I love having a cordless oscillating multi-tool (mine happens to be a Dremel Multi-Max). What I don't love however, is when I have to do a lot of sanding and the sanding pads cost $15 per 18 pack. In this Instructable, I hope to show that with just a few items, including an old shirt, you can make loads of these pads for much less.
- A old shirt that sticks to Velcro. $0
- A can of spray adhesive [I used 3M Super 77 which I happened to have lying around and will last for 20 to 40 sheets of sandpaper] $16
- A 9x11 inch sheet of sandpaper with desired grit [again, I had some 3M paper lying around] 4 sheets for $3
- A pair of scissors
- A marker or pen
Step 1: Prepare Old Shirt
Using the Velcro tool attachment, go through any old shirts or rags and see if any stick to the attachment. In my case I found an old 100% polyester shirt that I wouldn't mind sacrificing (there is something to be said for 100% cotton shirts). Once you have identified a shirt, cut out the sleeves, collar, etc... Discard the collar (remember to keep those buttons!) and cut along all the seams so that you end up with nice, flat, single layers of fabric.
Step 2: Prepare Sandpaper
In a well-ventilated area, on a durable surface, place your sandpaper grit side down. Spray generously with spray adhesive, being sure to keep the nozzle at least 6" away from the paper. After you are done spraying, remember to tilt the can upside down and spray a little to clean the nozzle. Set a timer for 9 minutes and get yourself a cup of tea or coffee. This wait time is to allow the adhesive to get tacky for the next step.
Step 3: Putting the Sandpaper Pad Together
Once the time is up, lay your fabric over the sheet of sandpaper and work out any wrinkles. You will notice the adhesive is sticky, but not too sticky to allow you to realign the fabric and pull out wrinkles as necessary. Once you have the fabric flat and wrinkle-free, lightly rub your hand over the surface to press the fabric into the adhesive. Set a timer for 15 minutes and get some more tea or coffee :)
Step 4: Cutting the Sandpaper Pad Apart
After the time is up, trim away any large pieces of fabric. Don't worry about the edges looking clean, they are going to get trimmed off anyway. Holding the tool or just the attachment over the grit side of the sandpaper, use a marker to trace the outline of the attachment onto the sandpaper. You should be able to get at least 9 pieces out of a 9x11 inch sheet. Once that is complete, simply cut out the shapes with your scissors and voila!
Step 5: Conclusion
Your pads should now be ready to use on your sanding tool. If my math checks out, you use about 1/20th to 1/40th of the can of adhesive, so $16 divided by 20 is $.80. 4 sheets of 9x11 inch sandpaper are $3. 4 sheets of sandpaper will yield 36 pads so that is $3.80 per 36 pads or 18 pads for $1.90. I like that a lot better than $15.