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$10 Electric Pen Sander

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Greetings to all,

I have been doing a lot of sanding lately fairing the hull and constructing the stern on the Confederacy. For fine details like the lintels and sills on the windows I thought a detail sander would be a help. Besides the expensive prices,I found MicroMarks on back order and Proxxon's PS 13 to have quite a few bad reviews. Whilst looking on line I found the idea on U tube of using a n electric toothbrush. On my next trip shopping I found an Oral B rechargable one for $10 and decided  to give it a try.

What else was needed was some double sided tape,sandpaper and gasket making punch kit.


I used a smaller headed brush my wife had than the one that came with the unit although that one would work fine,it is just a bit larger .Then removed the bristles with pliers




I used the 7/16" punch from the gasket making kit I punched out some some tape and sandpaper discs.


Mount the double sided tape to the head ....mount sandpaper disc to tape and detail sand away. It works surprising well59fbaa03d1ce7_Confederacyandsander037.thumb.JPG.b7713c9c9c293af56c99dcf41c4f6534.JPG

Confederacy and sander 044.JPG

Confederacy and sander 040.JPG

Confederacy and sander 037.JPG

Confederacy and sander 039.JPG

Edited by JohnB40
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Yes you can indeed......I am really chuffed with the way it works. I can use a fair bit of force and it keeps sanding away without problems. The long neck and small head can get into some really small places with ease. I have been using these Oral B brushes for years on my teeth.they are powerful,last  a long time per charge and go on  for years.

I wish I could use  it to sand away those extra pictures that are not supposed to be there,as I can't edit them away

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I'll post the pictures again. It has not been a good digital day.

Confederacy and sander 044.JPG

Confederacy and sander 043.JPG

Confederacy and sander 040.JPG

Confederacy and sander 037.JPG

Confederacy and sander 036.JPG

Confederacy and sander 031.JPG

Confederacy and sander 029.JPG

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Brilliant !!!!  I will be making one of those. Thanks for the Tip 

Derek C


A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder --Thomas Carlyle



Current Build


18th Century Whaling Vessel "Lagoda"



Finished Builds

Triton Cross Section by Derek C 1/48 

18th century longboat by Slideways - FINISHED - Model Shipways

18th century longboat by sideways from MS plans

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    That's what I like to see, re-purposing a tool to do something that it was never originally intended to do!  I have also tried it with one of my new Sonic Pop Dental units that my wife picked up from QVC as one of their special picks.  I didn't like it for my teeth but after reshaping the head with a bend added to it, it makes a good vibrating sander.  I don't know about you but, I can't sand by hand at 30,000 vibrations per minute!:D  As it has a very compact stroke it can really get in some tight spaces.  The only drawback is your hand seems to keep vibrating after you finish.:huh:


“You’ve just got to know your limitations”  Dirty Harry

Current Builds:  Modified MS 1/8” scale Phantom, and modified plastic/wood hybrid of Aurora 1:87 scale whaling bark Wanderer.

Past Builds: (Done & sold) 1/8” scale A.J. Fisher 2 mast schooner Challenge, 1/6” scale scratch built whaler Wanderer w/ plans & fittings from A.J. Fisher, and numerous plastic kits including 1/8” scale Revell U.S.S. Constitution (twice), Cutty Sark, and Mayflower.

                  (Done & in dry dock) Modified 1/8” scale Revell U.S.S. Constitution w/ wooden deck and masting [too close encounter w/conc. floor in move]

Hope to get to builds: MS 3/16” scale Pride of Baltimore II,  MS 1/2” scale pinky schooner Glad Tidings,  a scratch build 3/16” scale  Phantom, and a scratch build 3/16" scale Denis Sullivan.

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  • 4 years later...

I will definitely try this as well.

Good for cramped spaces.


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Per aka Dr. Per@Therapy for Shipaholics 

Finished: T37, BB Marie Jeanne - located on a shelf in Sweden, 18th Century Longboat, Winchelsea Capstan

Current: America by Constructo, Solö Ruff, USS Syren by MS, Bluenose by MS

Viking funeral: Harley almost a Harvey

Nautical Research Guild Member - 'Taint a hobby if you gotta hurry

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Great idea! I will definitely try this. I have dozens of those toothbrushes for my Oral B (bought in bulk). Multiple-grits easily changed, and the little round color plastic circles meant to tell which family member the brush belongs to can be the indication of grit size 🙂 



Current Build: Rattlesnake (Model Shipways 1:64)

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