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I saw an interesting tip over on The Clubhouse. A guy took a battery powered Oral B Cross Action toothbrush and removed all the bristles and with some double sided foam tape applied a disk of sandpaper to the orbital pad (there is a cross action pad and an orbital pad). Voila, instant cheap mini sander. This would be good for seams I think.

Anyway, I thought this was a good idea.

hal9001-
 

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These work pretty well.

I believe any brand will work, it doesn't have to be Oral B. Different vibrating pattern maybe?
You can buy battery powered OR rechargable so be sure and check when you pick one up. The cheaper ones are battery powered.

I found something similar in the automotive department at Walmart called "Sonic Scrubber" Prodetailer ($20ish). Its basicly one of these toothbrushes on steroids. Its twice the size of the toothbrushes and more powerful. It comes in a Dewalt color scheme (manly yellow with black trim)! These are regular battery powered and not rechargable. You can also buy extra heads.

The guy in the video used oval Velcro buttons. Walmart has an assortment of round ones in the fabric department (smaller Walmarts do not have these departments). The advantage is you do not need to cut them. The 5/8 in round ones were an absolute perfect fit for the Prodetailer. "Scotch" makes something called "foam circle" sticky on both sides. These pretty well too, but not as good as Velcro.

You do need to be sure and have your head out of you *** and not use two hoops or two fasteners. My head was there and it doesnt work very well that way.:drunk:

Disadvantages:
Having to cut the sandpaper to size. (tedious but not difficult)
The small surface area of sandpaper clogs pretty quickly.
 

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Micro Mark have some cool stuff!!
That's where my sprue cutters and photoetch shears came from. X-acto blades too. You can't find them in bulk packs in Oz.
Great service!

Chris.:)
 

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I tried the Mod and it was fun ... for a while.... nothing beats good old Elbow N Grease !

and its much more quieter ! (by hand)

it has it place among the hobby I am sure....
Thanks for sharing the info....

Later .
 

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I read a similar article or post somewhere a few months ago about converting a battery-operated toothbrush into a mini sander (I can't for the life of me remember where). It sounded like a fun little DIY project, so I gave it a try.

Anyway, the article I read used a slightly different method that seems to work as well, if not better. I guess it's a matter of preference. Instead of velcro, he used mounting tape. Mounting tape is a two-sided tape with a thin layer of foam in between. It means that the sandpaper will not be removable, but that problem was solved by using multiple heads with different grit sandpaper.

So, remove the bristles, stick on a square of mounting tape, followed by a square of sandpaper, and then trim as desired. Write the grit number on the back of the head with a permanent marker or paint pen and voila! Mini sander!

Also, instead of big pliers like the guy in the video, I used needle-nose pliers. He grabs all the bristles at once and yanks, then repeats until they all eventually come out. That technique seems a little heavy-handed to me. You'll notice that the bristle are in the head in small bunches. I removed each small bunch one at the time. By starting at the edges and moving inward, I grabbed a small bunch and rotated the pliers so as to use the head itself as leverage. The bunch and the metal tab come out more cleanly and efficiently this way.

I'm sure those mini sanders that Micro-Mark sells are fine tools that work as advertised right out of the box, but they ain't cheap! I also spent less than the guy in the video buy using a Target-brand toothbrush instead of an Oral B branded brush. The Target brush is rechargeable, just like the Oral B models, and comes with two heads right in the box. You can probably get away with having only two heads, but a four-pack of replacement heads is cheap also.

So, the brush was 20 bucks, the mounting tape was around 5 bucks, and I already had plenty of sandpaper, so my mini sander cost me 25 bucks plus tax. Half the price that the guy in the video estimates, and roughly a third of the price of those Micro-Mark tools (and that's not even considering postage). Also, mounting tape is widely available, so you will likely be able to pick up your brush and tape at the same Target store in one easy trip. I'd imagine that Walmart carries a similar brush at a comparable price, but I can't say as I tend to avoid Walmart like the plague!

Does mine work as well as those Micro-Mark tools? Perhaps not, but the price tag was a lot more reasonable. Plus, as I said, it was a fun DIY project.

But the real question is "how does it work?" Well, it's best used on large, flat and/or simple seams with little or no surface detail. It's useless on most concave areas, and not effective on complex surfaces. (I would imagine those store-bought tools would have the same limitations.) It works better of larger kits, particularly vehicle kits, and is less useful on smaller kits and figure kits. Schweinhund227 is right about good, old-fashioned elbow grease. I find myself reaching for my sanding pads and jeweler's files far more often than my mini sander.
 

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I tried mounting tape on the smaller of my two brush/sanders. It didnt seem to work as well as the velcro, it kept moving around or coming off. It was probably the brand of two sided tape I was using combined with the small surface area of tape contact.

I can "ditto" the experience as to the types of areas/surfaces where these sanders can be used
 
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