Yesterday I was shimming up the saddle on one of my guitars by about 0.025" to raise the action a little without making a new saddle. The operation was a success as it cured the buzz I was getting on the B-string when flatpicking and mostly cured the buzz on the D-string (unless I dig in really hard with the pick). I used my usual technique of gluing a piece of ebony shim stock on the bottom of the bone saddle with CA and sanding it down to the correct height with 320-grit sandpaper...

...except this time to speed things along I used a Dremel tool sanding wheel because I was starting at 0.080" thick and wanted to get it down under 0.040" with a rough cut before switching to sandpaper on a marble cutting board. I did not anticipate how much finer and airborne the ebony dust would be from using the Dremel tool.

I have not felt well today and a couple times I've blown my nose and found clumps of something inky black, presumably ebony dust. I'm lucky not to be allergic to the ebony but just the general insult to my immune system seems to be enough to have me moving at half-speed and a sort of half-headache all day (the 100-degree temps outside didn't help late in the day).

So no more Dremel on ebony for me. I'll stick to the slow sandpaper method and even though that does not produce airborne dust I'll use a mask next time, too. Very poor judgment, that.

Views: 664

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

One last thing while we are on the subject - we use carbon fibre/graphite for reinforcement purposes - this stuff is as dangerous as asbestos and should be treated as such when any machining yields dust or fibre waste. Aircraft crash investigators have to wear full rigs when investigating crash site involving composite materials these days. Rusty.
Sometimes it feels like I spend half of my day sanding..... I set up a couple of quick fixes for all the dust and haven't replaced them because they work so well. I'm attaching a pic with this. But for a downdraft table, I just made a 4 sided box with a dust port on one side, glued pressboard to the bottom, and taped pegboard to the top. It works great, and cost about $25. A couple of metal straps keeps it in place to the bench. I sand almost everything on it. I have a piece of drawer lining (that mesh rubber stuff) for when I sand out bodies in paint, or am taking down a high bridge repair and need to protect the finish. The other is a little shop vac ($40 at lowes) that I hooked up to my belt sander. It comes off easily and is a quick handy helper for keeping my bench and repair room clean.


© 2024   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service