Adorable Desktop Disc Sander Warms Our Hearts and Our Parts

Casually browsing YouTube for “shop improvements” yields a veritable river of project ideas, objects for cat amusement, and 12 INCREDIBLE SHOP HACKS YOU WON’T BELIEVE, though some of these are of predictably dubious value. So you might imagine that when we found [Henrique]’s adorable disc sander we dismissed it out of hand, how useful could such a tiny tool be? But then we remembered the jumbo tub o’ motors on the shelf and reconsidered, maybe a palm sized sander has a place in the tiny shop.

Electrically the build is a simple as can be. It’s just a brushed DC motor plugged into a wall wart with a barrel jack and a toggle switch. But what else does it need? This isn’t a precision machine tool, so applying the “make it out of whatever scrap” mindset seems like a much better fit than figuring out PWM control with a MOSFET and a microcontroller.

There are a couple of neat tricks in the build here. The most obvious is the classic laser-cut living hinge that we love so much. [Henrique] mentions that he buys MDF in 3 mm sheets for easy storage, so each section of the frame is built from layers that he laminates with glue himself. This trades precision and adds steps, but also give him a little flexibility. It’s certainly easier to add layers of thin stock together than it would be to carve out thicker pieces. Using the laser to precisely cut holes which are then match drilled through into the rest of the frame is a nice build acceleration too. The only improvement we can imagine would be using a shaft with a small finger chuck (like a Dremel) so it could use standard rotary tool bits to avoid making sanding disks by hand.

What could a tool like this be used for? There are lots of parts with small enough features to be cleaned up by such a small tool. Perhaps those nasty burrs after cutting off a bolt? Or trimming down mousebites on the edges of PCBs? (Though make sure to use proper respiration for cutting fiberglass!)

If you want to make one of these tools for your own desk, the files are here on Thingiverse. And check out the video overview after the break.

17 thoughts on “Adorable Desktop Disc Sander Warms Our Hearts and Our Parts

    1. Those wobble and aren’t tight on the shaft. I am scared of that plastic part at high rpm. A belt sander like projects seen here on HaD makes more sense, all parts of the sanding surface move down not up and at the same speed. My diamond disc on a German made B&D d.c. powered ” Dremel” gets a lot of use.

  1. Using an old IDE HD Disk and the original disks equipped with some sandpaper is…cheaper, well know, state of the art and – available since years. Using it, it dont want to miss it. Even if you have the possibility to waste your money in laser cutted enclosures of brush-motors you dont have to or it is so “DIY” :)

    1. Dust collection is simple, just pick the thing up and blow the dust into a bag. Or go high tech and use a can of compressed air, but the former is more environmentally friendly.

    1. I would say you are missing the point here… He wanted to craft/build something that is also useful. Lots of people make art for the pleasure of doing and seeing it after. If you have money you can buy nearly everything. That’s obvious.

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