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Angle grinders and art

Discussion in 'Open Bar!' started by Neural, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Neural

    Neural Gravity Guru

    Jun 19, 2017
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    Looking for tips on using a 4.5" angle grinder for ground metal art.

    I've used a drill, and borrowed a 7" buffer with a sanding disc, so I understand some basics, but the angle grinders that many artists user are substantially faster (11k rpm).
    In a video by Craig Fraser, he goes over some basic steps on applying the grinder to the metal for various effects, but I'm looking for more detail on the physical interaction of the grinder and the hands and what to expect regarding kick back when performing certain tasks.
    Video's that I've come across show artists doing an initial grinding to smooth out the overall surface of the metal to remove blemishes, etc. However the equipment is applied much like a buffer, with the flat face of the wheel being applied to the metal (as opposed to the corner or edge). I know from experience working with stripping paint off a car with a drill that doing such a thing can result in destabilization/bucking (and bad marks), but is this problem limited to drills due to how they are held? Is it relatively easy to place the face of the disc onto the metal surface?
    I mean, I'm sure it's doable, I've watched people do it with the same equipment I have, but what sort of forces should I expect to deal with outside of the general rotational force.
    Not sure if that makes total sense, but I'm just trying to come at things from a safety perspective here, would rather spend time doing art, not healing.
  2. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

    Jul 16, 2014
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    Auckland New Zealand
    I think the BIG difference between a drill disc and an angle grinder is the angle grinder is designed to do the job. The drill is the application of a tool that wasn't primarily designed for that purpose. So the angle grinder needs both hands. This will give a smoother flow and reduce the effects of any kick back. It is also set up that the wheel can easily be applied on a flat or a steep angle.

    Always have the disc up to speed prior to applying it to the surface and keep it moving. If you are grinding aluminium then you will likely be using a disc pad with a coarse sandpaper and opposed to a cutting disc. This is designed to be applied like a buffing wheel for exactly the same reason.

    You can do the job nicely with a small angle grinder. The reason the people on youtube have the bigger flasher machines is they are using them for a business. I have a cheap grinder, I need it rarely (use it for shaping surfboard skegs from ply). It cost me $10nz. If it craps out in 2 weeks I don't care... if I was doing it commercially I'd have a good quality larger one.
    JackEb likes this.

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