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How do I remove adhesive from my disc sander platen?

Q:

I’m having trouble removing the adhesive from the metal platen of my benchtop disc sander. Mineral spirits just turn it slimy. Any suggestions for cleaning the leftover gunk from the platen?
—Hal Souers, Friendswood, Ind.

A:

A number of solvents and chemical automotive cleaners will cut through any remaining adhesive residue, Hal, but we prefer using a citrus-based cleaner. Use a rag and the cleaner to remove the old adhesive, then wipe the platen down with a window/glass cleaner, such as Windex, and let it dry. That ensures a clean surface to which the new sanding disc will bond. 

Next time, use a hair dryer or a heat gun set on low to warm the abrasive disc and platen and soften the adhesive. Work on one section at a time, and the disc should peel cleanly off. (Tip: If the old disc isn’t worn out, use the backing paper from the new disc to preserve the old one for reuse.) 

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A citrus-based cleaner removes left-behind adhesive without harsh chemicals or noxious fumes.

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