Making Sanding Ball Covers #2: Another easier method for making sanding balls

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Blog entry by Jim Jakosh posted 08-15-2013 03:39 PM 10108 reads 7 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: How to make replacement sanding ball covers Part 2 of Making Sanding Ball Covers series no next part

Poor man’s sanding ball (or cheap man’s sanding ball)

Here is a simpler way of making sanding balls without having to use that inflatable mandrel. I cut the pattern that same size as when I made the cover for the Guinevere inflatable sanding mandrel, but I just hold them on with an O ring this way. In the future. I’ll cut the flutes longer on the sandpaper covers for more material to hold onto.

I began by buying a rubber ball at a dime store here in town. Actually , I could not find a ball anywhere so I bought this old toy- paddle with a ball on as string and just used the ball. I cut it in half and made two sanders with it. I sanded the cut very smooth so it would have good surface contact and glued the half to a round piece of wood with a groove cut on the side and 1/8” hole in the end away from the glues surface.

I epoxied a 1/8 piece of steel in the one end so I can use it in my Dremel. The ball was too big in diameter so after it was mounted, I sanded it to shape (3/4” diameter) with a ball shape on the end.

Then I just centered the cover on the ball and rolled the O ring down over it and it works real good. I had to experiment with the groove location so the ends would not slip out of the O ring under pressure. Making the fingers longer should eliminate that .

Using this method, you can quickly make balls of any diameter for various jobs and just use regular cloth backed sand paper. You can also make mandrels of any diameter for collets in a Fordham, Wecheer, etc.

A word of caution, start with the Dremel on slow speed. I have a model 4000 and I cannot sand with it over 15 on the dial. I started on high and it turned into a fan right now!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

21 comments so far

View Izzy Swan's profile

Izzy Swan

148 posts in 1810 days

#1 posted 08-15-2013 03:41 PM

Thats great! Shop made solutions at its best..

-- Izzy Swan - A Creative Thinkers approach to Woodworking

View tyvekboy's profile


1778 posts in 3069 days

#2 posted 08-15-2013 04:09 PM

Thanks for posting that idea. Now I’m going to try make me some.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2348 days

#3 posted 08-15-2013 04:56 PM

Great idea which I’ll keep in mind for the time when it’s need arises. Thanks for the post and sharing!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Denvy's profile


49 posts in 2195 days

#4 posted 08-15-2013 05:10 PM

Jim, thanks for posting the pic and info about your new tiny sander tip…Very Useful in final sanding procedures.
Normally I make tools like that with grits from 150, 220, 320, 400, 600. With that range of grits, a fine finish can be applied. Keep up your great posts. (ps. glad you have nothing else to to but post neat stuff.)

-- Denvy, Tualatin, Oregon USA

View lew's profile


12154 posts in 3811 days

#5 posted 08-15-2013 06:02 PM

Now that’s cool!!

Thanks for posting this. Just been thinking about how to do this so I could sand the inside of a small vessel.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View RobynHoodridge's profile


127 posts in 2385 days

#6 posted 08-15-2013 06:39 PM

Good thinking.
I see you also use surgical clamps. They’re SO useful!

-- Never is longer than forever.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20781 posts in 3162 days

#7 posted 08-15-2013 09:35 PM

Thanks , guys. Maybe someone else needs one of these sanding balls. They sure helped me finish a lot of concave sanding problems,

Hi Denver- hey nice chess set!! I’m retired now and make all the stuff I dream of needing in the shop!!

Hi Robyn, I have all sizes of hemostats. They are so useful in the shop or work on mowers or cars. I had these out to replace a small piece that broke out of the bottom of my last turning. I had to carefully position it in the epoxy. I did not see them in the pictures until I posted them. I should have put them away!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2110 days

#8 posted 08-15-2013 09:47 PM

Thanks for the tip.

-- Joel

View Grumpy's profile


24045 posts in 3907 days

#9 posted 08-16-2013 01:13 AM

Looks like a good solution Jim. Thanks for sharing.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3390 days

#10 posted 08-16-2013 10:53 AM

Another great tip Jim. Thanks.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View doubleDD's profile


7498 posts in 2099 days

#11 posted 08-17-2013 02:40 AM

I really like the idea of the 0 ring. This opens up a can of worms for a lot of different sanding gadgets. Good thinking.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10156 posts in 4108 days

#12 posted 08-17-2013 05:44 AM


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Chris's profile


359 posts in 4142 days

#13 posted 08-18-2013 04:51 AM

Now that’s a super cool idea! One I would love to use provided clearance from you…….chris

-- Chris Harrell - custom callmaker "Quacky Calls" Eastern NC.

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2860 days

#14 posted 08-18-2013 10:42 AM

Gr8 idea Jim.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20781 posts in 3162 days

#15 posted 08-18-2013 03:08 PM

Thanks, Joel, Tony, Mike, Dave, Joe Chris and Roger

I had two occasions to use the O ring sanding ball already and I like it better than the inflatable one. Make one and you’ll love it. It solved a lot of sanding problems I had!! Post it if you do and let everyone know where you find those rubber balls. I looked all over and no hone had them .

Chris, you can make anything I post always!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I don’t usually have any plans.

I think a 1/2” one and 1” one might round out a good collection of them.

cheers, Jim…........Have a great weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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