Make a Modelers Orbital Sander Out of a Toothbrush





Introduction: Make a Modelers Orbital Sander Out of a Toothbrush

Unusual Uses: Bathroom Challenge

First Prize in the
Unusual Uses: Bathroom Challenge

I make a lot of models and since I am always short of cash, improvisation is the norm. So trying to sand a new coat of primer in the tiny crevices of a model I had the brain wave to use an electric toothbrush as an orbital sander. 5 minutes later, success!

This works so well and with disposable toothbrushes being so cheap, I have several of them with different grades of sand paper pre-bonded for different jobs.

Step 1: What You Need.

An old toothbrush (preferably your own)
Some form of contact adhesive
Heavy duty scissors

Step 2: The First Cut

I tried various methods of getting the "Mat" that holds the bristles off, even tried burning them first but have now settled on this method as the quickest and least smelly. The bristles are mounted on to a mat that is easy to pull out in one go if you can just gain access from one or more sides. Make your arrow head shaped cuts to the head of the toothbrush and peel the mat off and discard. 

Step 3: Glue and Grit

Once you have achieved the desired shape of the head for the project that you are busy with, liberally coat the head with contact adhesive and allow to dry. Coat the non-grit side of the sandpaper as well.

Once both surfaces are dry, clamp together with clothes pegs for 5-10 minutes.

Job done!

Step 4: Sand Away!!!

You can now get in to those little nooks and crannies to do the work that can be the difference between an okay model and a really good model. Once the batteries are flat, then you can throw away the toothbrush. 



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    Congratulations! And reading other comments below it is easy to see all the ramifications this idea will generate :)

    Now I can proudly tell my wife why I saved those brushes.

    I absolutely love this project. Excellent work.

    wouldn't be best if you slapped a piece of foam between the sandpaper and tooth brush so it handles better on contours?

    I tried this for one of my models a couple years ago... and it really didnt work... any idea why?? is your toothbrush the kind which does a quick rotation? or one that just vibrates?? this idea would only work on toothbrushes that vibrate.. and not ones that rotate. Good Job though!

    Even MacGyvar would be pleased with this one.....Genius

    But i stiil give it 5 satrs YOU BLOODY GENIUS!!!!!!

    dont you think it would be better to some how take the flat battery out and replace it with 2 AA battery's

    I JUST thought about turning an electric toothbrush into a sander to get out the paint that hides in the divots of a weld (On bicycles and such), and cruised over here because I knew for certain someone else would think the same. THX man!