I am always on the lookout for a new or different tool or method, and the cheaper the better. Here are some items that I've found lately that worked out well.

My wife uses false finger nails, and part of the kit are these great little sanding boards; stiff foam with fine and finer grits. I guess around 220 and 300 maybe. Work great for sanding carved tops, neck angles, etc. Check with the wife, girlfriend, sister, etc.

Another item found at the big box store, is double-sided masking tape. I believe this was Duck brand, and it's incredibly cheap, and holds very well. I loosen it with the old standby, naptha dripped under the template. I was having trouble with the other stuff being very thin, but this is a little thicker and conforms to tiny irregularities. 

Last item is a cheapie nail file. I believe these are diamond coated, as they stay sharp a long time, but cost only about a buck or less. 

Thanks to Frank's site for the inspiration to look for new uses for old or free stuff. I'm always picking up old knives for other uses. Cheers.

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Rusty, I was a fitter and turner for 12 years in HM Dockyard Portsmouth, happy days.


hi Rusty

which Royal School of Technical Training were you at ? I trained as an Airframe Fitter in the Royal Air Force at Nr.1 School of Technical Training, at RAF Halton, from 1971-1973. Entry Nr. 225. I've often wondered where all the guys ended up, maybe you're one of them?

Sorry Grahame and  Steve,

I have just returned, I trained at Royal Australian Air Force Base, RSTT Wagga, Australia, 24 Intake as a Scientific Instrument Maker, 1970 -1972 - (74 OTJT completion).  I suspect we were using the same syllabus only in different hemispheres - I attribute much of my skills and understanding to the high standard and comprehensive nature of this initial training and rate it second to none.    I remember well leaning about vacuum tube electronics in our initial elec-tech and thinking "this stuff is old and useless - why are we doing this" I now look squarely at all my sweet  tube-laden amplifiers.........funny old place this world.

Regards Comrade, Rusty.

I've been playing with rare earth magnets for certain clamping applications and although these things can most certainly hurt you if one is not careful they also can be very useful in hard to clamp or reach applications.

Some of the issues that I have encountered is that the pull is so very strong (42 lbs for the 3.4" magnets that I have) and with the smooth, slippery metal sides these things can be very difficult to hold onto, break apart, etc.  So I was thinking about a way to get a better purchase/grip on them and came up with the following.  In addition they tend to chip very easily from being struck together too hard.  But with the heavy pull that they generate it's very difficult to not let them slam together when storing them.

I placed 220 grit self-stick sandpaper on mine and super glued the seams to keep the paper in place on the tight radius of the things.  What results is a FAR better grip on them for me which should belay or reduce poor form in handling them on my part AND the sandpaper wrap helps keep any chipping in place anyway since they are now wrapped in sandpaper.

And yes they were so close for this pic that they were starting to squirm on the bench on their own....  Be sure to read the safety precautions if considering using rare earth magnets - there are some real hazards associated with them....

I use a plastic coupler for mine and then screw on a nipple 6 inches long and super glue the magnets in it has 1/8 inch protection all around.  You can not pull them apart but by bending them you can superate them .


A T-nut and threaded rod used as a spreader clamp inside an archtop.

I had a Harmony in the other day, the neck block had separated from the top the neck pulled forward forcing the top between the neck and the finger board. The neck was loose but could not be pulled up until the block was pushed back.I needed a spreader that would fit inside the guitar.  I'm making a guitar troji right now and had some threaded rod and a T-nut sitting out 

I put the threaded rod through the endpin hole threaded the T-nut onto it from the F hole. points facing the endblock chucked the end of the 3 ft threaded rod into a cordless drill and turned until it got to the neckblock and turned the last bit by hand. It pushed back perfectly and I was able to get the neck out with very little effort. 

I modified an old shop made violin clamp to apply a little side pressure for a crack repair. Anchoring from the bridge pin holes means I can move it around the whole lower bout with out any further modifications, like making a longer one.


That's a really good idea and one that I am going to steal in the very near future. I have a guitar that needs exactly that sort of repair!  I really like that it allows you to follow the radius of the body so easily. Thumbs up!

You're welcome to it, I'm trying to figure out a way to use it on the inside as well. Let me know if you've got any ideas.

Same guitar inspired the kite rod inside go bar. I had to apply pressure to 2" of kerfing I was replacing. 

I cut the kite rod (carbon fiber?) to fit with pressure on the inside.

I plan to steal this idea as well.  thanks



Kudos (-:


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