The other day I ran out of a couple of sizes of sanding sleeves and after calling the tool shop I thought making some myself would be worth a try since they wanted $7.00 a piece for a 3”x 4 1/2” 80 grit sleeve .
I had the good fortune to acquire a box of sanding belts that are about 156”x6” in several grits and decided to give it a try .
I made a simple pattern by wrapping paper around the sleeve and cutting the ends to shape and then putting the pattern on the backside of the belt and cut the belt to shape .To form the sleeve I taped the one edge the joining edge with filament tape and wrapped the paper tightly around the drum making sure I got a fairly tight seam and when complete trimmed of the excess tape .This turned out to be very simple and will be the way I will do the rest of the drums .It will make it very easy to switch from one grit to another .The other thing I did was making a larger top washer from HDF (14`laminate flooring )to expand the drum more evenly .
I gave the three inch sleeve a trail run on a three in piece of D =Fir to see how it would perform and I am happy with the result .
I also tried a second method where I simply wrapped the sandpaper around the drum and pinched a little tab on the end of the sandpaper between the drum and top and bottom washers which also worked quite well .
To hold the paper temporarily in place I used masking tape which was removed before using the sleeve .
Here are a few pics of the second method
Tools: spindle sander