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post #1 of 28 Old 06-25-2019, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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angle grinders

Are angle grinders the must-have tool for woodworking?

I stay up at night when I should be in bed and watch Facebook videos of all kinds of "DIY" crafts and projects and it seems everyone is using angle grinders for everything. I don't have one, but I sure want to get one now.
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post #2 of 28 Old 06-25-2019, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Are angle grinders the must-have tool for woodworking?

to sum it up quickly - - - HECK YEAH

not just working with wood, but, the cut-off and grinding disks
are made for stainless, regular steel, and non-ferrous metals.
as well as masonry brick, block and tile.
you can not go wrong with a 4" angle grinder in your arsenal.

.

.
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post #3 of 28 Old 06-25-2019, 11:02 AM
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Get yourself a Harbor Freight one. They are only about 10 bucks and will last years. I keep three in the shop with different wheels and one in my work truck.
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post #4 of 28 Old 06-25-2019, 11:44 AM
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Europeans seem to love them for metal work on Pinterest, not sure where they fit into fine woodworking, personally never really liked having sparky tools mixed with sawdust.

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post #5 of 28 Old 06-25-2019, 12:14 PM
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I bought 3 of them ... on sale!

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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Get yourself a Harbor Freight one. They are only about 10 bucks and will last years. I keep three in the shop with different wheels and one in my work truck.

That was 15 years ago and two are still working fine. I do much more metal grinding than wood sanding with them, but they work fine for quick material removal for leveling out surfaces. I have 2 more "new in the box" ready to go when the others "tap out" .....


A Dewalt 7" sander is the next step up for larger jobs. I don't grind in the woodshop, typically outside. Any power tool with a brush type AC/DC motor will generate internal sparks, so beware of where your dust piles are.

https://www.harborfreight.com/28-amp...der-63999.html


There are buffers at 1200 RPM, sanders at 13,000 orbits per min and grinders which run 6000 to 10,000 RPMs. That's for a reason. The later two can be used interchangably without much damage, but a paint finish can be burned using a high speed sander.



The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-25-2019 at 12:28 PM.
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post #6 of 28 Old 06-25-2019, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Get yourself a Harbor Freight one. They are only about 10 bucks and will last years. I keep three in the shop with different wheels and one in my work truck.

Be careful just which grinder you get. I got a Harbor Freight grinder that had a switch that was only on and off. For safety sake you want one that turns off when you take your finger off the switch.


Why? I have a large scar on my right arm that explains why. I was sanding one of the pistons on my boat that holds the deck up for access to the engine compartment. I hit something solid and it yanked the sander out of my hand. On the way down it landed on my right bicep. Took out about a 3 inch patch on the epidermis. Not deep, just landed there long enough to give my what amounted to a road rash. Also hit my left leg, but did only little damage there.


The only time I have used an angle grinder for wood work was when I was making rocking chairs for my young granddaughters. With sandpaper flaps it was good for hollowing out the seat areas.


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post #7 of 28 Old 06-25-2019, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
That was 15 years ago and two are still working fine. I do much more metal grinding than wood sanding with them, but they work fine for quick material removal for leveling out surfaces. I have 2 more "new in the box" ready to go when the others "tap out" .....


A Dewalt 7" sander is the next step up for larger jobs. I don't grind in the woodshop, typically outside. Any power tool with a brush type AC/DC motor will generate internal sparks, so beware of where your dust piles are.

https://www.harborfreight.com/28-amp...der-63999.html


There are buffers at 1200 RPM, sanders at 13,000 orbits per min and grinders which run 6000 to 10,000 RPMs. That's for a reason. The later two can be used interchangably without much damage, but a paint finish can be burned using a high speed sander.


I've never managed to sand wood with mine. I rarely disc sand anyway. I just use mine to cut off nails or sharpen a chisel in the field. Usually more metal related but close to woodworking. The closest thing to sanding is a knotted wire wheel I used to strip paint off metal.
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post #8 of 28 Old 06-25-2019, 04:04 PM
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I have both types .....

A monentary switch may be safer, but also be an inconvenience when holding the tool at different or awkward angles. The grinder above would be still spinning on the way down even though a momentary switch would have turned it off, albeit slower but it still would have done some damage. These things will grab suddenly IF the sanding disc gets wedged in a crack. I had it happen several times recently when sanding the rust off the new shop built tandem axle trailer we are building.The slightest gap will grab your thin sanding disc and either tear out a chunk or stall the sander. Metal is less forgiving than wood.



Power tools are "powerful" to put it mildly.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 06-25-2019 at 05:41 PM.
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post #9 of 28 Old 06-25-2019, 04:37 PM
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Many of them are now equipped with a brake so may do less damage when out of control.

