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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Here in America, last holdout for traditional things like measurements, 1kg = 2.2 pounds, not 2.3.  :-)

(Personally, I was disappointed when the attempt to switch to metric failed back in the '70s and '80s.  But decades later now when nearly all of my tools and memories are traditionally calibrated, I no longer care.)

Those "pipe clamps" are great. I use feeler guages for small scrapers and shim stock. Two of them and a bit of masking tape makes the fret mask I've been using since before you could buy such a thing.

It's so funny, I just brainstormed the same thing last night! Works great.

I needed a pantograph for a job I wanted to do. I came up with this for twenty dollars.

Wow thats pretty sweet. I dont have the math brainses to pull that off.

I don't quite know what to do with this but it must be useful for something.  It's a tool used by glaziers (glass workers), apparently to pry glass and seals away from frames, e.g auto windshields.  Nice shape and softly pointed ends. It was left in the engine compartment of my car when I had a windshield replaced.   It appears to be made of Delrin or similar resin and has a bevel and rounded point on each end.  I think the material is such that it can be used to pry brittle materials (glass) without breaking them and to protect the surfaces of mating hard surfaces like window frames.  It can also be used to peel back seals, again without cutting into the soft material or damaging the hard.

I've used it for all kinds of non-lutherie tasks, including seating O rings, removing same, buffing dry transfer lettering, prying delicate materials apart, etc.  The challenge is to define what it can be used for by luthiers.  It also could be modified to different end shapes to fit specific circumstances (be careful with power tools, Delrin and related materials give off a toxic gas when heated).

Can probably be obtained from a glass shop or at least they can say where to get it.

Have at it, guys!


Simple binding scraper for neck binding. Box cutter blade, two small machine screws, a bit of 1/4" plywood and some tape. Blade adjusts by loosening screws, adjust to suite, re-tighten screws, simple!


In stained glass work this is used to press copper foil tightly against the glass before it is leaded.

Grizzly has a good price on stick-it sandpaper rolls going on right now.

cut and past the the entire link.

great thread

I wanted a board to clamp the back of a guitar to and I found a loose one a little unmanageable, clamp one side the other would fall off etc. So I took a board about 600mm x 450mm drilled the centre with a spade bit and inserted part of a curtain pole; finally screwing it all in place. The contraption is then held in a bench vice at the other end of the pole. It worked like a charm! It rotates allowing easy access for clamping, its at a good height to work on, its stable, and its free. 

My daughter, a repair tech in Brooklyn, learned of a cool tool from Paul Hostetter.  It is called a mezzotint rocker and is used to roughen up the surface of an engraving plate so it holds more ink.  Paul uses it to "pulverize" the lacquer under a bridge for easy removal.  This is what it looks like - this one is 1/2" wide:

Here is a page from Paul's site - look halfway down:

Here is the company site and page:

Note that it looks just like toothed plane blade, and if you have one you could cut it down, or order one like this and put a handle on it:

My daughter's - in the first pictures - is 45 teeth per inch and she says she would get fewer per inch if she had it to do again.


I saw the video of Mamie doing the wood toning video. Very talented!


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