Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DIY Pipe Sander

Greetings and salutations fellow otakus! I'm currently working on an MG Zaku Cannon. It's a great kit to build and I'm about 95% done with the snap-fit, with only one thing left to do before paint: Build the pipes. Everyone who's ever built a Zaku variant has had to deal with these things - Tiny fiddly little tubes from hell that are cursed with two nubs each and extra mold lines if you're unlucky. Try to sand them off by hand and you're likely to end up erasing your fingerprints in the process. Good thing I caught an episode of Plamo Tsukurou where the featured kit was a pipe laden MG Gouf. The builder demonstrated an ingenious way of getting at those nubs, and I'll be sharing my own adaptation of the technique.

Here's what you'll need:

1. A motorized eraser (purchased from Daiso at Php88.00)
2. Hobby knife
3. Sand paper in increasing grits
4. Double sided foam tape

Click on the Read More link for the rest of this post...

In the Plamo Tsukurou episode, the builder used a hand drill, with the bit wrapped in masking tape to hold the pipe. Hand drills can be expensive, so for this guide I'm using something similar - a motorized eraser. Simply trim the eraser a bit so the pipe fits snugly over it. Make sure it holds the pipe securely.

Now mount up some sandpaper on your work surface using double sided foam tape. Hold the pipe against the sandpaper and activate the motor. Use your other hand to block the eraser and pipe from getting dislodged from the tool, or it might go flying into another dimension.

It only takes a moment to grind off  most of the nubs and mold lines. Repeat the process using increasing grits of sandpaper to achieve a smooth finish.

And that's it! Remember to keep spare eraser refills in case the one you're using starts to loose grip. Refills are also available at Daiso.

I'm off to figure out an attachment for this thing that can hold a sanding sponge for more general grinding applications.

Until next time, keep building plamo!

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