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Author Topic:   Die Grinders?
cpmaverick
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Posts: 1256
From: Auburn, AL.
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 01-15-2001 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cpmaverick   Click Here to Email cpmaverick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking at buying a die grinder, for metal fabrication work. Straight (not 90*) type. What brands does anyone use? I want a good one that won't stall. I'm looking at Matco, Snap-on & Chicago Pneumatic. Does anyone know who makes the Matco & Blue-point die grinders?

-Charlie

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Robert K
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Posts: 324
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 01-17-2001 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert K   Click Here to Email Robert K     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dotco makes the best die grinders!! They are expensive though. You might try checking the pawn shops. I bought all mine used(can't afford new). I've also had very good luck with Campbell Hausfeld. I've got one of their straight die grinders that I use with a cutoff wheel and it has lasted much longer than I thought it would. You don't say exactly what you're using the tool for but if I may make a suggesstion: Straight die grinders are best for use with cutoff wheels and carbide bits/burrs. 90 degree die grinders are best for grinding/sanding/smoothing/rounding etc.
If you're going to use a cutoff wheel, get the correct arbor to hold the wheel (the kind that's made to hold a cutoff wheel safely !!)They aren't that expensive and it's money well spent. I know I don't need to say this but I will anyway, ALWAYS WERE SAFETY GOGGLES.
Okay, I'm done preaching.

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67convertible 289/auto
65fastback 302/4sp

[This message has been edited by Robert K (edited 01-17-2001).]

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brockjoe
Gearhead

Posts: 837
From: Sioux City, Iowa
Registered: Oct 99

posted 01-17-2001 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for brockjoe   Click Here to Email brockjoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
myself i would stay away from air powered when you need to bare down on somthing they just don't have the torque. i have a electric cable driven one 1/4 horse motor with a flex shaft and a 1/4 in chuck i love it the foot pedal lets me vary the speed and the flex shaft lets me do all i want. i use it for polishing and smoothing all kinds of parts had it for a while about a year and still works great.

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Joe
71 Coupe
302 w/2x4
Boycott NASCAR

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Robert K
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Posts: 324
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 01-17-2001 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert K   Click Here to Email Robert K     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For metal working, you don't need a lot of torque, just speed. "Air-powered tools don't have torque"?????? Does that mean that pneumatic impact wrenches don't have much torque?
I used to work in a sheet metal shop, and all the hand tools were air-powered. Also depending on the environment, air-power is safer (lighter weight, no arcing, no electric motors to burn-out etc.)
The only catch is you have to have a compressor large enough to sufficiently power the tool.

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67convertible 289/auto
65fastback 302/4sp

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cpmaverick
Moderator

Posts: 1256
From: Auburn, AL.
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 01-17-2001 09:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cpmaverick   Click Here to Email cpmaverick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks guys.

You do need torque to keep the grinder from stalling when you bear down on heavy metal.

Cambell Hausfield's units are the same as all the cheap brands, they work ok I have one now but I'm sick of it and its starting to puke on me.

It will be used mostly for carbide bits and on heavy-guage sheet metal for fitting tubing together, I'll also use it at work (mechanic) a lot for various things, so it definitely doesn't fall in the occasional use catagory.

Robert, thanks for the saftey tips, and where (besides a pawn shop) can I find the Dotcos? do they have a website?

Keep 'em coming! I'll be getting one in a couple weeks.

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SteveLaRiviere
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Posts: 21832
From: Saco, Maine USA
Registered: May 99

posted 01-18-2001 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cpmaverick:
You do need torque to keep the grinder from stalling when you bear down on heavy metal.

You really aren't supposed to bear down with a grinder. That puts massive side stress on the shaft and bushings/bearings and loads up the cutting bit. It's better to let the tool do the work.

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'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip
'97 Probe GTS 2.5L Disposable Commuter

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Robert K
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Posts: 324
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 01-18-2001 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert K   Click Here to Email Robert K     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a place called The Yard that sells new and surplus tools mainly from/for the aviation industry. They have LOTS of air tools of all types. I have purchased several items from them. They have a website at www.surplusaircrafttools.com You can also call them at 1-800-888-8891. Other very good brands of airtools are Sioux, Buckeye and Ingersoll-Rand. There are more but I just can't remember right now. You might also want to go to www.google.com and do a search on 'dotco die grinders' and you should get several hits. Have you considered an electric angle grinder in the 4" to 4 1/2" size. They do a great job especially when used with the flap style discs (less heat to warp thinner stock).
Steve is right about not bearing down on a grinder but let it do the work. That's why I said you don't need lots of torque just speed when removing metal.

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67convertible 289/auto
65fastback 302/4sp

[This message has been edited by Robert K (edited 01-18-2001).]

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brockjoe
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Posts: 837
From: Sioux City, Iowa
Registered: Oct 99

posted 01-18-2001 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for brockjoe   Click Here to Email brockjoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a 60 gal 2 stage compressor that will catch up to constant use of a die grinder and I still have problems with stalling. I have 2 a blue point 90 deg and a Sioux straight. I like them both but they are noisy and both have the exh coming out the back which blows stuff in my face, not a problem with a electric one. I have tried exh hoses but that makes it awkward to use. in a shop where power is not available or you move around a lot air is the only choice, but my work is all in one area in my shop so I opted for electric. There are drawbacks and advantages to both bottom line is pick the one that is most practical for your work environment.

