Friday, December 09, 2016

Sanding sticks

John asks:

Just a small question, if I may? Having read your article on BRM article "Horse Power" I see that you used a interesting abrasive stick (sanding stick) and I wonder where you may have obtained these. I have not come across them at Shows and I wonder if you use a particular trader.

This is embarrassing. I do my best to ensure that all the tools and materials I use for magazine articles are easily available, or that I can point people in the right direction to buy them. My sanding sticks came from a trader at the IPMS, and when I go looking for their details, I can't find the sticks on their website. It looks like these are a show-only product.

My initial suggestion to John was to try any abrasive stick from Boots - the sort sold for filing nails. I know John well enough to know that he probably won't have of these to hand, preferring a professional manicure at an exclusive high-class establishment.

But, At Warley, I found a suitable alternative. Albion Alloys sell a range of abrasive products including these rather nice sanding sticks. Each is 165 by 20mm, double sided and covered with a variety of grades of abrasive. They aren't as padded as the sticks I've used in the past so should go into small (3mm+) gaps as well. Less tearable when you accidentally sand a screw head or slightly exposed nail too.

Packs cost £5.00 and are available from model shops and trade. 


Odds said...

Or you could just use a Swiss file! Either a conventional one with teeth or one of the more recent diamond dust variety (Lidl's sell them often) which are especially good for plastics, then, if you must sand, stick a bit of wet'n'dry to a bit of 60 thou styrene sheet cut to suit yourself.
Sanding sticks for Heavens' sakes....Pah!

James Finister said...

I use the flex i file ones

Paul B. said...

Or make your own:

Huw Griffiths said...

Good suggestions.

I hope you don't mind if I add some more (which probably aren't as good):

* Boots aren't the only places that sell ready made sanding sticks - why not also look for packs in the cheap shops - Poundland - Home Bargains - B&M - places like that. A number of large branches of Asda also have racks of cheap lines, which often include stuff like this.

* Now to Paul's DIY suggestion. A lot of engineering suppliers sell abrasive in roll form - it tends to be good stuff, too - but it often tends to be 115mm wide (for industrial / workmen's sanders). A lot of DIY orbital sanders are designed to take thirds of sheets (so they typically need the abrasive to be 93 mm wide).

There's nothing to stop you neatly trimming off the excess width before the abrasive even gets near a sander.

There's also nothing to stop you buying abrasive on the narrow reels (often about 25mm wide) also sold by a number of engineering suppliers. An added bonus of this stuff is that it's often cloth backed, so it's really tough.

Don't know of any local engineering, workshop or jewellers' suppliers? Try checking some of the firms that appear at model shows - especially model engineering shows.

Anyway, back to the abrasive strips - they can easily be fixed to strips of wood, using either double sided adhesive foam (often sold on rolls) or double sided carpet tape. It might also be worth recycling the (often solid plastic) cores of old sanding strips. Failing that, how about using strips of scrap uPVC as backing?

Whatever you do, give these things a try - chances are you'll soon be wondering how you managed without.

Dave Long said...

Flory models polishing/sanding sticks are very good. Recommended to me by a few boat and aircraft modellers. Available from MDP