Friday, March 12, 2010

Making Wheels From a Scotch-Brite Pad

A friend wanted to know where to buy Dremel 511E EZ Lock Finishing Abrasive Buffs cheaply. Looking around it seemed as though they were a bit over priced (about $1.50 a wheel). I haven't examined them up close but they seem to be a standard non-woven abrasive made into a wheel.

I use Scotch-Brite pads in my shop all the time.

They're available in a variety of grit sizes and the price is about $1.00 a 6"x9" sheet. On Amazon they are $20.00 for a box of 20, Scotch-Brite 6-by-9-Inch Hand Pad, 20-Pads. They are available all over the internet and from most industrial suppliers.

Mandrels are ubiquitous as my drawer shows. You can get mandrels with a screw for about two bucks as well.

So I traced a circle on a pad.

Wow, high tech.

I cut it out with scissors and mounted it on a mandrel. The mandrel screw can just be poked through the center. A washer in the center would make it work slightly better, be more aggressive on the edge. You could even stack a few together.

I also tried using an arch punch. This would dull the punches over time...

This is a finer abrasive.

Some test scratch patterns on silver. They seem to work fine. I'm not sure if they hold up worse than the Dremel branded ones, however from a 6"x9" sheet you can make about 54 (assuming you're perfect) 1" wheels so you can imagine the cost savings if they even last 1/10th as long.


Adrian Baird Ba Than said...

Hi Nick,
I have been using an enlarged version of this technique for about 5 years using 6 stacked 100mm discs cut from heavy duty scouring pads from the supermarket.I get 2 discs per sheet & 10 sheets for £2 so considering a shop bought Fibral mop (6 layers of similiar non woven material)can run as much as £6 the saving is obvious.
I've been meaning to write a blog entry documenting this technique since I started blogging & you have spurred me on to do so.
Look to my blog in a day or so for images & a bit more info...
p.s.I like the Taig lathe & mill but I'm a Unimat SL man.

Nick Carter said...

Cool Adrian,
I thought it would be a good idea to make some wheels for my bench grinder just as you say.