Sanding Band Mod for Your Rotary Tool
A rotary tool is a wonderful shop tool to have.
With dozens of accessories available, your personal interests and workshop tasks can be greatly reduced using one.
Irrelevant whether you are working with wood, glass, metal, plastic, whatever the raw materials are.
Sometimes an accessory which is available is just not the right tool for the task at hand.
I have come across just such a need.
The 1/2" Sanding Band attachment was just too short in length for my task at hand.
Above you can see the standard sanding drum and an exploded view of it components.
I needed a longer sanding band to be used with the hand held rotary tool and not in the drill press.
So the idea was to attach a second sanding band to the same arbor using a longer screw.
Sounded like a good idea, how hard can that be?
Well, it was a little more difficult than originally anticipated.
The tightening screw, when screwed into the threaded arbor, compresses the rubber sleeve, making it expand, applying pressure to the inside wall of the sanding band.
That is what holds the sanding band in place and stops the band from spinning when sanding.
The screw looked like common screw and should not be any problem replacing it with a longer one.
That was not the case.
The manufactures screw is specific to this product, maybe even proprietary and I discovered that a common 2-56NC machine screw diameter was too small to be threaded into the arbor and a 4-40NC machine screw diameter was too large.
Not being familiar with the screw types available, I did an internet search and found that there is a machine screw size that was in between the sizes I had.
My best guest from what I learned was it just may be a 3-48NC or 3-56NF. NC meaning course thread an NF meaning fine thread.
I also discovered that this machine screw size is not a common machine screw stocked by my local big box stores and neither by the many local hardware stores I visited also.
So, what to do?
It looks like my little modification became more complicated.
I decided to re-tap the treads in the arbor with a 4-40NC tap and see what happens.
I did not drill the arbor using the recommend drill bit prior to the taping, I clamped the arbor in a vice and went ahead and taped the arbor as is.
I felt that the arbor was made from a soft metal which should let me do this without any issues.
Low and behold … it worked!
I was able to screw the 4-40NC into the arbor and apply more than enough pressure against both the rubber sleeves to compress them and hold the sanding bands securely.
So this is what I ended up with … a homemade, longer length, custom sanding band accessory.
By adding a second rubber sleeve, re-tapping the threads in the arbor I was successful in increasing the length using a longer screw.
Now I have the perfect sanding tool for that task at hand and can comfortably use my hand held rotary tool also.
Replacing the sanding bands when worn or changing grit sizes is just as easy as when using original assembly.
Here is a photo of the new and improved modified sand band accessory in the rotary tool.
Works like a charm.
If any other member has modified some accessories for their tools to do a specific job, I am sure the rest of us would be grateful to hear and see what you have done and how you did it.
Happy Toy Making