ROS disks

Roger Tulk

St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
I have a Black and decker random orbital sander. It's an 8 hole model, and does a decent job of dust extraction when I have 8 hole disks. Lately, the local borg only carries Norton disks with a ring of many 1/8" (approx) holes that is suposed to accommodate both 8 and 5 hole machines. There's no way I can see to attach a vacuum to the dust bag port, but with these disks, the dust mostly ends up on the workbencch, and very little in the bag. Very, very little.

Is this just me and my ROS, or do other people get the same result witth these disks? It's annoying enough to make me search out a source of 8 hole disks, but at present I have about 100 mini hole disks in various grades. That's a lot of dust to get through them all.
I have had very good luck with Mirka gold discs available from Amazon.

Klingspor's Woodworking Shop sells the full Klingspor line, which has worked well for me when I need an unusual grit or something.
Ditto on both Mirka and Klingspor ROS discs.

On a similar note, I replaced the 5-hole H&L pad on my PC ROS a few years ago with a pad designed to accommodate both 5 and 8 hole discs. It has five holes along with slots in the pad to match up with 8 hole discs. While making that change, I discovered that my Makita ROS uses the same type of pad. I buy mostly 8 hole discs but occasionally get stuck with needing something in a hurry and have to pick up 5 hole discs at the big box.
I've not tried those disks you described, but it wouldn't surprise me they don't work as well. I'd keep shopping until I found the proper 8 hole ones. I like Klingspor the best, but it sounds like any of the 8 hole ones would be better than what you have.
I've recently tried those red hundred hole disks. I don't love them. And either I'm disremembering, or the prices have gone up. 10 bucks for fifteen disks? And now the Depot only carries the red ones.

It's almost enough to make me go back to my quarter sheet sander...
Sharpen a piece of round steel tube to make a hole punch, use an old disk for a pattern and punch them out on a block of wood. Be sure to punch from the back.

That is what I have been doing for years. I had a gift of a few hundred discs with 5 holes. Not only that, they were Klingspoor (If you ever use Klingspoor abrasives, you will never go back to what you used before. They have a bazillion different items. PM me or Glenn or call Klingspoor if you have any questions).

I sharpened the end of a piece of tubing. I used a big hammer and pounded through the abrasive into the cross grain of a 4 x 4. This works great.

I was serious about the Klingspoor abrasives. They last a whale of a lot longer than big box high price stuff and they stay sharp a lot longer too. That really makes the Klingspoor less expensive. I particularly like the gold colored line of "papers."

Sharpen a piece of round steel tube to make a hole punch, use an old disk for a pattern and punch them out on a block of wood. Be sure to punch from the back.

I had an old leather punch that I did just that with when I could only source disks with no holes at all locally. Since then I buy boxes of disks at a time from Klingspor. I can punch 3 disks at a time with my leather punch.
Thanks for the suggestions, guys! I like the idea of making a punch to cut my own holes.

If you have a cone shaped grinding thingy (what do you call them?) Like this....

....then sharpen the inside of the pipe/tube, it will cut better, and you can hone the outside very sharp!
The only Box store abrasive I've had any luck with was Norton 3x. The rest just didn't hold up. Mirka gold and Klingspor are good too. They last longer but don't cut quite as fast as the 3x.

IMO a vacuum on your sander will make it cut faster and paper last longer. Might be worth trying to. caries the norton disks at a fair price usually, mirka is sold at a lot of places, Iusually order from when I'm getting some other supplies.
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