DIY Grinding Machine by HDD(hard Drive)




Introduction: DIY Grinding Machine by HDD(hard Drive)

About: From Taiwan, I like photographic, DIY, baking. Pretty good at Arduino and 3DP.

Hello! This is my first Instructable, and English isn't my first language(I'm from Taiwan(R.O.C)!!!). So please give me some comments to tell me how to make it better. Thanks!!!

The progress is pretty simple, but the product is really amazing.

Material: HDD, sand paper(roughness depands on what kinds of grinding you want), double-side tape

Step 1: Disassemble the HDD

You have to take the read/write head, magnet off. What's left is the case, major motor, disk, control circuit .

Step 2: Placing the Sand Paper

Cut the sand paper into the matching size of the disk(mine is 3.7"), and one on top.

Then stick it on the disk by double-side tape

***The tape must be put balanced well, or when it turns in the high speed, the motor may be damaged or the sand paper may fly out***

Step 3: Protecting Shield (Optional)

The shield is used to protect things from flying out and hit you.

I made it by two aluminium sheet from two soda cans.

Step 4: Power It

You can simply power it by the PSU from computer.Or make a control circuit by your own.(There are many good ones in Instructables)


Thank you for your reading!

5 People Made This Project!


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98 Discussions

hey thats cool, but when i tried to build it i had to let half of the litle arm inside the case, becuse if i wantetd tu unplug it the HDD stoped turning all 10 seconds can someone help me ?

3 replies

You can try to trick the controller by shorting some of the RW head connectors, but that only works in rare cases (and can burn up the controller in other cases).

You can also try what I eventually did, and work above the RW head (so you don't need to touch it), by adding an extra platter on top of the existing assembly. In larger disks there's easily enough room for it on the spindle.

I have a dead TOSHIBA HDD 170 GB with two platters, the problems is it has two transducers (R/W) making it impossible to put another extra platter, can you tell more about the details about tricking the controller? Thank you in advance

It's been a while since you posted this but I'll give it a shot anyway-

I'm not disputing that the 3.5 inch HDDs don't need/use the 12v rail, reading your other comments you obviously know your tech. My question though, is if it is pretty much there just to be backward compatible or to adhere to the Molex standard, why are all (at least all I know of) external 3.5" HDD enclosures powered by 12v wall warts? Couldn't they theoretically run from a 5v PSU like the their 2.5" cousins?

Didn't understand the 12v wall wart hack mentioned in the comments. Mine just twitches, no constant rotation.

Congratulations, I really like the idea that you came out with, I have a question doesn't the double sided tape come
Off due to heat generated by sanding or grindin?

2 replies

I've never thing it this problem. Although it may happen, the chance might be low since it is hard for the heat to transmit through sand paper and it's not so easy for the whole double sided tape to fail. However, to make it safer,I think it should be cooled down after using.

Thanks for your good question!

I think because the tape is evenly distributed and forces are basically in equilibrium because of speed and balanced, the tape probably stays put except under extreme conditions where the drive would stall or nearly so.

Brilliant, brilliant brilliant. I just inherited about 30 junked HD's, and this is GREAT!!!!!!! Going to put one together tonight.

i had make with seagate hdd, but power goes down.. the disc spinning only 30 second.. please tell me why..?

3 replies

I would take a molex plug (the power plug for the hard drive) disconnect it from the power supply unit (or get one from a parts store like Radio Shack). Then snip the red wire and the black wire closest to the red as close to the plug as possible. Then take a 12 volt power supply (wall wart) and solder the yellow wire to the positive lead on the wall wart and solder the black to the negative lead. Be sure to tape or shrink wrap your splices to avoid grounding. This should give you constant power to the drive without having a clunky power box taking up valuable bench space.

molex female.jpgmolex pinout.png

or make something like this and no more wasted work space. I was even able to solder using this power supply


if you are using a computer pwr supply as a stand alone source, they will auto shutdown unless some of the other wires are grounded


3 years ago

Cool .
Bat this hdd in not powerfull well enough to work good.

Add stick-on velcro to the disk.

Then, go to automotive body shop supply store and buy the 3, 4, or 6" velcro backed sanding disks and attach to the disk. They're meant for quickly adding/removing from the sanders.

They come in all the grits - 60 up to 5000 grit.

Great idea which I wish I had seen yesterday, took mine to the dump.! I did manage to salvage most of the metal and striped the heat reducers (not sure what their name is ) but they have fins on . My wife now uses them for lamp working glass, gives a nice pattern .

On your English

don't say, and one on don't need to say it.

you are confusing our use of by and with...........I made it with two Al sheetS also,

you can simply pwr it with the PSU....

My wife is from Tiapai where I lived for 5 years working as an engineer on the construction of the MRT systems. We met at Washington State University and I would not marry her until I lived in her country for a long time. We have had a very happy and fun marriage both in Washington and California.

Brilliant idea, I am going to try it out as soon as I can.

As for your english, Sir, it is excellent.


This is similar to a device on the market that is used for sharpening tools.

If you have a couple of these drives, perhaps leaving the platter on one, and using a fine grit such as diamond, carbide or other agent mixed with olive oil to adhere it to the platter would produce an extremely sharp edge on a tool.

This is also not dissimilar to a faceting machine, and gems could be cut.

Note that diamond grit is relatively inexpensive in the grades and quantities used.