|Forum topic by Mark Colan||posted 12-09-2010 06:13 AM||6118 views||0 times favorited||13 replies|
12-09-2010 06:13 AM
Some years ago I took a washing machine motor bolted to a board with a grinding wheel attached to it home to my basement. It came with a couple of extra wheels. The AC cord is connected to two terminals – which are exposed, though there’s kind of a plastic shield sort of covering it.
I thought, this is ok, I don’t need to grind much. Plug it in, hold a screw to the wheel to trim off the point (with pliers), that kind of thing. Sparks fly, debris all over the bench, so what. Nothing over my eyes except my glasses (which are polycarbonate, but not big lenses). Hmmm… wonder if that sawdust could be ignited by those sparks…
My dad told me (before he died, may he rest well) that at Caterpillar one of the really big grinding wheels cracked and threw the pieces at a worker. I guess he was trying to tell me the value of the guards on a grinder.
Well, somehow I woke up a week or so and decided that this makeshift grinder is about as safe as using a table saw without a blade guard, splitter, or fence, and hand-guiding the wood: something I would never do. And that grinding fine work (like sharpening) would be a heck of a lot easier with guide tables. And eye guards on the grinder AND on my face would be useful for when my luck ran out. Plus being able to have two wheels mounted at once would be handy – not possible with my big motor rig.
Most Amazon reviews complain about major vibration issues, even on bench grinders costing more than $160 (for 8” wheels, variable speed). Grinders waltzing around the bench. Amazon had some strange notice on the DeWalt saying the posting was under review, that the description might not be accurate.
Eventually I found a Porter Cable at Lowes for $113. I figured buying local, if it decided to take a tour of my shop, easier to return. So I brought one home.
I turned it on. Quiet, stayed put. A small amount of vibration, yes, but it’s not enough to interfere with using it. Touch a glass of water to it, you’ll see ripples, but it won’t splash. Less vibes when using it at lower speeds. Perhaps I could eliminate it by buying better grinding wheels, but it seems good enough.
Also bought a full face shield that can flip up out of the way, and new filters for my face mask. Can’t replace my dead or damaged body like buying a new grinder.
Anyway, so far so good.
What do YOU use for a grinder? I could still return it if I found a better price/performer.
-- Mark, hack amateur woodworker, Medford (greater Boston) MA