How to Replace the Velcro on a Random Orbit Sander

Circular sanders operate by rapidly spinning a sanding disk around in a circle. The sanding disk is held on the rubber backing pad by a steel V-shaped gasket that sits in the backing and is screwed into the auger of the tool. Random orbital sanders operate by vibrating while slowly turning in random circles. Woodworkers prefer random orbital sanders because they are less likely to leave swirl marks in the work. Because of its design, random orbital sanders use a hook and loop, or Velcro system to attach sanding discs to the backing pad. Occasionally, the Velcro needs replacing due to wear.

Things You'll Need

  • Small screwdriver
  • Shop rags
  • Solvent
  • Velcro
  • White permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • 2-part epoxy
  • Popsicle stick

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Separate a small piece of the old Velcro from the rubber backing pad by slipping the blade of the screwdriver between the Velcro and the pad in working around, separating Velcro and pad until there is enough Velcro to grab between the thumb and forefinger. Grasp the Velcro and pull the Velcro off the rubber backing pad. Discard the old Velcro.

Soak a portion of a shop rag with a glue dissolving solvent such as acetone or turpentine. Remove all traces of the old glue from the rubber backing pad. Saturate another shop rag with a solution of soap and water. Wash off the rubber backing pad to ensure that there is no solvent left on it. Rinse the backing pad with clean water. Rinse only the backing pad. Do not immerse the sander in water.

Set a piece of Velcro large enough to cover the backing pad of the random orbital sander face down on a flat surface. Set the rubber backing pad of the random orbital sander on the Velcro. Trace a circular line on the Velcro, using the edge of the pad as a guide. Remove the random orbital sander. Cut the Velcro to size with a scissors, using the White permanent marker line as a guide.

Mix a small batch of two-part epoxy, following the directions on the epoxy packaging. Apply a thin coat of the epoxy to the rubber backing pad with a popsicle stick. Set the backing of the Velcro centered on the glued rubber pad.

Allow the epoxy between 24 to 48 hours to cure, completing the replacement of the Velcro on a random orbital sander.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not let the solvent sit on the rubber pad too long, especially if you used acetone to dissolve the old glue. Acetone and other solvents will dissolve rubber if left on too long.
  • Use protective clothing when working with solvents or epoxy. Wear thick rubber gloves when working with acetone. Acetone is very caustic and will dissolve human skin.
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