Make a flap sander w/ recycled sanding belts

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Project by Mark Blomster posted 1185 days ago 4842 views 46 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First, I know this isn’t a finished woodworking project. If it offends the webmaster at Lumberjocks, please move it to whatever category makes you happy. I was not able to add the photos in the blog section. Why not allow woodworkers to share their creative techniques and ideas with one another? That is one of my favorite parts of this site.

That being said. Here is a simple sanding mop or “flap sander” that I made using recycled 4×36 sanding belts. I cut them into 1.5” x 6” strips and punched a 3/8” hole in the middle. Make a series of 2” deep cuts to feather the ends and mount onto a 3/8” carriage bolt. Alternate the grit, facing up/down, with each layer. Use fender washers on top and bottom and lock everything down with a nut. It works great on contoured workpieces like mirrors, canes, etc. carries a similar 6” diameter model for $50. Mine cost about 50 cents!

P.S. I should’ve mentioned in my write-up, that it’s a good idea to wear safety glasses while you operate this. Even though the cloth-backed sandpaper is very durable, “better to be safe than sorry.”

Mark Blomster
Minneapolis, MN

17 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile


11644 posts in 2321 days

#1 posted 1185 days ago

I paid even more at a woodworking show than Rockler charges , but that was a few years ago.
I won’t do it again after seeing your great job with this one : )
Thanks for sharing it with us !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View cranesgonewild's profile


344 posts in 1541 days

#2 posted 1185 days ago

That’s a good idea.
I’ve got old sanding belts lying around because I don’t throw away very much.
I definitely could use this in the router bowls I make.
Thanks for sharing this.
Also, I saved the pictures on my computer in case the webmaster takes this down for not being a woodworking project. I guess it should have went in your blog. But, I too have problems uploading pictures in my blogs. But, only from Photobucket. I just upload pictures from my computer through the “img” button.

-- I'm a Fungi --

View knottysticks's profile


266 posts in 1662 days

#3 posted 1185 days ago

This is a great way to recycle a dozen or so of those odd sized sanding belts I picked up in a yard sale. Thanks for defying the web gods and sharing your idea with us. I also ran into the same problem. I couldn’t upload pictures to make a blog, and I have no plans on joining any photo storing/sharing web site … so no stick straightening blog.

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

View a1Jim's profile


112015 posts in 2210 days

#4 posted 1185 days ago

Scary but true.

That puppy will polish

your bowling .


-- Custom furniture

View ivan's profile


42 posts in 1767 days

#5 posted 1185 days ago

I too wanted one of these but couldn’t find the bucks yet. Now I can copy you! What did you use to cut these strips with? I would think a utility knife would dull very quickly. Great Post!

-- Ivan, Bay Area, California

View Jim's profile


79 posts in 2710 days

#6 posted 1185 days ago

Thanks! Good idea!

-- Jim,

View cloakie1's profile


204 posts in 1188 days

#7 posted 1185 days ago

awesome idea….would work pretty well in a cordless drill to i reckon….might have to have a go as i get heaps of belts from work that i can’t bare to throw out

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1822 days

#8 posted 1184 days ago

I new there was a reason I have been saving these. Great work and thx for sharing!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View swamps42's profile


42 posts in 1201 days

#9 posted 1184 days ago

This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing. I’m also copying and pasting the entire thing into a word document just in case it gets lost. This is just great and will help me keep on woodworking on my nonexistent budget!

-- -Kim, Peyton, CO

View thelt's profile


618 posts in 2012 days

#10 posted 1184 days ago

Ivan, I made one similar to this and used the $19.95 Paper Cutter from Harbor Freight. I originally bought it to cut sheets of sand paper into quarter and half sheets for my electric sanders. I’ve been using it for years and it still cuts sand paper very well.

-- When asked what I did to make life worthwhile in my lifetime....I can respond with a great deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served a career in the United States Navy."

View DaddyZ's profile


2382 posts in 1673 days

#11 posted 1184 days ago

Way Cool !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View tjdv's profile


55 posts in 1326 days

#12 posted 1184 days ago

Great idea. Thanks. Got to go…. need to pull out that used belt in the garbage bag…....

View Mark Blomster's profile

Mark Blomster

105 posts in 1618 days

#13 posted 1184 days ago

Thanks, everyone for your nice comments. And, thanks Thelt, for the suggestion on the paper cutter. I just used an old pair of scissors, which worked fine.

I should’ve mentioned in my write-up, that it’s a good idea to wear safety glasses while you operate this. Even though the cloth-backed sandpaper is very durable, better to be safe than sorry. In fact, I think I’ll add this paragraph…

View Houtje's profile


299 posts in 1605 days

#14 posted 1184 days ago

View brazjuca's profile


54 posts in 1204 days

#15 posted 1184 days ago

very good congratulations.

-- Brazjuca guarapari Brasil. All worth it when the soul is not small. (Fernando Pessoa)

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