Homemade Punch Plate for Makita BO4900V 1/2 Sheet Sander

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Blog entry by Rich posted 12-03-2016 04:59 AM 1786 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m sold on Makita sanders. I’ve owned Porter Cable sanders going back decades. Is it that mine are old and tired, or is Makita superior? I don’ t know. I do know that these Makitas are real workhorses and the fact that even the fractional sheet models have dust collection makes them perfect for me.

I’m really impressed with the dust collection on the Makita RO sander model BO5041. I have a Jet dust collector and a shop vac, but I hate having a hose to deal with in addition to the power cord when I’m sanding large panels, like for my interior doors that I build. So, when a sander can do a decent job with just a collection bag attached, I really like it.

I wanted a 1/2 sheet sander for better flattening on large panels. The BO4900V fits the bill. But, unlike their 1/4 and 1/3 sheet sanders, it does not come with a punch plate. I have no idea why. To order one costs between $23 and $38. That’s not that much money, but before I ordered one, I wanted to try making my own. How hard can it be?

I took a 1/2 inch piece of baltic birch plywood, and used 1/4 inch MDF strips to trim the bed. I used plain old 1/4 inch dowel pins that I put in a drill and spun against 120 grit to put about a 30º shoulder on each to sharpen them. I used the sheet of punched paper that ships with the sander as a template, drilled the base and glued the pins in to make a punch plate.

Here it is:

It works great. That BO4900V sucks dust just as well as the random orbit sander. I wish it had a permanent cloth bag instead of the paper one, but it’s shown itself to be durable, and I just ordered five of them for about $15. Those should last me almost indefinitely.

— Rich

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

4 comments so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1318 posts in 284 days

#1 posted 03-14-2018 08:31 PM

Rich – I did not understand why you needed a punch plate as I have never used one…...
with your photo and description, I understand it is to punch holes in the paper so the dust collection works.
the other half sheet sanders I had were the vintage (1980s) Black n Decker and worked quite well
as they were used either in the open garage or outside and did not have the dust collection ability.
I have a couple of dust bags from the Porter Cable belt sanders that might fit with a little tweaking.
I can make the punch plate template now that I have the machine apart.
Thanks for the tutorial !!!

-- some people are like a Slinky - - - pretty much good for nothing. But still make you smile when you push them down a flight of stairs.

View jimintx's profile


825 posts in 1706 days

#2 posted 03-14-2018 09:18 PM

I am going to get one of these Makitas before long, and I will be making this punch plate. Many thanks!

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View MSquared's profile


5 posts in 36 days

#3 posted 08-29-2018 09:33 PM

Thanks Rich, I’ll try that. I have my ‘80’s Makita Palm Sander punch plate around here somewhere! In the meantime, I improvise. Collector does work nicely still. Question; What’s the consensus of using 1/2 and 1/4 sheet sanders (and, are they truly ‘orbital’?) as opposed to round sheet orbital sanders? From what I’ve read, round orbital sanders give a better, less swirl-marked finish. True? To what degree?

-- Marty M., Long Island, NY --'I know enough to be dangerous...And I have the parts! So...."

View Rich's profile


3553 posts in 711 days

#4 posted 08-30-2018 04:24 AM

Marty, it’s a shame that orbital sanders (sheet sanders) have gotten such a bad reputation these days. As with any tool, they have their strong points and weak points.

Any sanding method leaves marks. The bottom line to getting a good finish is to have a smooth surface. The grit of sandpaper you can use between coats depends on the solids content of the finish and its ability to fill in the scratches left behind.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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