Dremel Sanding Discs for Polymer Clay

I’ve been wanting to sand my pieces with my new Dremel 9100, but they only have up to 220 grit sandpaper, and I sand up to 1000 to get a smooth finish.

So I decided to make my own!

 

 

Start with some wet dry sandpaper of the grit of your choice, and some sticky back velcro. I got this 6 set pack for a couple dollars at a hardware store. You also need a Dremel bit like the one shown, it has a small screw that can be removed to add sand paper discs.

 

So the simple part is to simply cut circles slightly larger then your velcro and stick the ‘scratchy’ side of the velcro to the backs of the sand paper. Don’t forget to mark your sandpaper so you don’t forget what grit is what.

 

 

Next take one of the ‘fuzzy’ velcro sides and stick it to a piece of paper, or if you have a lot like I do, a sandpaper Dremel disc. I use the fuzzy side here because when I use velcro the fuzzy side loosens over time, so this way if you need to replace this you have extra, and you don’t have to redo the sandpaper sides until the grit wears down.

 

Poke or drill a small hole in the middle of the velcro and attach it to your bit using the bit screw as shown above. This allows you to velcro on different grits as needed.

 

 

And there you have it! Now you can leave the bit in your drill and just switch out your new sandpaper discs as you move up the grits. There is also the added benefit of hiding the screw between the velcro sides so it will not catch on the piece when you’re sanding.

 

 

The velcro keeps the sandpaper disc nice and connected to the bit, I’ve used them for about a week (edit, almost a month now and still holding solid) so far and they haven’t come loose once.

 

 

I store my discs in this little container when not in use, it keeps them all in one spot because I would totally lose them on my desk otherwise.

 

 

And here’s a shot in action, I repeatedly dip my piece in water while sanding, this helps prevent the polymer dust from getting anywhere (including my lungs) and seems to help the sanding as well.

If you liked this tutorial, check out my tutorial on how to make three PVC Pipe Jewelry Stands for under $20.

 

Sanding Picture Tut copy

25 thoughts on “Dremel Sanding Discs for Polymer Clay

  1. Love the Velcro idea! I make my own sanding discs too.. I use a one inch scrapbooking stamp to cut the circles and just punch a small hole in the center for the screw. It sure saves a lot of money!

    1. Thanks for commenting! Glad you like the idea! I thought about just doing the discs but I wanted a way to have a smooth sandpaper disc so I wouldn’t accidentally knick the jewelry with the screw and I guess I’m lazy because I didn’t want to rescrew each disc so the Velcro happened! I t is definitely a lot cheaper to make your own.

  2. Hi Renée !
    This is the most clever and helpful idea I’ve ever seen 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers from Switzerland,
    Corinne.

    1. Hi Connie, thanks for commenting!! I’m glad you like the idea, and that it reached you in Switzerland! Hopefully it helps you speed up your process too!

      1. Thank you Renee, I was ready to buy poly fast sander, luckily I so your video. Evreka!. I remembered my late husband’s Dremel in tools cabinet. Wonderful Christmas treasure in my house. God bless!

  3. I love this idea and I did try something similar with an electric toothbrush but it had a two minute timer and was just hard work, can I ask please do you now use water then? I ask because it’s seems with polymer that most use wet and dry sanding paper and they always say to use water because of the dust not that that would worry me I would wear a mask but I just wondered if the finish was as good?

    1. Hi Tracey, thanks for your comment!

      Glad you like the idea, I’ve seen the electric toothbrush method around and was planning on giving it a try before I thought of this instead. I think this allows a larger sanding area and can be used for longer period of times since toothbrush batteries aren’t meant to be run for long.

      Using with water is not only helpful with reducing the dust created but also for a couple other reasons. The water helps prolong the use of the sandpaper, when it is dry it will wear down sooner, which means you’re replacing it more often. The water also helps act as a buffer between the sandpaper and the clay which I have found provides a smoother finish. When I tried using dry paper and dry clay I found I would get little scratches in the clay and I would have to spend more time to even out the sanding.

      Once I switched to wet sanding I noticed a better result, but keep in might sanding is the first step, a good buffing after sanding is really what causes a piece to shine. I sand from 220, 400, 800, to 1000, and then buff with either cotton or demin. I have just recently tried to go up to 1500 and 2000 grit but have not noticed a big enough difference to justify the time spent. After sanding you can also varnish with polyurethane, I use Minwax water based gloss. Keep in mind that if you plan to varnish you should still sand first, as it makes the piece look much more professional after the gloss is applied when you have a smooth finish to start with.

      1. This a great idea and a time saver. However, I would NEVER use water with a tool that is plugged into an outlet. That is very dangerous and you could be electrocuted. I use a cordless Dremel which is safe to use around water.

        1. Thanks! And I agree, using electrical equipment around water is a safety concern. With my Dremel 9100, the motor hangs several feet above the handheld shaft, so the electrical portion of the device is away from my water bowl.

          However, if you have a hand held corded dremel (like the 4000) and want to use this method, make sure to only dip your piece of polymer into the water, not the tool itself. When using this method no water reaches the motor, or the shaft itself, as the spinning sandpaper disc, and velco bit will fling the water away, although make sure not to do it in front of something valuable, as there is a splash zone with this :P. I get little spots on my wall when I do this, but a quick wipe down after the session cleans it right up.

    1. Thank you for commenting! Glad you like the idea, it really makes it easy to go through all the grits without having to change out the bit.

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