Angle Grinder As a Disk Sander

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About: Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter, the one of us who soonest finds the strength to rise must help the other. - Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

I had a need to adapt and use my Harbor Freight angle grinder as a benchtop disk sander, so I bought a 5" (127 mm) backing pad for about $10 and put together a simple build, complete with slotted table and miter gauge to produce an inexpensive benchtop tool.

Step 1: Prep the Pad

Using the same technique of making my own sanding disks as shown in my Instructable "Renewing Sanding Disks", I modified one slightly by punching a 3/4" (19.05 mm) diameter arbor hole and cutting relief slits so the retainer nut would nest subsurface.

Step 2: The Build

I made a short video that demonstrates various capabilities of the tool. Since particulars as to dimensions will vary depending on the brand employed, I have omitted them for the most part and simply show working concept and key features:

  • Barrel style full body clamp with easy on/ off mounting
  • No physical or mechanical modification to the tool is needed
  • Slotted work surface table, adjustable in/ out, is centered with disk
  • Bench hook (lip) on front edge of base promotes immovability using just a single clamp
  • Simple "T" style adjustable miter gauge aids in precision work
  • Disks can be changed while tool is mounted by simply loosening and sliding off slotted work table
  • Easily accessible on/ off switch
  • Simple construction allows fabrication from cutoffs and drops
  • Model-makers especially, will find this tool most useful

Step 3: Parting Thoughts

For enhanced safety, a guard would be advisable, however I have yet to install one.

Hearing protection is a must for all but the quickest uses.

I use mine outside, so dust collection is not necessary, but a small shop vacuum would be beneficial if used indoors.

I should have used a fresh disk for the video, it would have cut cleaner with no burn marks.

This is a perfect example of when it is more efficient to put work to the tool instead of tool to the work. Much smaller, finer items can be processed with this setup than can ordinarily be had with the tool used in it's native form, also operator comfort is greatly increased since it is held securely in place.

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    17 Discussions

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    OolongJ

    2 years ago

    When the disk shatters you better be wearing a face shield.

    Make a steel disk to fit the grinder rather than using a fibre disk.

    Trust me. They aren't made for side pressure and they explode outwards at high speed. The cuts don't heal cause they are full of grit and it can easily take an eye out.

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    kukopia

    2 years ago

    You have omitted the instructions - admitting it is not an instructable.

    I'm here for build/make instructions, not use video.

    1 reply
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    BeachsideHankkukopia

    Reply 2 years ago

    I agree with you about those who use the site as a link farm to promote their video channel, but if you follow the series as linked in the Instructable, you'll see this is simply more like a "Part Two" construct:

    https://www.instructables.com/id/Renewing-Sanding-D...

    This part demonstrates a potential use of that Instructable content, and for reasons cited, hard dimensions are omitted due to a number of variables.

    Again, I'm with you on the issue of video only posts, and thanks for your observation.

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    chevy

    3 years ago

    I like you sander , I need to make one ! Save money buying belt for my belt sander ! Thank you !

    1 reply
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    BeachsideHank chevy

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you for the positive comment and yes, many times a large sanding machine is not needed and a small one will serve just as well.

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    chevy

    3 years ago

    I like you sander , I need to make one ! Save money buying belt for my belt sander ! Thank you !

    0
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    chevy

    3 years ago

    I like you sander , I need to make one ! Save money buying belt for my belt sander ! Thank you !

    0
    None
    chevy

    3 years ago

    I like you sander , I need to make one ! Save money buying belt for my belt sander ! Thank you !

    0
    None
    chevy

    3 years ago

    I like you sander , I need to make one ! Save money buying belt for my belt sander ! Thank you !

    0
    None
    chevy

    3 years ago

    I like you sander , I need to make one ! Save money buying belt for my belt sander ! Thank you !

    0
    None
    chevy

    3 years ago

    I like you sander , I need to make one ! Save money buying belt for my belt sander ! Thank you !

    0
    None
    chevy

    3 years ago

    I like you sander , I need to make one ! Save money buying belt for my belt sander ! Thank you !

    0
    None
    discostu956BeachsideHank

    Reply 4 years ago

    in that photo, it appears that you are black and white. Are you really black and white? it also looks like you wear glasses, yet there is no proof of this whatsoever in the instructions. Also, that classic, hand drawn look in that photo might attract the wrong crowd. artists and the like might start paying attention, and the last thing we need is that sort of person hanging around a work shop instructable influencing people.

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    discostu956discostu956

    Reply 4 years ago

    Funny stuff!

    Forgot to say that I like the grinder holder as well. Very handy for my garage

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    BeachsideHankdiscostu956

    Reply 4 years ago

    I was indeed black and white, according to family photo albums, right up until 1960, when we started using Kodachrome. There are 3 misplaced screws in the build, it happened when I removed my glasses, what further proof do you require? (p.s. they still remain missing to this day). Do not worry about the artists and their ilk, they all have medical marijuana cards now and so no longer pose a risk of "undue influence".
    .
    -BeachsideHank
    "Lets work together to repeal Ohm's law"

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    wilgubeast

    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is really cool, but your main image is somewhat misleading. Mind swapping in one of the images from step 1 rather than a self portrait?

    I love your parting lines, and it's clear you know what you're doing. A more descriptive photo will ensure that more people read them and learn from you. Thanks for sharing!