What is the best way to mount sandpaper to a 12" diameter disk sander? I have used Velcro backed sanding disks in the past that came with my long gone Shopsmith, but recently have been using plain disks which I “cemented” onto the metal disk using a Sears Craftsman Disk Cement. However, that was a real bear to remove. I like the Velcro because it’s so easy to change among various grits, but cannot find 12" pads or sanding papers. Does the Velcro backing result it too soft a backing? If using plain disks, what is the proper glue to use, and is there a solvent which will readily dissolve it?—Tony Immorlica

Bruce Wedlock replies: You should use a cloth disk with pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) backing to attach the disk to the sander. It peels off without much trouble, and Goof Off will quickly clean the disk. They are available from Klingspoor’s Woodworking Shop (www.woodworkingshop.com).
You need to clean the disk carefully—no bumps under the sanding disk. I can’t imagine using Velcro.

Bob Oswald replies: Easy to remove and durable for the job are often mutually exclusive. Contact cement is the best and it can be hard to removed. But mine come off well with products like Goof Off, available at Rockler, etc. Unfortunately it’s not conducive to easy swapping of disks. I usually run about 80 grit all the time and use the sander more for shaping than finish sanding. Finish sanding is much better done by hand or with random orbit palm sanders. Be sure to clean the disk often with a rubber cleaning stick. And use light pressure and movement, especially on gummy woods like cherry and maple. With proper use and care, I’ve had a disk last a year. I love my 12" disk.

Steve Costain replies: I use peel and stick discs from McMaster Carr, they don’t come off easy, but they do not need cement. When its time to change the disc out, I peel a section back and stick a piece of paper between the platen and the disc and rotate the disc and peel another section. If there is any residue left over I use acetone to clean it up.