It’s an Angle Grinder! No, it’s a Floor Sander!

Faced with the potentially arduous task of sanding a wood floor, what would you do? Hire a pro? Rent the proper tools and do it yourself? Perhaps even shell out big bucks to buy professional grade tools? Or would you root around in your junk pile and slap together a quick and dirty floor sander from an old angle grinder?

That’s what [Donn DIY] did when looking at the wide expanse of fresh floorboards in his new sauna. Never one to take the easy way out, and apparently with a thing for angled gear boxes, [Donn DIY] took the guts out of a burnt-out angle grinder for his impromptu floor sander. A drill attached to the old motor rotor provides the spin, and a couple of pieces of scrap wood make the platen. Sandpaper strips are clamped between the discs, and as seen in the video below, the whole contraption does an admirable job.

We’ve seen lots of angle grinder hacks before, some useful, some silly. This one gets the job done and is a nice quick hack that speaks to the value of a well-stocked junk pile.

21 thoughts on “It’s an Angle Grinder! No, it’s a Floor Sander!

      1. …and I thought I had every attachment ever made for a Kirby. I’m crushed… Really crushed, if someone could lift it to throw it on me.
        What a beautiful machine. Wonder if they ever made a combination table saw / drill press attachment?

        1. I found out a .22 will go off when you vacuum one up with a Kirby. Cleaning a rental apartment, was in the closet, boom! Scared the crap out of me. Pulled the head off, didn’t seem to hurt anything.

          1. That’s because of the heavy steel suction fan; I suppose one can say that a Kirby is, truly, bullet-proof.
            My wife found Kirby’s Achilles heel: the power cord. The one concession to over-design Kirby did not do was to make the 30-foot power cord an armored cable. The Kirby’s power meant that she just chewed right through the cord. Several times. Slowed things down a bit, but that’s all.
            You don’t hurt a Kirby; the Kirby hurts you.

    1. It is a nice hack, but I have to agree with you. Having done this many times, and considering that the area is not that great (“…wide expanse of fresh floorboards in his new sauna.”) compared to a 15′ X 15′ room, I would opt for a belt sander and a light touch.

  1. I am glad the only parts from 5″ angle grinder is the right angle pinion gear assy. If you used an actual angle grinder then the whole thing would tear apart probably lodging in your knees and legs if not your chest.

    Drills have a reduction gear and angle grinders are generally 1 to 1.

  2. Back in the 60’s when tools were an expensive once-in-a-lifetime purchase, most manufacturers like B&D and Bosch had a wide variety of attachments that would turn your trusty old power drill into a sander, a polisher or a circular saw. Not ideal but I think it probably worked pretty well for the average user.

  3. Definitely a hack, but I disapprove. It’s fantastically dangerous and unergonomic, if I’m understanding the mechanics correctly. And the underlying premise is bullplop: an orbital sander from the neighborhood pawn shop is not expensive, especially compared to the cost probably already put into those boards. And IMO if you are using wood (instead of tile) for the floor of a sauna, the boards should have bigger gaps between them to encourage water to drain freely.

    1. That’s obviously not the sauna room itself, but the dressing area.

      It’s not possible to make the actual sauna floor out of wood. The floor is always tile, earth, concrete or stone, or in the very last case sheet metal on wood to protect it. On top you have removable wooden duckboards which are lifted off the floor after use to dry.

      A sauna with just sparse planks for flooring will rot away in a hurry and become a health hazard. There has to be drainage to take the water out of the foundations, and typically into the sewers to follow local sanitary laws.

  4. I love it and i do not get where people are saying it is dangerous he not using the angle grinder he is using a geared down drill. I do agree with using a belt sander but he may not have had access to one or did not care because that thing appeared to do a lot more work than a standard belt sander. I am surprised that in the video it appeared he did a log of work with it angled up which would seem counterproductive compared to having it flat

  5. You can rent a floor disc sander for around $30 for a half day. They usually include different pads so you can get super smooth finish. Plus you won’t break you arm if something grabs and that Hilti drill snaps your wrist.

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