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Old 10-31-2020, 10:37 PM   #53
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Default A Colossal HDD Failure - Part 4 / HDD Bench Grinder

And here’s the project I was talking about.

It’s a desktop bench grinder!
(Get it? OK, maybe not so funny… I’ll lay off the excess water drinking. Clearly it’s drowning out my brain cells too much. )

Silly jokes aside, this thing is actually not that useless. The motor in this particular HDD is fairly strong, because it hardly slows down when grinding smaller objects, like sharpening drill bits or grinding away wood and plastic. I’m guessing this probably has something to do with the fact that it’s a 4-platter HDD, so it probably has a slightly more powerful motor than, say, a 1 or 2 -platter drive.

Now, I’d love to claim this idea as original… but it’s not. I saw someone do this to an HDD more than a decade ago (it was a YouTube video, if I remember correctly - back when YT was still a new thing.) So the idea to try this has been sitting in my head all these years, and I finally decided to execute it.

That being said, to make one of these, first make sure the HDD you use doesn’t mind the headstack assembly being gone. Some HDDs will not spin up or will spin up and spin down when they can’t read anything from the heads. Mine actually does that (spins down after a while), but it stays spinning for around a minute or two, which usually gives me enough time to grind whatever it is that I need. And secondly, I think it helps that I happened to pick a 4-platter HDD, as probably the motor and motor driver IC are a little stronger in order to cope with the extra spinning mass, as mentioned earlier. So I think this is probably what gives my HDD grinder a bit more torque. I’ve tried slowing down a few other HDDs by hand before, and they seemed much easier to slow down / stall.

Also, for those who are curious how I attached the sandpaper to the platter: wood glue. It spreads nicely and evenly, so it won't create bumps on the sandpaper sheet. Basically, once I had the sandpaper cut down to the proper shape, I applied the wood glue to it and then put in on the platter (the platter was separate from the spindle, as shown in my previous post.) After that, I flipped the plater with the sandpaper facing to the ground and placed the whole thing on a flat, even surface. Then, I put a heavy object on it (a UPS transformer, in my case) to keep the sandpaper glued flat to the platter. Wait for a day and it was perfect.

Anyways, that’s all I have for this project for now. I might eventually get different types of sandpaper sheets and do the rest of the platters too. That way, if I need finer or coarser grinding, I can just swap the platters to swap sandpaper. And I’m also thinking maybe add a small “table” / shelf in front of the disk, so I have a surface to lean objects against when sanding. IDK, we will see as I get more ideas.

Last edited by momaka; 10-31-2020 at 10:43 PM..
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