Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Home made sanding sticks

I have found that foam-backed nail files are one of my favoured sanding tools, the sort that you can pick up for £1.00 in discount stores. However the last couple of examples I have bought have been very inferior (the abrasive material flaking off) and I have been thinking about making my own sanding sticks by sticking sandpaper to strips of scrap wood with double-sided sellotape. You can also use wooden rulers or lollipop sticks.

Home-made sanding sticks are one of my most used tools and are great for sanding wood, plastic, resin or metal. For details see this earlier post.

While searching the internet for some better examples of nail files I came across an e-bay auction offering over 100 sanding/abrasive foam off-cuts for just £1.99 (plus postage) and thought it was worth taking a chance. See the above image.

The foam-backed abrasive pads come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but as any modeller knows, you often need to cut these sanding sticks back to fit tight spaces or for unique applications.

Below you can see my first two sanding sticks, stuck to off-cuts of modelling plywood with double-sided sellotape and then trimmed back with a new scalpel. The 2p coin in the foreground gives an idea of the size of these sticks.

While this image shows the plywood side.

The abrasive comes in many, many different grades, while the foam backing gives it a bit of 'give'. I am sure that firmer sanding sticks (without the foam backing) can be customised by removing the foam layer.

I now have a life times supply of abrasive pads, which can be custom built to suit a multitude of different jobs. £1.99 very well spent.

Here is the link to the e-bay auction;


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