Introduction: Simple DIY Flap Sander

We’ve got a quick tip today - how to make a simple DIY flap sander. There are a lot of elaborate DIY flap sanders out there, but this is one you can make in a pinch. It’s great for getting into hard to reach spaces that are hard to get with a typical flap sander. Plus it’s super flexible: you can make it long and skinny, you can make the sandpaper itself longer or shorter, and you can swap out the grit whenever you need to.

Tools and materials needed:

Step 1: Clamp and Cut

First clamp down some ⅜” aluminum bar stock and cut off the length you need with a jigsaw using a metal blade. We cut off a length that was about 4”, but you could go longer if you needed to.

Step 2: Turn Into Split Mandrel

We’ll turn this piece of aluminum into a split mandrel to hold our sand paper. We placed it on our drill press V block to keep it centered (which we clamped into place), and cut a slit into it on our band saw.

Step 3: Insert Into Drill

Then pop the split mandrel into your drill and place a folded piece of sandpaper in the slit. Tighten the split end around the sandpaper with some pliers.

Step 4: Enjoy!

This is great for getting hard to reach spaces that a store-bought flap sander can’t get to, and it’s really so easy to make. Hope y’all found this helpful, let us know if you have any questions!

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Comments

author
UNSEPARABLE TECHSCIENTIFICS made it! (author)2017-07-12

; D

author
brunom made it! (author)2017-07-03

You can do the same with 1/8" rod for a dremel. That gets into really small places.

author
evanandkatelyn made it! (author)evanandkatelyn2017-07-05

Yeah, great suggestion! I'll add that and die grinder to the suggested ways to do this :)

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Lovetra made it! (author)2017-07-03

NIFTY! The timing is just right for me. DI was agonizing on how to accomplish a tight corner and I've never heard of a "flap" sander before! Oooo who! Thanks!

author
evanandkatelyn made it! (author)evanandkatelyn2017-07-05

Yay, so glad we could help out :D Good luck with your project!!

author
jang.pt made it! (author)2017-07-01

Thank you.

Your youtube link is incorrect. It's set to the instagram one.

author
evanandkatelyn made it! (author)evanandkatelyn2017-07-05

AH, thanks so much for catching that!! All fixed now :)

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ajayt7 made it! (author)2017-06-28

Useful one, thanks

author
evanandkatelyn made it! (author)evanandkatelyn2017-06-28

NP! Glad you found it useful :)

author
TerriK2 made it! (author)2017-06-27

I find it either more satisfying or more efficient (perhaps less fussy than making numerous folds?) to glue partial sheets of sandpaper back to back. I let them dry completely, and with an old pair of shears long ago dedicated to sandpaper, cut several strips of the double-sided abrasive paper at one time. Mostly I've used spray adhesive, a light coat applied from a clean spray nozzle in the lower end of the adhesive's recommended temperature range for application, to keep the glue in a thin, even layer, as I want my abrasive faces to stay as parallel as possible for use in a couple of other custom sanding tools for metal fabrication.

author
evanandkatelyn made it! (author)evanandkatelyn2017-06-28

Neat, I'll try this out with some pieces we have to see how it works, thanks for the suggestion :)

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ElectroFrank made it! (author)2017-06-27

One end of the sandpaper strip has only its smooth side showing, so may I suggest a small improvement ?

Cut the sandpaper strip in half, and glue the ends back to back to fit in the mandrel slot, then both sides will show grit to the workpiece. (Needs just a slightly wider slot.)

author
autotech1 made it! (author)autotech12017-06-27

They folded the sandpaper in half lengthwise so it has the business side of the sandpaper making contact all of the time. You can see it clearly at the 1:10 mark.

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evanandkatelyn made it! (author)evanandkatelyn2017-06-28

Thanks for the assist autotech1 :D and for the suggestion electrofrank!

author
ElectroFrank made it! (author)ElectroFrank2017-06-27

Ah yes. I should put my glasses on. And that makes it reversible as well.

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Bio: A husband and wife team who want to DIY ALL THE THINGS. Our goal is to make doable projects you can tackle, and inject some ... More »
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