Introduction: DIY Finishing Sander Rubber Pad

About: A Mechatronics engineer with an addiction for knowledge.

This makita 9035 finishing sander is really old and have participated in great projects with my dad and me.

i believe this tool is +30 years old, and it is still in great working condition, and still has the original brushes, but the pad has reached the end of its life, it's not producing similar wear on the sanding paper, and causing it to tear prematurely .

Even though i don't like to use it a lot- because it vibrates the blood out of my arms- and gives me this weird sensation for a day after a long use. but it still is a great tool and it deserves to be fixed like all of my equipment.

Step 1: Removing the Old Pad

That pad is unsightly, and performs the same way it looks !

Preparing the Base for a new pad:

  • A sharpened scraper was used as a knife to skin the pad off.

The pad came of really easy, but the strong glue left quite a bit attached, and scraping it with a knife didn't work

  • A brass wire brush was attached to the drill press and cleaned all of the remaining pad and the glue.

The base is now ready for a new pad


The base had four pan head screws with washers that connected it to the feet, which was a problem because the screw was really high and could create high spots in the new pad.

  • The head was ground to a flat on the drum sander.

I removed the washer using a couple of methods

  1. Wedging a long nose pliers between the head and the washer, and forcing the long nosed in.
  2. Using a Rotary tool with a cutoff wheel
  3. Wedging the cutting part on a combination pliers between the head and the washer, and biting it off.

Step 2: Creating the New Pad

I used an old tire tube as the material for the new pad, i felt the old pad was a little flimsy, it helped to reduce vibration, but didn't give the support i wanted to the sanding paper

  • I used a hobby knife to cut the tube, and rip it in the middle.

  • A rough shape was cut to make the template.

    any excess can be cut later after gluing, but cannot be added if it the piece is small

i rotated and moved the tube around to determine how to get the flattest rectangles, the best way is to cut across the tube not with it (i hope i got this right, English isn't my first language :P)

  • The piece was trimmed roughly, and the holes for the screws were marked
  • Using the template, more pieces were cut.

The cut pieces should be cleaned with degreaser (oven cleaner should do the trick) and soap, which is done to remove any dirt and oils that the tube would've come in contact with on the outer side during its life as an inner tube, and the talcum powder in the inside used to prevent the rubber from vulcanizing.

Step 3: Attaching the Pieces

  • The base is covered with contact adhesive, full coverage but spread thin, and the first layer is applied after about a minute from finishing the adhesive application. apparently she is happy with the new treads (pun intended)

The piece is pulled to make sure it doesn't have any bumps, but over stretching it would create stress on the glue, and make it fail eventually... Moderation

  • A screw is screwed to cut the rubber around it.

That was to make sure it makes full contact with the metal (not rubber under it), to prevent twisting the rubber while tightening it, and to make it as flush as possible .

  • The second layer was glued. The screws is obviously creating a high spot, and has to be cut like the first to prevent it from developing high spots on the next layer
  • The third layer was glued. and is looking good, no visible high spots
  • Three more layers are glued

Step 4: Finishing Up

The glue were left to dry about 15 min, just to prevent the layers from slipping over each other.

  • The excess were removed by making the first cut with the scissors, and using a knife to cut it while pulling.
  • The a rotary tool with a drum sander attachment was used to trim the excess perfectly to the base contours .

After waiting overnight for the glue to dry, i've tried it and and the paper had almost similar wear on the entire cut sheet, seems to sand better, and vibration is kinda the same or a little less.

Overall i considered it a huge success

As always, feedback is highly appreciated.