I love RIDGID’s Oscillating Edge/Belt Sander. Overall, it is a wonderful addition to my shop and has served me diligently since 2012. It sits on a mobile flip top cart that is shared by my plainer. Now, it is a beautifully useful tool, but the nut on the top of the spindle, the star shaped one that holds the drum or belt piece firm to the shaft. That one? Yeah, that one sucks. I can never loosen or tighten it with my bare hands. This is especially true when trying to put a drum onto the machine. I always have to grab a pair of pliers, grab the nut and crank to keep the drum from freely spinning once I begin to sand.
Well, some 8 years later I finally decided to do something about it. The nut is in rough shape and is only going to get worse. So, to keep from having to grab a pair of pliers and continue to destroy the nice nut, I 3D printed a custom wrench, designed specifically for the star shaped nut.
Now, I must say the original idea was not my own. That honor goes to HauntFreaks over on thingiverse with his version of this wrench at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3389383/files. When I found it, the light came on and I had one on the printer in less than 5 minutes. 2 hours later the wrench was done.
Even when pulling it off the bed I realized it wasn’t going to suite me. It was too thin, flexible and just not very tough feeling. Alas, I ran downstairs and tried it out. It did indeed work as advertised and was probably more than adequate. However, wanting to never have to deal with this again I decided to make my own “improvements”.
These improvements mostly consisted of making the tool larger and thicker. I wanted it to feel like a real tool in my hand and not a flimsy toy. Next, and if you have one of these sanders you know, I put an arrow on the top of the tool to always remind me which way was loosening. If you don’t have one yet, this is because the nut is reverse threaded and you will always find yourself questioning, “Am I loosening or tightening this thing… darn… its really on there… which way again?”. This simple arrow will ensure I never experience that again.
I let this one print overnight, taking a little more than 5 hours at a 0.16mm layer thickness, 4 perimeters and 40% infill. I printed it from black AMAZON Basic PETG, my material of choice, on my custom EBOT, but most any printer and most materials would do just find (PLA, ABS, your choice). This one turned out great (Biased). It feels like a proper tool in my hand and doesn’t flex while I crank on the nut. Now, for about 75cents I have a wrench that will save me from having to buy a $10+ nut.
For anyone who wants to print their own, you can find it here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3871548
I recommend the following settings
||PETG, ABS, PLA
||0.16 – 0.30mm
|Top and Bottom Layers
||Dependent on machine, at least 3