Using Nib Files on Pre-Catalyzed Finishes

Tips on getting good results with a nib file. March 28, 2010

How long should I wait, after spraying on a pre-cat finish, before using a nib file on small imperfections?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor D:
The fact that you even know that these things exist indicates that you have some background in automotive painting. With wood finishes they are not as effective since the finishes don't get nearly as hard as acrylic urethane. Nib files, which are special tools made by Steck, work best on truly hardened clear coats where they perform a shaving action to remove the run. On wood finishes a piece of 80 grit adhesive file board paper stuck to a small piece of MDF works pretty well. If it gums up, you throw it away and get a new piece.

From contributor C:
For evaporative finishes like nitro/acrylic/shellac, I've always waited overnight before trying nibbing. I have both the curved and flat types and I used 600 w/d paper to break them in like the manufacturer suggested. This makes them not as aggressive as one that isn't broken in, otherwise they tend to tear the finish. Even with that, you have to be a lot more careful than with cat finishes. So my recommendation is test every 12 hours until you get satisfactory results and make a run or sag on a sample board along with your project to test out first before doing it on the project itself.