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post #10 of 28 Old 06-25-2019, 06:27 PM
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For woodworking? No. Should you have one in your shop? Yeah, probably.

I can count on a retired framing carpenters hand how many times ive needed to use an angle grinder on wood, its just doesnt really come up for me. Its a far too aggressive tool for the work i do, if i did any power carving i might think differently, btu i dont. I do have a few angle grinders though, just because they come in handy for anything metal related that comes up

I need cheaper hobby
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post #11 of 28 Old 06-26-2019, 02:02 AM
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I have a Hitachi, but my problem is the switch which is a slider one. It seems very stiff and I cannot manipulate very well with my arthritic hands (I am 85). I thought about leaving it permanently switched on and use a foot switch to turn on and off.
Any ideas.? I want to cut some rusted bolts off.
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post #12 of 28 Old 06-26-2019, 04:18 AM
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That could work OK .....

If you use a momentary foot switch like this:
https://www.harborfreight.com/moment...BoCgOcQAvD_BwE


It would mean standing on one leg however, and that may not be all that safe.... or comfortable? Maybe the switch can be lubricated to slide easier? Maybe it's time to get a new grinder which will be safer.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #13 of 28 Old 06-26-2019, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnep View Post
I have a Hitachi, but my problem is the switch which is a slider one. It seems very stiff and I cannot manipulate very well with my arthritic hands (I am 85). I thought about leaving it permanently switched on and use a foot switch to turn on and off.
Any ideas.? I want to cut some rusted bolts off.
johnep
My DeWalt has the same issue. I suspect it is for safety as it prevents accidental actuation.

Perhaps you can screw on a small knob to make actuation easier. A foot switch will not always be handy. A deadman's foot switch would be safer.

I would first try gluing or screwing on a larger knob for actuation. Plastic model building cement and a piece of plastic might do the trick. The model cement partially melts the plastic and allows the parts to be "welded" together and it is usually as strong as the original piece.
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post #14 of 28 Old 06-26-2019, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for the ideas. I will look into both of them and report back. I think I prefer the foot switch most.
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post #15 of 28 Old 06-26-2019, 11:32 AM
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I always kept a small angle grinder (3" I think) in my shop. probably the same one as Steve suggested from harbor Freight. Used mostly for cutting and grinding old nuts and bolts. Once in a while i would grind a bowl while running on the lathe to rough sculpt it intermittently with my chisels. I did that when I wasnt sure of what shape I was looking for.

I also used steel rods when working with formica. When using wood dowels, sometimes a little contact cement would stick to the dowel and I would have to clean the contact cement off the wood. With steel rods, all it took was a quick swipe with a thinner wet rag. So on some jobs, I had to cut the steel rods and the grinder was usually the fastest and easiest way.

May only have have to use it once or twice a year and for a $15 investment, it sure is worth it when you want it. And it doesnt take up much space.

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx

Last edited by Tony B; 06-26-2019 at 11:38 AM.
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post #16 of 28 Old 06-26-2019, 02:13 PM
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There are so many things out there that just don't work for us guys with weak hands, try to find a barbecue lighter that is usable.
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post #17 of 28 Old 06-26-2019, 10:48 PM
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I've got two. Keep a metal cut-off disk on one, grinding disk on the other. I use them more than I originally thought I would!
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post #18 of 28 Old 06-27-2019, 12:24 AM
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That's what I do ....

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I've got two. Keep a metal cut-off disk on one, grinding disk on the other. I use them more than I originally thought I would!

A cutoff wheel is another option for angle grinders and is very useful for cutting off bolts, separating welded parts, removing rivets flush with the surface, even grinding in general. They come with the standard 5/8 X 11 threaded nut to screw right on your angle grinder.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #19 of 28 Old 06-27-2019, 02:18 AM
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I bought mine when tiling a kitchen floor. Making a groove along the line and then snapping off using the vice action on my workmate. Remember now, I was plumbing new layout for water to taps, dishwasher, and washing machine. It was easy to cut the old iron pipe in a confined space. Now, I would use a Fein Multi oscillator.
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post #20 of 28 Old 06-27-2019, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
A monentary switch may be safer, but also be an inconvenience when holding the tool at different or awkward angles. The grinder above would be still spinning on the way down even though a momentary switch would have turned it off, albeit slower but it still would have done some damage. These things will grab suddenly IF the sanding disc gets wedged in a crack. I had it happen several times recently when sanding the rust off the new shop built tandem axle trailer we are building.The slightest gap will grab your thin sanding disc and either tear out a chunk or stall the sander. Metal is less forgiving than wood.



Power tools are "powerful" to put it mildly.

On my angle grinder the switch is both momentary (press down) and continuous (press down and slide forward). I find both handy.
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