Make a flap sander w/ recycled sanding belts

  • Advertise with us
Project by Mark Blomster posted 06-01-2011 03:53 AM 10873 views 52 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


11863 posts in 4662 days

#1 posted 06-01-2011 05:02 AM

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 3882 days

#2 posted 06-01-2011 05:08 AM

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


296 posts in 4004 days

#3 posted 06-01-2011 05:10 AM

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


118153 posts in 4551 days

#4 posted 06-01-2011 06:12 AM

Scary but true.

That puppy will polish

your bowling .



View ivan's profile


44 posts in 4108 days

#5 posted 06-01-2011 08:08 AM

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


80 posts in 5052 days

#6 posted 06-01-2011 09:44 AM

Thanks! Good idea!

-- Jim,

View cloakie1's profile


204 posts in 3529 days

#7 posted 06-01-2011 10:43 AM

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


17919 posts in 4163 days

#8 posted 06-01-2011 11:06 AM

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 3542 days

#9 posted 06-01-2011 12:04 PM

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


671 posts in 4354 days

#10 posted 06-01-2011 12:41 PM

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


2475 posts in 4015 days

#11 posted 06-01-2011 03:20 PM

Way Cool !!!

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

View tjdv's profile


66 posts in 3667 days

#12 posted 06-01-2011 03:36 PM

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

-- At least in the Navy no one ever told me to put the seat down.....

View Mark Blomster's profile

Mark Blomster

107 posts in 3959 days

#13 posted 06-01-2011 04:58 PM

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


311 posts in 3946 days

#14 posted 06-01-2011 08:06 PM

View brazjuca's profile


54 posts in 3545 days

#15 posted 06-02-2011 01:01 AM

very good congratulations.

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

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics