View Full Version : Using Sanding Pads instead of Sanding Disks for rail construction

Thu 27 January 2011, 05:43
I found grinding the rails is alot easier when i used one of those sandpaper/grinding disc. It can be ground in less than 1/4 of the time and less cost, 1.5 discs for 3.6m worth of grinding. The normal grinding discs kept on glazing up even the grinding is done near the edge of the disc.

Thu 27 January 2011, 09:14
That is a great note that I don't think get's shared enough. Start with a 36 or 50 grit and finish with a 80 or 120 grit to polish.

For the new readers, make certain that you have a VERY stiff backer to the sanding disk unit. Some of the backing plates on the disks can be to flexible and not give repeated grinding results. I personally put the sanding disk ON TOP of an actual grinding disk as a FIRM back.

Thanks for sharing.

Thu 27 January 2011, 19:59
I set the skate so that it was grinding in the middle of the disc with the rubber backing where it is a lot stiffer, as can be seen in the photo with the grey mark. It is not the opitmum spot for grinding (cutting tip speed, what ever it is called it grinding terms?).
I think using a grinding disc instead of the rubber backing is a very good idea and would be far better.
I timed my self and it took 1/2 an hour to grind 3.6m and 1/2 an hour to cut with 1mm blade. It has gone from a painfull process to a painless process.

Robert M
Fri 28 January 2011, 05:08
Allow me to add to your caution SEAN.

Cheep grinders ( like the one I used back then) have some “flex” due to cheep bearing or bushing to chaft tolerance making the “stiff” disc still “wobble” out of axis.
I remember to remedy this had to take VERY very light passes in order to achieve a respectable flatness ….and goes without saying I had to replace that “cheep” darn oem bearing after only one rail ( see this (http://www.mechmate.com/forums/showthread.php?p=32781&postcount=63))!

Buy good tools once rather than a "cheep" making it hard on you !

Robert ;)

Sat 29 January 2011, 05:41

I'm with Sean, the rubber backing pad will give a second class result in comparison to using a grinding disk as a backer.
I have really tried to get this method out there for all to see after reading it on the forum myself.
I asked Redboards to run some comparison tests before he did his rails and he is a convert of the technique.
As Sean says, run up the grits and by the time you get to 120 Grit, it polishes the rails.

Good luck with your build.


Sat 29 January 2011, 20:31
I don't disagree with you or Sean.
If I was to to it again I would do as you have explained. When I had read Sean's post I had alredy completed the grinding.
The local Hardware Store only had 36 and 60 grit, so did the main cutting with the 36 and finished with 60. The surface still had machine marks so I draw filed with a 12" finishing file.
If some can tell me a good reason(s) why I must have 'polished' rails (apart from me being able to see myself combing my hair) I will do it, I think it is acceptable.

Sat 29 January 2011, 20:41
Hi Anthony

The accuracy of the rails are the only consideration, everything else is really only cosmetic. Small scratches will not interfere with the operation of the machine.
The section of rail you have shown looks to be the goods - well done.


Sun 30 January 2011, 02:02
Not just for combing your hair, Polishing the rail is also a great way to kill time. :)

Sun 30 January 2011, 06:13
I need links to where others have talked about sanding pads instead of sanding disks.

I also would like to see the link where that skate bottom is discussed.

I will add content to this thread so we have this pointed out to new builders.

Sun 30 January 2011, 06:26
Mike - My experiences start at Post 186 in my thread.


Sun 30 January 2011, 06:57
It all started kinda here:

Then prototyped here:

Then more protype here:

And final built protype that ended up being the production version in the drawing package before the bolt cutouts were added for the roller option on this skate.


Sun 30 January 2011, 19:28
Mike my experience is here

and here

I highly recommend the Sanding disk over the grinding disk. Removal rate was incredible. I also recommend a face mask with eye protection as the sparks really fly everywhere.