Ingenuity

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Woodworkers are a creative bunch. A perfect example of this is a new tool I can’t wait to add to my shop.

In my regular daily forays through the various woodworking forums (fora?), I happened across an interesting invention for woodworking. No that’s not right; it’s not an invention for woodworking at all, but rather something else entirely that’s been repurposed for woodworking, and it’s simply ingenious.

Steve Good, host of The Scrollsaw Workshop blog, recently posted a video on how to turn a cheap electric toothbrush into a remarkably effective detail sander. The toothbrush is the Oral-B Pulsar, for which Steve paid $4.50; I did some Googling and found it for sale anywhere from $3 to $6. After removing the bristles, Steve sanded the business end into a tapered tip, then attached some fine sandpaper to it with glue. That’s it, nothing more complicated than that, and it works great. You can see the short video on YouTube, of course, right here. A lot of people have already checked out the video (as I write this, there were 1,996 views so far), so I’m thinking the Oral-B folks are probably wondering about the sudden surge in sales.

Now, Steve notes in the video that didn’t come up with this on his own, but rather from someone who posted on his blog. That person, in turn, found it somewhere else. The original inventor may remain a mystery forever.

I’ve always said woodworkers are among the most creative of all artisans, and it’s things like this that back up my point. I know I won’t find use for one of these every day, but I can think of a number of circumstances for sanding in tiny spots where this would be perfect. Heck, at $4.50, it would be worth it just for the fun of making it.

The way I see it, it’s only a matter of time till one of the big woodworking manufacturers jumps on this big time and begins selling their own version in DeWalt yellow, Craftsman gray, Hitachi green, Bosch blue or whatever your favorite color tool is. Of course, it will probably cost $100.

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