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Repairing a Sanding Pad
By Curtis Turner
Round Rock, TX

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Occasionally, projects get interrupted by an equipment failure. This happened while I was finish sanding a bowl. The hook pad separated from the foam pad on my handheld rotatory sander. I set the parts aside and completed the project by hand sanding.

I never looked closely at how the head was attached to the handle. After inspecting, I felt I could repair or at least salvage something from this equipment failure. I could see it was a simple task to remove the sanding head. The axle was molded into the foam with the tee-nut. I didn't have the ability to remake it in the same fashion, so I decided to convert it into a standard sanding pad for use in power rotary tools.

The pin or stem of the pad was held in place by two locking rings. I was able to remove them using needle nose pliers.

I scraped away the old degraded foam from the hook pad (Velcro). I used a piece of dense foam I had been saving for just such an occasion and the stem from an old sanding pad as the three pieces for this rebuild.

I used the hook pad as a template and traced the outline with a Sharpie on the foam. Fortunately, I had a large Hirsch Gouge that matched the curvature of the hook pad. I just used hand pressure to cut the foam and walked the gouge along the outline.

Next, I mixed up some StickFast Epoxy and applied it to the hook pad and stem. I carefully centered the three pieces and used a clamp to hold them in place.

Just a couple of things to note. I have tried CA Glue in the past for similar repairs; however, I have found the CA tends to melt away the foam. The epoxy does not have this issue. Also, I found these Klemmsia Wooden Cam-Action Clamps the perfect tool for the job. They are lightweight and can hold small, delicate or tricky glue-ups in a way that heavier clamps would be difficult to use.

I let this dry overnight.

Then I used my Foredom and a Sanding Block
to true up the pad and disk.

This worked perfectly. However, this could have also been done by clamping the sanding disk in a chuck with pin jaws then sanded with the lathe on to true the pad.

This repair was simple and used supplies I already had on hand.

It felt good to salvage something from this equipment failure. However, I would like to try and cut grooves into the replacement stem and remount in the head with the locking rings. But for now, I am just using it with my Foredom Rotary Tool.

Curtis was a former President of Central Texas Woodturners, is a member of the American Association of Woodturners, and is a member of Fine Woodworkers of Austin. Curtis teaches and demonstrates nationally for Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. He also teaches for TechShop. He owns a studio where he works and teaches. Curtis lives in Central Texas with his wife and four young children. Take a look at his website at www.curtisturnerstudio.com or visit his Instagram: tx_planes.

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