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Udie

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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.
1 Sanding Band.jpg 

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.
2 Modified Part.jpg 

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.
3 Tool Mounted.jpg 

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
Udie


Udie

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Sanding Band Mod - Update
One of the most popular Rotary Tool Manufactures is Dremel.
When the sanding band attachments were introduced there were three (3) diameter sanding bands to select from : 1/2", 3/8" and 1/4".
Today, in CANADA, the selection of diameters has been reduced to two (2), the 1/2" and the 1/4" appear to be the only sizes of sanding band assemblies and replacement bands available.

Using the same method as described in the above post, I also modified the 1/4" sanding band assembly.
4 Quarter Inch Band.jpg

It also works like a charm.

Udie

Frankg

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Reply with quote  #3 
I love using my rotary tool! This is a very helpful article I will use to extend it's capabilities!
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Ken Martin

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks Udie for the great tip.
Looks like a really good idea from you again.
Keep thinking, because we are all benefiting.

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Douglas

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi everyone , I just use a loooong bolt with a couple of washers and a nut ,??? Push the bobbons on the bolt and tighten the nut . I have made use of this technique for ages .  It works  .     Douglas .
Sdaupanner

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Reply with quote  #6 
Douglas;
   I think that what this was is kind of an over lay to those that have never done this kind of thinking out side of the hardware store. I know that some of  the things that have been brought up in the forums kind of turn on the Light bulb in the depths of my mind, things that many of have used because of the mother of invention are the neat tips that then come in helpful to the newer members as thing they have never though of before and may lead to the thinking of something to pass on to the rest of us old farts set in our ways. Udie is the Tool Man on here if we get stumped about how to do something he can usually come up with a way to do something ... Udie is like a walking encyclopedia of wood working. I think that this forum is just for those of us who love what we do and to have a place to talk with others about the ways to approach a project and when we get stumped have a place to go where others can give you a hand. Kind of like you have done with the Dozer track for me and for that I am thankful for someone like your self who has some knowledge on the workings and will offer advise.
Don
Udie

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Reply with quote  #7 
Douglas - That is precisely what I did before I made the above mod. I used a 4-40 long bolt which had a diameter of about 7/64 which worked great in the 1/8 collet of the rotary tool.

Dremel Collets.jpg    IMG_5985 A.jpg 
   My rotary tool allows me to interchange four (4) sizes of collets. 1/8", 3/32", 1/16" and 1/32". I did use a small diameter washer to compress the rubber compression sleeves and double nut the other end as shown in the above photo. But, here is what I experienced. If I applied too much pressure of the abrasive sleeve onto my wood, it would loosen and I lost the compression of the rubber bladders on the abrasive sleeve. I even tried using Loctite and super glue to temporarily secure the two nuts together, and the problem reoccurred. When it was required to replace the abrasive sleeves I would have to break the seal of the Loctite/super glue, replace the sleeves and re-apply the gluing agent. I was just not having any luck doing it this way. Hence the mod to the original purchased accessory. For me anyway, the mod works great. I can apply as much pressure to the abrasive sleeve as I wish. The caution is not to heat up the rubber bladder and damaging it.

I also tried using a long 3-32 machine bolt, but, it was very difficult screwing on one rubber compression sleeve, so I did not try and screw on two (2) sleeves. I did not want to damage the rubber sleeves.

   It would be interesting to know if my original method before the mod was any different from yours. It sounds like from your post they are the same. Works for you but not for me. So where are we different?

   Just recently I was out of town and took a moment to burn some time in their local hardware/tool store.
And look what I found.
IMG_5988 A.jpg 
Pre-made long shaft with long rubber compression sleeves for the 1/4" diameter abrasive sleeves. The bottom two (2) are 1/8" diameter shafts perfect for the 1/8" collet of my rotary tool. The upper one is made up of four (4) rubber compression sleeves on a 1/4" diameter shaft, the same diameter as the rubber compression sleeves,  perfect for use with either in a hand drill or the drill press. They also had a small supply of long abrasive sleeves, 180 grit so I purchased the one and only bag he had. Lucky day at the tool store for me. The long abrasive sleeves can be easily cut to any length you wish.

In the past, I have used the bolt, washer, nut method on larger diameter rubber compression sleeves with no problems. 

Thanks for posting your method, it certainly is a lesser effort in accomplishing the same purpose. I think the members and guests will be more comfortable in trying your method as opposed to mine.

Douglas

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi fellas ,  I had to use locknuts to stop the assembly loosening ,and when fitted into the chuck I pushed the end of the bolt right up until the nuts came up against the chuck jaws . This also helped to stop the assembly coming loose as the nut had nowhere to go .  I think if too much pressure is applied when sanding this can aid in the assembly coming loose . That was a good find in your hardware store Udie , I will have a look to see if I can get one here in England , but I have never seen one in the past . I don't know why they make them so short anyway . Cheers Douglas
Douglas

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Reply with quote  #9 
Another method I use .....I make a wooden bobbin on the lathe ,drill hole through the centre to accept a long bolt .Then I stick double sided tape to the bobbin and then I stick the grit of sandpaper I want to use to the bobbin , this way I am not forced into using shop bought drums of the wrong grit .  .. Hope this is useful to somebody . if you don't have a lathe ,then you can use a hole saw to cut out the size of disc that you need . Cut out enough discs to achieve the length that you need and glue all the discs together to make your bobbin . Cheers Douglas
Sdaupanner

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Reply with quote  #10 
Douglas;
   Adding a print in the rough would be helpful for those that are visually impaired such as my self...one picture is worth a thousand word. I have an oscillating sander so I have it pretty well covered and I have the dremel and the press that goes along with it so I guess to say the least I never have to make a set up but if I do a print would be helpful that is for sure.
Don
Douglas

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Don ...as requested I have done some rough drawings . Fig.1 ... The long sanding drum using 2 short drums ,    Fig 2..... The long  " lathe "  made sanding bobbin which you attach sandpaper to with double sided tape .    Fig3 The long sanding bobbin made from several discs cut with a hole saw and glued together to make a long bobbin for attaching sandpaper to .  Hope this helps . Douglas SCAN0177.JPG
Sdaupanner

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Reply with quote  #12 
   Looks good on my end Douglas; Like I have always said one picture is worth a thousand words. By The Way how was your Christmas ? Mine was really nice till I headed home and the Trans Mission started to go I thankfully have a daughter that followed me home to make sure that I made it  ... and I did. Oh Well thank god for several vehicles in the yard at least one of them run most of the time!!
Don
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