John Miller, IPMS member and owner of Model Paint Solutions (modelpaintsol.com) has an electric pencil sander called the David 400 (D400) on his web site. The sander has a wall cord that plugs in the back of the sander, fits nicely in the hand, and is very comfortable to use.
When I first saw the tool, I thought why do I need an electric sander? I have an abundance of sanding tools already. It just so happened that I was working on the Airfix 1/72 scale Tiger Moth and had a very small area to sand under the horizontal stabilizer. With that small an area to be sanded and the delicate nature of the sanding that had to be done, I thought the D400 would have made the job a lot easier and faster.
How many of us are getting to the point where it’s tough to hold a piece of folded sand paper (or sanding stick) in one hand while holding the part being sanded in the other. Moreover, if it’s a sanding job that is going to take a while, how long does it take for your hands to start cramping, especially after a day of filing and sanding? This little tool goes a long way to solving that problem.
In the Box
The D400 comes in a well packed box and contains:
- The D400 Sander
- A wall plug w/cord that attaches to the sander (D400 is not battery operated)
- Three boxes adhesive backed sand paper; 1000, 600 and 400 grits; ten sheets each.
- 7 sanding styluses to attach the sand paper in various geometric shapes
- 2 sanding files with collets
- A set of stylus templates that aid in cutting pieces of sandpaper that match the contours of the styluses.
Using the D400
The sander fits comfortably in your hand and is quiet to use.
- Dimensions and weight
- D30mmxL187mm/89 grams.
- AC input 12v?0.5A
- Speed 1000-6000 linear strokes/min
- Stroke Length 3mm
The power cord plugs into the back of the D400; out of the way of your hand. Construction has a quality of its own, there is nothing low quality about it.
Because of its small, ergonomic design, the D400 is comfortable and balanced when used. Instead of the usual rotary sander I have used befor with a drum sander, this sander has a reciprocating motion front to back allowing for easier sanding without burning through your sanding subject.
The sanding stylets have a corresponding template so you can easily cut your sand paper to the desired sanding stylet shape. The sanding paper supplied with the D400 has a sticky peel off backing allowing it to be attached to a stylet.
With some double backed tape, you can also use the sand paper you desire on a stylet.
I really liked using this sander on small parts. It is difficult enough to even hold a small part let alone try to sand it. The D400 makes the sanding process easy and especially sanding the spine fuse joint on aircraft is certainly made a lot easier.
If you are getting to the point your hands don’t work the way they used to when trying to hold some small part or you have an extended sanding session, then the D400 might be something for you to try. If you are a tool guy, then this is the tool to have.
Thank you to John Miller at Model Paint Solutions and IPMS/USA to be able to review this product.
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