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Making my own Sorby Sandmaster discs

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Forum topic by Gary Fixler posted 09-11-2009 11:45 PM 4644 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2048 days


09-11-2009 11:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sorby sandmaster sanding sandpaper discs grit cost savings homemade homebrew cutting punch punching hole punch diy

I like my new Sorby Sandmaster, but the hook-and-loop discs go for $6.59/10pk for 60-grit, whether through Rockler, or Amazon. They’re only 2” diameter, and I’ve shown already that I can go through 1 or 2 of each grit on a single piece – anywhere from 5-10 by the time I’m done. The price is just not there.

If my math is correct, that’s about $1 per 4.77in². I’ve already shown that the Sandmaster is less than ideal for untrue surfaces, like if a bowl has gone out of round (still laboriously hand sanding a lot of things), and so I’m considering something like the air-powered Grex AOS368 which could use the same discs. I could go through a lot of these discs with both processes, but it’s silly to be throwing away $0.67 with every 2” pad, especially when I could be going through dozens in a few days, or a week.

That got me looking up larger sheets that I could cut down to 2” circles. Something like this 50pk of 5-inch 80-grit no-holes hook-and-loop discs goes for $12.95. That’s now 75.81in² per $1 spent, or almost 16x the amount of sandpaper that comes in Sorby’s little packs. Of course, some of that is scrap after cutting out the smaller circles, but in a vector program here, I showed that I can get 4 discs to fit rather exactly (about 1/16” between each and the edges) on a single 5” disc, so the scrap is rather minimal (less than on a rectangular surface), and I still get 200 2” discs out of a 50pk. That drops that $0.67/disc down to $0.065, a full order of magnitude cheaper.

So now’s the question – anyone know what I can use to punch clean, 2” discs out of sandpaper many hundreds of times?

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator


22 replies so far

View Roper's profile

Roper

1360 posts in 2380 days


#1 posted 09-11-2009 11:50 PM

i don’t know but if you figure this one out let me know, i spend a fortune on 2” disks.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust- www.roperwoodturning.com

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Innovator

3584 posts in 2080 days


#2 posted 09-12-2009 12:25 AM

Gary I am just thinking out loud here, I havent tried this yet but I have had the same thoughts as you.

I was thinking of taking a 2”dia hole saw and removing the drill bit. Then gtind the teeth flat and grind a slight taper onto the hole saw (almost like a chisel). You would place the hole saw over the sandpaper and give it a hit with a dead blow hammer. There would be a piece of wood under the disk to receive the holesaw. The problem is that the wood will become damaged and need to be replaced . This is where I am stuck.

I also thought of making a punch and die like a shim punch using the hole saw as the punch. The die could be made of aluminum but it might need something (spring loaded) in the center to support the paper.

I hope this makes sence, it does in my strange little head to me. If not let me know and I will try to do a better job of explaining it.

Rob

P.S. – If you figure out a way to make it work, please let me know.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

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scrappy

3505 posts in 2097 days


#3 posted 09-12-2009 02:08 AM

Gary, Long long ago, I used to make “steel rule dies” for a living. We used punches to cut anything from .010 rubber or fiber material, to 1.0 thick hard rubber. Including .250 plastics. I did a quick look on google and came up with this suply place for the hole punches. Not sure on price and you might want to look around for a different suplier, but here is what I found.

http://www.candkpunches.com/products/seamless-feed-thru-punches.html

Hope this helps. You might also check the web for “steel rule die makers” in your area. Since the tolerances aren’t critical, they might be able to make a die in the size you need. They would not like the sandpaper much, but you should get a LOT of use from them before needing replaced.

PM me for more info if you like.

Scrappy

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2048 days


#4 posted 09-12-2009 10:09 AM

Roper – will do!

Rob – I loved your idea, and while at Home Depot for other things tonight, I picked up a “RIDGID 2-1/8 bi-metal hole saw, as seen in the package at that link. It was $16. It doesn’t have a center drill bit – just a one-piece hex bit + collar with a set screw for adding your own drill bits, so that saves me that step. It seems fairly hefty. I think if I hit on it too much, I’ll end up bending the flat back of it, pushing the hex part in, but maybe not. It’s pretty heavy metal. I’m going to try your idea by grinding off the teeth, then flattening the new, circular edge on a belt sander with heavy through light grits, then chucking it in the lathe, and working a rounded file in and out to taper the inside edge to about a 45° angle. I’ll probably switch to something like a diamond stone in the end to bring it to a fairly razor-sharp edge. I’ll have to check the ID and OD after I get the teeth off to see if I want to taper it the other way. It would certainly be easier to bevel the outer face, but I want to make sure I have enough ID first to fully cover the velcro pad on the Sandmaster with any discs it creates. Wish me luck!

