cutting your own sanding disks?

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Forum topic by HokieMojo posted 08-18-2010 03:31 PM 9306 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3903 days

08-18-2010 03:31 PM

I don’t know if this will fall in the dumb question category, the great question category, or somewhere in between but I could really use some help so I’m going to ask regardless. My ROS uses 5 inch velcro discs. I bought a bunch online without predrilled holes thinking the holes couldn’t make that big of a difference but that if they did, I could easily add my own.

Apparently the holes do matter (although they’d matter more if I could hook up to a vac). As a result, I tried to add my own but when I try to do this, they are very messy cuts and it some times rips the felt backing a bit. It also dulls my utility knife blade right away and I don’t want to ruin drill bits by drilling through sandpaper (this would probably result in messy holes anyway). How do you guys do it? I have to assume some of you cut your own.

14 replies so far

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3319 days

#1 posted 08-18-2010 03:35 PM

Sorry, I don’t do it. Have you tried a single hole paper punch?

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View CharlieM1958's profile


16278 posts in 4393 days

#2 posted 08-18-2010 03:38 PM

I have not done it, but I think the best way would be with a hollow punch of the type used for leather work:

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3824 days

#3 posted 08-18-2010 03:42 PM

I didn’t even know there are non-drilled sanding discs out there. I wonder for what they are used for since you pretty much have to have those holes for more than just 1 reason:
1. dust extraction
2. keeping sanding disc from clogging
3. ventilating the motor (air flow)

the only thing that I can think of is using a hole puncher.


take 1/4” plywood sheet, or 1/8” masonite (thinner) put sandpaper between 2 sheets or the ply/masonite (sandwich it) and drill through – this makes a backer board on both sides for the paper to make a clean hole without ripping it.

so you’d have 2 matching boards that should have the holes lined up with your ROS, you put sand paper between them, and drill (a drill guide) your holes. you should use a large drill bit that matches your ROS holes to get as much air flow as possible

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3868 days

#4 posted 08-18-2010 03:46 PM

Yea I’ve never done this either but I would go with Purp. Sandwich and drill. You could do a bunch at once…. or ruin a bunch at once. Good luck.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View cranesgonewild's profile


344 posts in 3083 days

#5 posted 08-18-2010 04:14 PM

CharlieM beat me to it. Never had to do this before, I’d use a hollow punch used for leather work. That would work great.

-- I'm a Fungi --

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3290 days

#6 posted 08-18-2010 04:25 PM

make two squares the same size and place a sanding disk on it
mark where the holes are
one of them you make three sides on (you need something to stear)
take a copper/iron pipe in the same size as your holes in sandpaper or slightly bigger
cut the pipe in 1½-2 inch length as many as you need
drill holes in your disks and glue your pipes to one of them
but first after you have sharpen the pipes in one end from the insideout so the outside
is still straight
make a handle for the second square disk screw it to the mittle of it

hope you can understand my bad english and the point come thrugh
it can also bee done if you have a squaresander with holes in the sole


View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3101 days

#7 posted 08-18-2010 04:57 PM

I have a couple of leather punches with various sized cutters we use for modifying bridles or halters for our horses.

None of them would be big enough to punch a significant hole for the sandpaper, unless you are referring to something else… ?

Dennis’s idea of using a piece of scrap copper pipe as a drift punch should work, 1/2” should be fine.

Charlie, I just re-read your post and checked the link. You are right, that type of punch would work.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3557 days

#8 posted 08-18-2010 08:06 PM

I was trying to do this last year to make 2” disks out of 5” disks with the idea that I’d eventually buy large sheets and cut a bunch of 2” disks for my bowl sander (Sorby lathe tool). I bought a hole cutter – the kind used in a drill – ground the teeth off, then ground it into the bevel of a large punch. It failed entirely to punch through the paper. I eventually gave up on it. I’ll be reading along to see what people say!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3903 days

#9 posted 08-18-2010 09:06 PM

Thanks for all the ideas. I’ll have to give some a shot. I can’t help but think that this would be a cool time to have some sort of cutting laser (-:

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3888 days

#10 posted 08-18-2010 09:22 PM

Gary that is funny , because i cut down 5” disks into 2” ones all the time. it is way cheaper then buying the 2”.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3557 days

#11 posted 08-19-2010 10:19 AM

Oh man, a laser cutter, of course! My wish for one rises even further. The cheapest I’ve seen could probably do it and costs $8k (Epilog). I just went on an online search to find that particular model, and the first link I found a guy talking about cutting out some shapes in sandpaper. I looked that up, and found this. So fast! It’s also a product, from China, of course.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3903 days

#12 posted 08-19-2010 03:07 PM

gary, you are pretty tech savvy. can’t you build a lightsaber? I seem to recall you built an AT-AT one Halloween (hopefully I’m remembering right).

View ChrisCarr's profile


196 posts in 3074 days

#13 posted 08-19-2010 03:54 PM

sandwiching is between scrap wood is the easiest way.

View Knothead62's profile


2598 posts in 3136 days

#14 posted 08-19-2010 04:06 PM

I tried making some disks and failed enormously! The hole has to be cut with four slits so the screw and washer holding the rubber backing to the chuck will fit properly. I went back to the adhesive backed disks. I have a couple of rubber backers with different grades of sandpaper. Saves changing sandpaper disks.

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