adhesive on regular wetordry.

    @gmm52 - not really sure you're using the word "friend" correctly.

    20200930_152806.jpg
     
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  15. old soul

    old soul Tele-Meister

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    I have used spray adhesive by 3m to stick sandpaper to a leveling beam and it worked very well. That grip tape looks too coarse
     
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  16. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I use a 'glue stick' to adhere a sandpaper strip to the surface of my leveling block. (I think I have around 600 grit on there.) Not super-permanent, scrapes off for sandpaper replacement.
     
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  17. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep, double sided tape is a handy thing to have around the garage, but if you can't find it or don't want to spend a ton on it (can't remember, but I thought double sided tape was pricey), the 3M adhesive #71 works just fine and cleans up pretty easily with some solvent.
     
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  18. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    I know they use the word grit but that number isn't equivalent to sandpaper. It's 3M's different grades of traction. With 600 providing the highest traction and roughest surface. Notice the bare foot and boot. 200 allows one with bare feet to walk on it while the higher grades require footwear.
     
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  19. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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  20. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    You know, one of the things I love about TDPRI is, more often than not, sooner or later, someone wanders into the thread who knows exactly what he's talking about. Thank you very much for this info and for the pic below, and for taking the time to share it.

    It seems that the ROUGHER grits in this system have HIGHER numbers. No wonder I was confused. I should have thought through the whole foot & boot thing.
     
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