Make your own mini-power sander: Sunday Scribbles

make your own mini-sanderHere’s a cheap way to make a useful mini-sander, ideal for smoothing edges of plastic models that are too delicate or small for typical off-the-shelf sanders.

It comes via N scale modeller Espee in N Scale (link the Facebook page).  As pointed out Marshal’s Facebook post, this wasn’t his idea. If it was you or you know who had the idea originally, please let me know and I’ll be happy to update this with a credit.

All that’s required is an older circular motion electric toothbrush.

Simply cut off the bristles that make up the toothbrush and glue on a disc of fine sandpaper.

That’s it.

You can now smooth down rough edges on plastic models with precision and control. It’ll also work with other materials, clay, resin and card too. With a little work and a change of material, this could also double up as a loco wheel cleaner.

If you have some velcro, an upgrade to this tip is to first glue a velcro pad to the oscillating surface and then fix velcro to the paper side of the sandpaper so you can easily swap out the sandpaper head when it’s worn out. It’s a quick and easy alternative to a desktop sander.




Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.

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