Sanding Tool

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Sanding Tool

Post by GTB » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:25 pm

I guess this is as good a place as any for this post, as this sander is mainly useful for scratch building and kit bashing rolling stock.......

I've had a small commercial version of this for many years and it got a fair bit of use when building rolling stock in HO and for small parts when I moved to garden scale.

I've just started a new passenger car project and the old sander was too small, so I knocked up something simple from odds and ends in the 'it will come in useful' box to do the same job for the new project.

This simple tool is used for cleaning up cut edges, while keeping the joint flat and square. Nothing you can't do with a file, or a simple sanding block, but this is a lot quicker and gives a better finish. None of the dimensions are critical, but the block and the table need to be dead square, or the joints made with it won't be straight.

This photo shows the finished parts ready for use.

The sanding block is an off-cut off dressed pine about 70mm x 20mm. Don't assume that dressed timber is actually square, this one needed a bit of work with the plane to get the bottom edge perfectly square to the sanding face. A piece of open coat alluvium oxide paper is fixed to the front face with double sided tape to keep it flat. The abrasive paper should not cover the whole face of the block, or it will sand away the edge and over time destroy the squareness of the support table.

Rubbing some candle wax or beeswax on the sliding surfaces of the block and table will make it smoother to use and slow down wear.

The table was made by squaring up a piece of 12mm ply about 150mm x 150mm and gluing it to a piece of 4mm ply about 180mm x 180mm. I used an off-cut of aluminium angle as the end stop and screwed it in place, but a suitable piece of timber would also do the job.

Note that I'm left handed and this one is set up for me. A right hander would probably need to swap the relative positions of the sanding block and end stop.

This photo shows the gizmo ready to true up the joint face of a piece of pass car roof, after it had been cut off the donor roof.

In use the part is pushed against the end stop to keep it square to the sanding block and the block is rubbed back and forth a few times, making sure the block doesn't tilt, until the joint face is flat and smooth. The sanding block will remove material slowly, so can be used to get the part just right for a perfect fit.

This photo shows a quick test joint after glueing, filling and cleaning up.

These sanders are also useful for squaring up the ends of stripwood, removing any draw on injection mouldings, cleaning up the edges of laser and router cut wooden parts, etc., etc.


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Post by ge_rik » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:34 pm

Brilliant idea, Graeme. Getting things square is a continuing problem for me. Must have a go at making myself one of these (assuming I can make it square!).

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Post by Big Jim » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:56 pm

That is a rather cunning idea that Graeme.
If at first you don't succeed, use a bigger hammer!

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