Introduction: Turn Your Junk Hard Disk Into a Tool Grinder

Picture of Turn Your Junk Hard Disk Into a Tool Grinder


Turn your junk hard disk into a tool grinder!

note: this not my original idea, this was already featured here in Instructables before. 

I just want to submit my own version. I also found out not all Hard disk can be converted to a grinder, some won't spin when you rip out the read/write head, while others, motor are too weak and stop spinning when load is applied.

So far, i discovered that a Seagate Barracuda 3.5 inch desktop hard disk has a strong motor and spins at 7200 rpm. I used the 20GB and 40GB model..

Just follow my pictorial instructable here if you plan to make your own.

Step 1:

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Tools needed:

1, torx screw drivers set
2. Phillips screw driver
3. sharp x-acto knife
4. pliers if needed
5. clear goggles - for eye protection 

Parts needed:
1. Old Seagate  Barracuda hard disk drive
2. Different Grit water proof sand paper (floor sander paper recommended)
3. Power supply - 5volts/12 volts, the one used for external drive.

Step 2:

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remove top cover with a torx screw driver, i used the number 9!

Step 3:

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Next step is to remove the very strong magnet and the read/write head assembly.

Step 4:

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Now, remove the disk, then use it as a pattern to cut your sandpaper to its shape..

Step 5:

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with your sandpaper already cut, put it over the disk and mount the disk back to the motor, be sure to install the aluminum spacer first, so that the sandpaper and disk is on top, before screwing in the round clamp...

Step 6:

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connect to your power supply and fire it up! viola! your own mini grinder!! when the sandpaper wears out, just cut another one and replace it....

Step 7:

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I made three of them with different grits, coarse to fine...second photo is the power supply i used, it has an on/off switch on the wire going to the hard disk, very useful to restart if the motor stop spinning....

Thanks for Looking...


vlad.fara.1 (author)2015-12-07

What types of glue did you use/try for this project?

Evan Chan (author)vlad.fara.12016-11-11

for me double sided tape works best because there are less bumps when applying the adheresive

profpat (author)vlad.fara.12015-12-07

rubber contact cement, apply on both surface let it dry, then join the two together.

vlad.fara.1 (author)profpat2015-12-15

Thanks :)

profpat (author)vlad.fara.12015-12-07

rubber contact cement, apply on both surface let it dry, then join the two together.

Evan Chan made it! (author)2016-11-11

made it!! :)

i used it to sharpen my cutter blades

suggest anyone why attempt to make this to remove the disk to have better grinding power in trade for less surface

Mário Césard1 (author)2016-08-23

Great job! But I would use the disk as a template to cut others metal discs... And on each one I would glue a diferent sand paper. And, of course, keep the original disc to make more in the future. ;)

태영최 (author)2015-04-10

I wanna try this !!

nmaungboonma (author)2014-05-12

How Can I make them continuous running ?

Ghassan-1 (author)2014-04-20

Please help in recycling HDD has four sockets by external circuit? What are the power supply circuit to him?
Thanks for attention

profpat (author)Ghassan-12014-04-20

for ide type [+5V gnd gnd +12V]

Ghassan-1 (author)profpat2014-04-21

Hello sir
Thank you for your response beginning.
But there is no me like this adapter, so I want: Circuit Diagram him until the terrain.
Thanks for attention

Power supply - 5volts/12 volts

mikic94 (author)2014-02-08

I recently done like this but my hard drive won't spin with its reading/writing head out can you tell me pin meaning of these pins of socket in which harddrive head is connected i think if i shortcircuit two of these pins i can get harddrive spinning..

profpat (author)mikic942014-02-08

HI Mikic94,

what brand of hard disk drive are you converting? i have tested other brands and yes they do not spin without the head..

pthree (author)2012-10-24

I have an old dismantled hard drive, the pcb is missing, all that's left are the disks and the cables(4) from the motor, I can't make it spin continuously, it being a step by step motor?
Any idea of how I could make it spin continuously?

profpat (author)pthree2012-10-24

you need to pcb to make the motor spin continuously!

pthree (author)profpat2012-10-24

thank you, I ended up opening up another old 4G HDD.

SirisC (author)2010-07-22

Where did you find that power supply?

pthree (author)SirisC2012-10-24

replying 2 years later, I think he got the power supply from a sata/ide to usb kit :)

profpat (author)pthree2012-10-24

yes, it came from a external ide kit!

agis68 (author)2010-09-02

Very clever indeed!!!!!!!5/5 for the idea and the job done

profpat (author)agis682010-09-02

thanks, agis68, glad you liked it!

mhkabir (author)profpat2010-10-08

But the original idea was not yours, please mention the instructable and the author in the acknowledgements


profpat (author)mhkabir2010-10-08

yes, kabir,

but i cant remember from whom i got the was from another diy site..

will try to locate it and perhaps post a link here..

mhkabir (author)profpat2010-10-08

Well I am the author >> check my profile

profpat (author)mhkabir2010-10-11

Thanks Mhkabir for your contribution!

2 stroke (author)profpat2010-10-10

its him who posted the instructable i guess he was not trying to be rude eh

profpat (author)2 stroke 2010-10-11

ah ok,

well, great thanks for member mhkabir for the posting the first instructable ! I hope you post more new ideas...

profpat (author)2010-08-08

@a_traceur, yes, thanks for the suggestion!

a_traceur (author)2010-08-06

Great idea! Although I might add something important. I've found that with the types of drives I tested it on (luckily I had multiples) if you remove the read/write assembly the motor will stop working. What I did to fix this is just snip off the ends of this assembly and leave the rest in place.

profpat (author)2010-07-22

as for the power supply, i got it from our local computer supply, that one t hat came the usb to ide cable... not much pressure can be exerted, just enough to sharpen my x-acto knife and some marking awls...

Jural (author)2010-07-22

Great idea. If you used velcro on the platter you could then use the velcro style sand paper.

profpat (author)Jural2010-07-22

velcro style sand paper! yes, that would be an easy task...thanks for the suggestion...

Kaelessin (author)2010-07-22

Hey this is pretty cool . . .how much weight can these take though . . .i'd expect that a little too much pressure would throw it outta whack no?

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