A lesser alternative to a bench grinder?

Generally speaking... Can you use an angle grinder instead of a bench grinder for some stationary grinding tasks? Any other smaller and lighter tool to do lesser tasks than what a bench grinder is normally used for? A rotary tool?


Reply to
John Doe
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Sure. Or a plain ole drill, with a variety of grinding wheels, sanding wheels, flap discs, you name it.. There is also a low rpm "wet wheel", for knives and such, at Sears for $30-40, comes in handy.

Scotch brite even makes polishing pads for angle grinders, of all descriptions.

In a number of cases, these alternative grinding scenarios are actually preferable to a typical bench/pedestal grinder. And even in a small shitty shop like mine (with some cnc), you cain't have too many grinders, sanders. Between surface grinders, belt sanders, pedestals, I have almost 10. And even those aren't enough, and I'll have occasion to mount a porter-cable 4x24 belt sander in a vise.... :)

Speaking of which, overall, a vertical belt sander -- or even a hand-held belt sander, mounted in a vise -- might be the overall most versatile grinding bang for the buck. Altho, the cost of belts will quickly exceed the cost of one coase grinding wheel, which in my shop has lasted for years.

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Existential Angst

I will second that opinion about belt sanders especially if you work with aluminum. Grinding aluminum can ruin a grinding wheel. I have even heard it that the embedded chunks of aluminum can heat up and split the grinding wheel, but maybe that was just a story meant to scare people into not doing it.

A belt sander works great for beveling corners and general hand finishing.

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Your question is too broad and vague to answer well.

An angle grinder, belt sander or Dremel (or a file) can handle some of a bench grinder's tasks but not all and not necessarily as well. If you don't have permant space for one there are small portable bench-type grinders for smaller work. I prefer the Delta original of this 1x30 belt sander for light work:

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smooths steel, aluminum, wood and plastic nicely but is too slow to remove much steel, like grinding the mushroom off a cold chisel.

Angle grinders take some skill and practice to use precisely. I use a 4-1/2" one to rough-grind lathe bits and reshape damaged woodworking tools, which is pushing its limits. I couldn't sharpen a plane blade with one. That's a job for a properly dressed bench grinder. The belt sander doesn't do too well on them because the paper belt seems to compress and rebound too much to grind a flat razor edge.


Reply to
Jim Wilkins

You fill the group with what you apparently think is creative silliness, and here you feign interest in providing an answer.

Some of the other answers have satisfied, thanks anyway.

Reply to
John Doe

I am with Chris. You can use a file instead of a bench or angle grinder, but the right tool for the job makes it a lot easier. You can find used bench grinders and for some jobs they are much better than trying to use an angle grinder. Dan

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So this is how you respond to your pleas for help.

Reply to
Jim Wilkins

There are several accessories available for adapting angle grinders to other uses.

One gizmo is attached to "turn an angle grinder "into a chop saw-kinda" deal.

Another one mounts to an aggle grinder to allow it to be used like a circular saw when fitted with the appropriate cutting disk.

So, there are already commercially-made products which permit an ordinary angle grinder to be more versatile. Sine these other products are fairly inexpensive, they may provide a basic mounting method for mounting an angle grinder to a bench, for example.

One sigificant difference between using an AC induction motor bench grinder, compared to an angle grinder is the RPM, so the velocity and range of the dust/debris from an angle grinder are generally greater than those of a typical bench grinder.

I purchased one of the circular saw-type accessories a while ago, and that one only attaches to specific angle grinders with a smooth, round, shoulder adjacent to the spindle (not that it can't be modified). The shoeplate area is large enough to allow attachment of other parts, such as a mounting base.

Using a cutoff disk in the mentioned setup, the shoeplate and integral blade cover (like that of a circular saw) provide some protection from a shattered disk, should that situation arise, although it shouldn't when using fiber-reinforced disks. Like a circular saw, the depth of the blade exposure can be adjusted.

Many folks tend to use angle grinders as if they were sanders.. using the face of the wheel. The fastest cutting action takes place as the wheel is shedding dull abrasive, at the edge of the wheel. When using the edge, the edge is constantly being renewed with fresh, sharp abrasive.

When using the face/side of the wheel, the abrasive is free to dull and load up with paint, rust or grinding dust particles, which are all counterproductive to removing metal, while generating a lot of heat. When smoothing-type cuttig is desired, the user should switch to a flap disk or other abrasive product intended for smoothig a surface.

In additionn to angle grinders being mounted as stationary machines, many other rotating machines/tools can be mouted to a base.. it's usually just a matter of fabricating a suitable base and a guard for the cutting apparatus.

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