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I've recently started trying to learn how to reface and I was curious as to what sandpaper grits to use. I currently use 400 and 800. Is there any advantage to working wet?
 

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400 is good. I dont use 800 much. 400 is a little light for brass. I use 320 for the primary cutting. I dont use it wet, it makes a mess but probably saves a little sandpaper in the long run. I buy it in bulk so I dont care to worry about 20 cents.

Mojo's page is a valuable resource. Check it out.
 

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400 is good. I dont use 800 much. 400 is a little light for brass. I use 320 for the primary cutting. I dont use it wet, it makes a mess but probably saves a little sandpaper in the long run. I buy it in bulk so I dont care to worry about 20 cents.

Mojo's page is a valuable resource. Check it out.
400 is the finest grit that you use?
 

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For primary work yes. Black 3M wed/dry paper. I use some finer grit for cleanup. I could go finer to start but I have used this for years and I know how a piece should feel against it to take off the desired amount. Im more interested in accuracy and consistency than I am in making a polished piece of jewelry.

Im not knocking anyone who has these concerns. Really, I am not. There is some beautiful work out there, Theo as well as Ted. They do beautiful work. If that is your gig that's cool.

I dont have the time, any staff, or the interest in making mouthpiece art. As long as it is a proper piece, looks clean, and plays great I have done my job. Anything further and I would have to charge more than I think any mouthpiece is worth.
 

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I hit reply too soon.. 320 is a great choice for roughing out a curve. Anything finer for the grunt work would take forever; I too don't have the time or a staff to keep up with my work either!!! This is especially taxing when you know you have to prepare something to be plated. This requires a speed and accuracy that when I see Ted do it ... it's superhuman!
 

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Yes, 400 for facing curves and flattening tables.

It is of course impossible to use 400 for cleaning up the outside of the piece where you cut away the added thickness of a rail or table. After than I use less coarse material and then a buffer (not buffing the facing or table of course).

The luxury of hard rubber is it is not terribly difficult to buff out after a couple of step downs in grit. I would go totally nuts putting a mirror finish on a metal piece like Ted does. I dont believe it makes a difference in how the piece plays but when you reach a certain price point there are aesthetic demands that come into play in order to market effectively.
 

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I dont believe it makes a difference in how the piece plays but when you reach a certain price point there are aesthetic demands that come into play in order to market effectively.
Yeah man, when it comes to tables and the cheeks etc it's about selling jewelry that plays great. I have no idea how anybody else does this work, naturally I was curious!
 

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I remember years ago going to Bob Scott and Dave Guardala for refacing work. 400 was the finest grit they used. That was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I still play one of those pieces now with no further work.

I do wonder if they would have used the finer grits if they were available. But I also remember reading the Brand manual regarding polishing refaced mouthpieces. Neither of these guys were concerned with polishing.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
 

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400 is good. I dont use 800 much. 400 is a little light for brass. I use 320 for the primary cutting. I dont use it wet, it makes a mess but probably saves a little sandpaper in the long run. I buy it in bulk so I dont care to worry about 20 cents.

Mojo's page is a valuable resource. Check it out.
Link to mojo's page please? thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So beyond making the piece accurate and play well what grits should be used? When I see a piece from Ted Klum, Morgan, Mouthpiece Cafe, Freddie Gregory, or Warburton the work looks to be very polished and I would like to know how far they go to get that look. I know this doesn't effect the function but I would like to strive for that level of finish.
 

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Are you talking metal or hard rubber? That is the big question. Also where on the mouthpiece?

If its hard rubber you would need to work the interior with grits stepping down to about 800-1000 and then use polishing compound by hand. That works well. That is what I do on the baffle areas. the outside of the piece is traditionally stepped down and finished with a buffing wheel and polishing compounds. I highly suggest staying away from polishing the table and the rails if you want to keep the facing you have carefully applied.
 

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I use mylar-backed PSA "sandpaper" 45 micron avg particle diameter (about 320 grit) for most of my work on all materials. I use 15 micron for finish work. I use both until they get pretty dull so there is a big difference between using them fresh or broken in. But I'm used to adapting to different material hardness too so it is not a big deal for me.

There are several grit scales. They are similar except for the finer grits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandpaper#Grit_size_table

I have some photos on my site and Facebook page. Also I have been uploading videos on Youtube. There is one there on the work surface I use and several showing it in use. Links in my signature.
 

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John, there is a point of diminishing returns when going to fine grits. It depends on if you are talking about finishing the body of the piece or applying the facing. There is a lot to be said for measure twice, cut once...not exactly once when it comes to making a curve but I think you get the general idea. On the whole the more you futz with a piece the more likely you are to throw something else off. A couple of good clean cuts is typically more accurate than rubbing the facing on grit that is barely there. The reed doesnt care if the rails have a mirror finish as long as they are smooth and properly applied.

I would wager I can make a more accurate facing with 320 or 400 than with 1000 grit.
 

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I remember years ago going to Bob Scott and Dave Guardala for refacing work. 400 was the finest grit they used. That was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I still play one of those pieces now with no further work.

I do wonder if they would have used the finer grits if they were available.
I had no idea finer grits weren't available then.

I find if you have to "alot" to a reed, its not a good reed.
I agree with that, however I think this is all about mouthpiece facings not reeds.
 
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