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.

Sara Wolfie said...

Just a warning: I tried using the generic scotch brite cleaning pads from my kitchen. They left green stains on my wood.

Nick Carter said...

Yeah, those scrub pads often have added soap or something weird.