Scrappy – good find! What do you think about the hole saw idea above? It seems like chucking it in the lathe or drill press and rubbing a diamond stone on the edge should bring it back to super sharp, meaning I wouldn’t need to replace it. Does that sound right? Any thoughts on the bi-metal hole saw’s strength for this task? I’ve been looking around at hollow punches tonight, including so-called super-sized ones, but they seem to top out around 1.25”. I guess this 2” request of mine is pretty over the top. Ain’t it always the way? Next up I want one in 5” for making custom ROS discs ;)

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View DaneJ's profile

DaneJ

55 posts in 1875 days


#5 posted 09-13-2009 06:37 AM

try this:
http://www.woodworkingshop.com/cgi-bin/3D0ACD9C/mac/qryitems.mac/itemDisplay?qryType=STYLE&itemSt=KD2001SK&coreDsc=2%22%20STEARATE%20HOOK%20%26%20LOOP%20DISCS%2050%20PACK

at 10.95 per 50 you cant go wrong, they also have the scalloped disks and interface pads !

I use these and the 3” with my CP 7200 mini RO sander and love it… the CP7200 comes with 2” and 3” pads for a little less than the Grex, I havent tried the Grex so cant compare them

-- Dane, Fairview Pk, OH. The large print giveth and the small print taketh away...

View Broda's profile

Broda

313 posts in 2186 days


#6 posted 09-13-2009 06:47 AM

This thread has some good ideas

http://www.woodworkforums.com/showthread.php?t=66063

-- BRODY. NSW AUSTRALIA -arguments with turnings are rarely productive-

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2048 days


#7 posted 09-13-2009 07:24 AM

Dane – That’s a great resource! The price makes it about 4x more expensive than making my own, but it’s also about 4x better than buying the Sorby brand (making them would be 16x better than Sorby’s price). Still, it may turn out that making my own is such a hassle, it’s worth 4x the price just to buy them from wws. I love having the choice for the scalloped edges, too. I bump into the sharp edge of the velcro disc all the time, leaving scratches in things like concave bowl walls. Those would save me from that. Thanks for the info about the CP, too. I’ll definitely give it a look.

Broda – Cool! Someone who’s done exactly what I’m about to try, probably this coming week. I may splurge on a little lever press I saw at a machine shop down the road, if it’ll fit. I have all manner of things I always want to press together or punch out. It wouldn’t just be a one-off purchase for this sanding disc idea, but it would mean I could get tons of discs made without killing my hands and ears punching them all out with a hammer. Thanks!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View scrappy's profile

scrappy

3505 posts in 2097 days


#8 posted 09-13-2009 08:30 AM

Gary, Don’t know about the hole saw. The biggest thing is how long will it hold an edge? I know the punches we used had a VERY long use life and they were shaped like you are talking makeing the hole saw into. On that link earlier, at the bottom of the page, it had a tab for the larger ones. They go all the way to 2 inch.

Keep us posted.

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2048 days


#9 posted 09-13-2009 09:46 AM

Scrappy – that’s my biggest concern at the moment – the edge. It all comes down to how good the RIDGID hole saw metal is. We’ll find out some time this week. I have a party tomorrow night to get ready for tonight and all day tomorrow, so I won’t get to try it before Monday.

I’ll definitely keep everyone informed as to how it comes out.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Partridge's profile

Partridge

296 posts in 2623 days


#10 posted 10-07-2009 12:10 AM

what about the hole saw on a drill press, no teeth and sharpened and it set to just cut the paper

-- I get out in the shop when I can

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Innovator

3584 posts in 2080 days


#11 posted 10-07-2009 01:40 AM

Gary just following up, have you given this a try yet?

Rob

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2048 days


#12 posted 10-07-2009 09:05 AM

Rob – I did give it a shot, and actually filmed the entire process and took pics along the way, but alas, it was a bust. I was able to grind off the teeth, chuck it in the lathe and hold a mill file across its face to make it all parallel and flat on the end. Then I went at it with files and a diamond stone to hone the inner edge out 45° to make a cylindrical chisel. Got it fairly sharp. Then I put it on a coarse disc on a wooden board and hammered the back end of it first in the middle, and in later attempts all around the edges very hard. It cut through the paper eventually, but never got at all through the cloth fabric . I could peel the disc free, but it would leave the velcro pad behind. It felt funny after making so much how-to material of the process along the way to have it fail miserably, but that’s how it goes when forging into the unknown!

I’ve thought of some ideas since that I’m curious to try one day, and I haven’t totally given up on this one yet, but those boxes of 50 discs linked above for about 4x what I would spend making them myself are looking more and more enticing.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Innovator's profile

Innovator

3584 posts in 2080 days


#13 posted 10-07-2009 02:37 PM

Sorry it didn’t work out. I wanted to make some of my own also. I have some 5” disks that I was given that I do not have a sander for and I wanted to use them up. I have a 1” sander as well as the 2 & 3” units and the 1” paper I have gotten in the past is terrible. The backing falls off of the sanding disk and I hate wasting money on these junk disks.

Well keep us up to date on what you come up with. If I come up with anything that works I will let you know.

Rob

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View rtb's profile

rtb

1099 posts in 2380 days


#14 posted 10-07-2009 06:09 PM

I’ll bet that if you check out (on line) you will find plenty of 2 & 3 in discs at prices that you will find very acceptable

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

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Innovator

3584 posts in 2080 days


#15 posted 10-07-2009 06:58 PM

RTB – I have found some good quality 2 & 3” disks online. My problem has been the 1” disks. On top of that I have a ton of 5” disks that I dont have a use for so it would be perfect to use them up and have zero cost in it.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

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