Dremel Bottle Cap Sander




About: I like learning new techniques, skills and DIYing. I do my best to make things with materials I already have. My thinking is, if I can make it, and it doesn't cost more money to make it myself than to buy it...

Riseabove has a wonderful tutorial on how to convert your Dremel into a micro mini disc sander for jewelry. I had been looking for a way to setup my own sanding system and after alot of research and experimenting, I came across hers and couldn't wait to try it.

There was only one problem: the cutoff wheel itself. After reading the comments lots of folks posted (some helpful, some not), it was made clear that using the cutoff wheel was not a good idea, since it can't take pressure on the top and could break and send pieces flying! Way too dangerous! One guy said he used acrylic, but couldn't cut it into a perfect circle. I knew I wasn't going to go out and buy acrylic just to cut a sloppy circle so I set about looking around the house for something else.

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Step 1: Find an Appropriate Size Bottle Cap!

Yep. I said it. A bottle cap. You need a plastic one. Rummage around in your recycle bin. Look for empty bottles in the cabinet and bathroom. These are just a few that I found that work perfect for my project.

Step 2: Drill a Hole!

One of the best things about some plastic bottle caps is that the dead center is already marked! No right angles, no corners of paper, no eyeballing. Use a black marker to make it easier to see! Make sure to cap is screwed on to the original bottle, hold on to the bottle and DRILL SLOWLY! Plastic mangles easily and if you go too fast you'll be left with a messed up hole and a bunch of plastic threads.

Step 3: Screw Onto Your Mandrel

That's it. I decided to use hook and loop tape for my system, since I will be using many different grits. The sandpaper doesn't come off, but there are other issues. I don't know how I'm going to label my grits, since I don't have anywhere to write the number on. I also used the industrial strength type and that stuff is SUPER STICKY! I had a rough time getting my screw through the pad and I almost ruined my die cutter. Goo Gone cleaned everything up though. Clean it soon, because the adhesive sets HARD! I used a 1-1/2 inch punch to cut the circles for the sandpaper. I think I'll have to leave my mandrel on this sander though, and just purchase another one to have for generally Dremel stuff. They don't cost too much.

Hope this was helpful!

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    12 Discussions

    When I was looking for screws for mandrels (the screws fly off if they're not tightly attached, and at that point they usually find a resting place somewhere deep in the carpet or behind the permanently attached whatever...), they were not available. There were some who said screws could be found to fit, but I tried all of them and none fit. Finally got Dremel to send me a couple, but the general idea is that you really should just buy another mandrel - it's faster.

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Step 3

    Simple but brilliant! Thank you for sharing, I have being using different dowell diameters, will be doing a couple of this in the morning.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Try using plain old sandpaper and 3M 77 spray-on adhesive. It works a treat. I use it to mount small sanding disks on a blank #2 morse taper mandrel on my lathe. It works great for removing cyanoacrylate from pen blanks.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I will keep that in mind, but there are two issues with just adhesive. 1) I have to cover the screw on the mandrel so that my surface is all smooth. With velcro, it sinks into the middle and when I put my sandpaper on, there is no bump. Just like the foam covers the screw in riseabove's tute. 2) I have 12 grits to use and plain adhesive takes too long to get off! Hence velcro.


    Reply 6 years ago on Step 3

    Actually, I've discovered that I can write right on the hook part (the non-fluffy side). I have to use a silver Sharpie, since my velcro is black, but if you have the white kind, you can write with any color sharpie!