Author Topic: An electric toothbrush as a small sander? Yes!  (Read 564 times)

Offline A7er

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An electric toothbrush as a small sander? Yes!
« on: September 02, 2022, 09:54:51 PM »
OK, get the laughing out of the way, this idea works! The toothbrush I used was an Oral B Pulsar. I also tried a toothbrush with a circular head that oscillates from side to side, that didn't work. I started to cut the bristles from the Oral B before realizing I could hot melt glue the sanding platern (a bit of lolly stick) to the back. The sandpaper is stuck on with double sided tape. At first I only used it for sanding small areas of filler on my PLA 3D prints. But it will also sand the PLA itself. I use various grades of sandpaper to suit the job. Just use gentle pressure to produce fine dust, and it gets into those difficult areas. I use small files for the initial surface preparation.
Lee.


Offline BillTodd

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Re: An electric toothbrush as a small sander? Yes!
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2022, 10:11:18 PM »
That's a great idea ! A small sander would be bloody useful for resin prints .

Offline A7er

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Re: An electric toothbrush as a small sander? Yes!
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2022, 11:27:45 AM »
I came up with the idea when I had to sand the spokes on a PLA printed flywheel some time ago. I was very surprised it even worked. On PLA I still use files to remove the worst of the layer lines but then switch to the toothbrush with 320 grade wet or dry. A coat pf primer then shows the bits I missed. It also works very well on filler to hard to reach areas. If I could have bought a small electric sander for about 15 I wouldn't have tried this. I did think of trying a different way to mount the sandpaper to make it easier to change from one grit to another. It works very well with resin prints, no filing required.
Lee

Offline mklotz

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Re: An electric toothbrush as a small sander? Yes!
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2022, 03:45:07 PM »
For some small detail work I've made sub-miniature Dremel/Foredom sanders by attaching sandpaper to the heads of carpentry nails (approximately 0.25" diameter).  I punch the sandpaper disks from standard size (~5" diameter) self-stick sanding disks, thus avoiding the need to mess about with glue.

Some pictures here...

https://www.homemadetools.net/forum/ultra-tiny-sanding-disk-73639
Regards, Marv
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Offline A7er

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Re: An electric toothbrush as a small sander? Yes!
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2022, 04:47:40 PM »
Thanks for the link Marv. I have looked at the Dremel you've listed on your post on the homemade tools website, it looks a bit easier to use than mine.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2022, 08:12:51 PM by A7er »

Offline mklotz

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Re: An electric toothbrush as a small sander? Yes!
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2022, 06:18:31 PM »
Thanks for the link Marv. I have looked at the Dremel you've listed on your post on the howemade tools website, it looks a bit easier to use than mine.

I use mine often and I've been well pleased with it.  When I bought it, I expected it to be fairly wimpy.  However, I was pleased to discover that it's more powerful than expected.  I've done polishing, sanding, burr carving, and even some light metal cutting with a diamond blade.  Putting the electronics in the wall wart and using a light, very flexible cord to feed power to the handpiece makes it feel almost unattached in the hand.

I ordered it from Amazon but, sadly, it never arrived.  After they refunded my money, I bought it at Lowe's for about the same price.
Regards, Marv
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Offline Greg Tev

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Re: An electric toothbrush as a small sander? Yes!
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2022, 07:03:00 AM »
Great idea always good to see a new tool, it would be useful I also do a lot of sanding of 3D printed PLA. I also use fingernail sanding boards, my wife bought me some from a junk shop for $2 a packet.

Offline rick41

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Re: An electric toothbrush as a small sander? Yes!
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2022, 08:55:40 PM »
Good "Out of the box" thinking".  I use an old electric tooth brush for lapping model engine valves.  Just connect the valve stem to the electric toothbrush with a short section of plastic tubing.  The reciprocating action will make short work of lapping.  Beats twiddling with your fingers. Rick

Offline A7er

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Re: An electric toothbrush as a small sander? Yes!
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2022, 08:59:36 PM »
Give it a try Greg. I 3D printed a flywheel this morning in PLA, I will save the more expensive resin until I know the flywheel shape works. I can file out most of the layer lines, but there are places only the toothbrush/sander will work. It also works very well on filler. I haven't tried it on aluminium yet.
I have just seen your post while I was typing Rick. I couldn't get my reciprocating brush to work as a sander. But it did give up a nice small motor.

Offline bent

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Re: An electric toothbrush as a small sander? Yes!
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2022, 06:22:57 PM »
Thanks A7er, that sounds like a great idea.