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Sanding Tiny Pieces

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  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 9:21 AM

Ditto

Ditto to both the small file and seam scraping.  Scraping is becoming a lost art these days.  I learned to scrape in a woodworking class in grade school.  And machinists use it to smooth out metal surfaces.  It is fine on larger parts too.  I use it as a goto for fuselage seams.

I keep a 45 degree blade chucked in an X-acto handle- the 45 blade resists breaking the point off vs the #11 blade.  To scrape, I like using the sharp edge held about 85 degrees to surface of part.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2010
Posted by potchip on Monday, September 13, 2021 10:06 PM

From a different angle, is your sand paper doing enough? There are 2 parts of sanding, either or both surfaces should offer resistence, or you get rather poor efficiency. I hardly ever use sand paper nowadays, my go to is a fine file. I've been using the flat file out of the hasegawa modelling file set for more than 10 years, and still does what it needs to do just fine. 

https://www.plazajapan.com/4967834712027/?setCurrencyId=1&gclid=CjwKCAjw7fuJBhBdEiwA2lLMYb7MoR-CpZ0qMQHoUdVwAnsyw73ynOgY5884dz7CRxJMlxJOq2y3-BoCF68QAvD_BwE

I estimate it about 600 grit and far more consistent than sand paper/never needed replacing. Which, for most surfaces without having to do any additional smoothing before painting. 

Also, for a small part, what are you trying to file? If it's a seam, it's easier to scrap it level with either side of a used hobby blade. If it's a injection nub, trim it enough with a knife before having to sand it, rather than sanding most of it off (not efficient). 

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Monday, September 13, 2021 7:37 AM

I use a small machinist's vise to hold such parts.  I use a set of miniatur files instead of sandpaper.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, September 13, 2021 2:22 AM

Hello!

What Capn' wrote reminds me of my plan to light the underside of my workbench with a LED strip that would turn on and off together with my regular working light. That would help with searching for the lost parts, but it would also help greatly with tracking the fall which is an important factor.

BUT let's try some prevention, too!

Sometimes it helps to glue the part to a subassembly and then sand it - this is not always possible, of course...

And there's one more tool nobody mentioned yet, jewellers use it a lot:

Hand vise

I have one of those and it does a good job. It has two pairs of leather lined jaws - straight and curved. You tighten it with a wedge and so it doesn't tend catapult parts the way tweezers do.

Hope it helps - have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, September 12, 2021 5:44 PM

A bright, very nright, flashlight held flat to the floor can help find lost items, as the long shadows will reveal tiny things.

Sometimes.

Your Mileage May Vary.

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Sunday, September 12, 2021 4:46 PM

When working on very small parts, I have a carpenters apron that has a velcro strip across the entire bottom edge. The corresponding piece of velcro is under the edge of the workbench. The plan is to catch the errant piece before it gets to the carpet monster. It's "almost" foolproof. Lately though, I've stuck to scraping with a #11 blade instead of sanding very small parts. Still use the apron though. 

Jim Captain

Stay Safe.

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 70% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, September 12, 2021 2:14 PM

I have a set of smooth-jawed hemostats that works great for holding tiny photo-etched parts while I file the little attaching nibs off them.  For tiny plastic parts, instead of sanding, I trim them with a #11 blade after pushing them down onto a piece of double-sided Scotch tape on my tempered glass cutting matt.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, September 12, 2021 1:21 PM

Similar to TB, I use a pair of cross-lock beading tweezers. The flat jaws each have a tiny bowl-shaped depression that will work to grab a surprising range of small part shapes and hold them reasonably firmly. Sanding must be done with care...a number 11 X-acto blade can also be used for seam cleaning and such.

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by Ajidica on Sunday, September 12, 2021 12:24 PM

Thanks everyone!

Tanker-Builder

Aha!

      Now this is something I can get a bite on. I have modified three pairs of Tweezers to do this. All are special anyway. One is for stamps( Flat slightly angled tips),One is for beads ( narrow tip with hemispehrical cutouts in the Jaws) and one is right angled and wide tipped. These have 320 grit sanding paper glued to them for holding those pesky teensy parts. 

Interesting, so you use the gritted-tweezers to help hold the pieces while you are sanding it?

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Sunday, September 12, 2021 12:21 PM

Aha!

      Now this is something I can get a bite on. I have modified three pairs of Tweezers to do this. All are special anyway. One is for stamps( Flat slightly angled tips),One is for beads ( narrow tip with hemispehrical cutouts in the Jaws) and one is right angled and wide tipped. These have 320 grit sanding paper glued to them for holding those pesky teensy parts. 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, September 12, 2021 12:19 PM

Do it in an open box lid. It helps. also get used to crawling around on the floor and while doing it, you'll have some thoughts like maybe a smooth surface?

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Sunday, September 12, 2021 11:49 AM

I have a friend who spreads out an old white sheet below his work station to catch those errant pieces before the carpet can get hold of them.

And as far as the sanding goes .  .  . tweezers or hemostats to grip .  .  . I've tried a number of things but it varies by the shape of the 'piece'. And I use emory boards (two different grits) rather than something larger.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    June 2021
Sanding Tiny Pieces
Posted by Ajidica on Sunday, September 12, 2021 11:31 AM

I picked up a Revell 1/700 model of the HMS Exeter air defense destroyer to practice some new skills and techniques on before attemping the 1/700 Kirov with photo etched brass. Despire my best efforts, one of the tiny radar blobs ended up feeding the carpet monster. To sand it (an inverted cone with a hemisphere on top) I tried to trap it between a fingernail and the finger and run it along the sand paper. That sort of worked for one. For the other, when I pulled my finger back from the sandpaper the piece dropped off, hit the table, and as far as can tell bounced into my lap, into my shirt, and then somewhere.

If I can't find the piece it isn't the end of the world, as I already discovered just how well extra-thin plastic cement flows when it went through the join line and resulted in a bit of a finger print on the detailed side....

How do you all sand those tiny pieces without losing them to the carpet monster?

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