cutting your own sanding disks?

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Forum topic by HokieMojo posted 1471 days ago 4328 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2098 posts in 2361 days

1471 days ago

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


959 posts in 1776 days

#1 posted 1471 days ago

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

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View CharlieM1958's profile


15689 posts in 2851 days

#2 posted 1471 days ago

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


8476 posts in 2281 days

#3 posted 1471 days ago

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 2326 days

#4 posted 1471 days ago

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 1540 days

#5 posted 1471 days ago

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


10850 posts in 1748 days

#6 posted 1471 days ago

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


2280 posts in 1558 days

#7 posted 1471 days ago

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

1000 posts in 2014 days

#8 posted 1471 days ago

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


2098 posts in 2361 days

#9 posted 1471 days ago

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 (online now)


1359 posts in 2345 days

#10 posted 1471 days ago

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

1000 posts in 2014 days

#11 posted 1470 days ago

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


2098 posts in 2361 days

#12 posted 1470 days ago

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 1531 days

#13 posted 1470 days ago

sandwiching is between scrap wood is the easiest way.

View Knothead62's profile


2364 posts in 1593 days

#14 posted 1470 days ago

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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