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Joe
71 Coupe
302 w/2x4
Boycott NASCAR

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cpmaverick
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Posts: 1256
From: Auburn, AL.
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 01-18-2001 06:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cpmaverick   Click Here to Email cpmaverick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SteveLaRiviere:
You really aren't supposed to bear down with a grinder. That puts massive side stress on the shaft and bushings/bearings and loads up the cutting bit. It's better to let the tool do the work.

I'm not talking about massive pressure here, I've used poor quality die grinders and nicer ones and there is a big difference in the amount of pressure you can use before it stalls. I'm not putting my weight on it or anything, just normal force.

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kid vishus
Gearhead

Posts: 1994
From: huh?? what? who? ME!?!?!?!
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 01-19-2001 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kid vishus   Click Here to Email kid vishus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I used a Campbell Hausfield for years to port heads, till just recently when the bearing got so bad it wouldn't run anymore. So I went and bought a Chicago Pneumatic, works better than the C/H ever did.
As far as rear exhaust, wrap a rag around it, helps muffle the noise and keeps the oil from geting all over you.

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PJHMustang
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Posts: 35
From: Granada Hills, Ca., USA
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 01-22-2001 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PJHMustang   Click Here to Email PJHMustang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a cheap air die grinder from Harbor Freight. It is a complete air hog, noisy, oily hands, spend too much time waiting on the compressor.
I have a Craftsman Electric die grinder I have had since 1972. It has been abused and misused and never any trouble with it. Too bad you can't get them like that now, but if mine goes down I am heading for Sears.
Pat

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If you can't afford to do it right, how can you afford to do it again?

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jkilroy
Gearhead

Posts: 1289
From: Austin, TX
Registered: Dec 99

posted 01-23-2001 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jkilroy   Click Here to Email jkilroy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Makita makes a nice electric, IF you can find one, they run about $100. I second the IR air tool suggestion. There stuff is not much more than the really cheap crap and the motors are much tighter, requiring fewer CFM.

As far as grinding technique, LET THE TOOL DO THE WORK! Only the slightest pressure should be required, if not either your RPM is too low or your bit is dull or both. In aluminum you have a lot more control with high speed and light pressure, it will dig in otherwise. You want the highest RPM you can get with carbide cutters, like 30,000+, and you only want to press hard enough so the tone of the tool barely changes as it runs.

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Jay Kilroy
68' Fastback GT 390
"No such thing as a cam thats too big"

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cpmaverick
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From: Auburn, AL.
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 01-30-2001 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cpmaverick   Click Here to Email cpmaverick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I bought one

Thanks for all the suggestions; I looked into electrics but they were rather pricey. I ended up buying a MATCO Red series, it is thier middle unit and was only $62, Similar Snap-On units were around $100 (Though Snap-On has a really cool unit with a built-in generator to power headlights )

I'm very pleased with it, not only is it much more powerful than my old off-brand it is a lot lighter & quieter than I expected.

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Matthew
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Registered: Feb 2001

posted 02-01-2001 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matthew   Click Here to Email Matthew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A while ago I bought a cheap Campbell Hausfeld grinder for $20. I haven't had a problem yet with it, but I also have a pretty big air compressor. It's noisy, but it get's the job done. I've had it for about 4 years and it's one of my most used tools. It goes to show that if you take care of your equipment it will last, I oil my tools before and after use, and if in heavy use I'll take the time to oil it in the middle of working.

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cpmaverick
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Posts: 1256
From: Auburn, AL.
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 02-04-2001 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cpmaverick   Click Here to Email cpmaverick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to M&M Matthew!

Considering the bottom air exhaust of the CH grinder.... You must be constantly covered in oil

Your point is well taken though.

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Mike65
Gearhead

Posts: 1400
From: Columbia,NJ, USA. 65 Fastback, 69 Coupe MCA #-04549
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 02-05-2001 09:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike65   Click Here to Email Mike65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to M&M Mathew, glad you could join our family. .

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Mike & Robin MCA#-04549
65 Fastback
99 Explorer Sport
96 Ranger
87 Crown Vic

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kid vishus
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Posts: 1994
From: huh?? what? who? ME!?!?!?!
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 02-05-2001 10:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kid vishus   Click Here to Email kid vishus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My Campbell/Hausfield worked fine,just not as good as my Chicago Pneum. I used the CH for about four years porting heads. I oiled it everyday at least once, and that was why I wrapped a rag around the exhaust, plus it quiets it down alot. But the bearing finally just wore out in it. But the CP works better than the C/H did even when it was new.
BTW, welcome to M&M Matthew.

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66351stang
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Posts: 626
From: sayville,newyork
Registered: Jul 2000

posted 02-17-2001 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 66351stang   Click Here to Email 66351stang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
go with a cheaper one , you are not going to make a living with it,

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lenh
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Posts: 2
From: cordele,ga. usa
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 03-21-2001 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lenh   Click Here to Email lenh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
may be someone can list where to get some good pieces to use in a die grinder i have had my grinder destroy most of them i put in it i use it for porting thanks

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Monk
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Posts: 11
From: Elsberry,MO
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 03-22-2001 11:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Monk   Click Here to Email Monk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lenh:
may be someone can list where to get some good pieces to use in a die grinder i have had my grinder destroy most of them i put in it i use it for porting thanks

I get most of my burr's and sanding roll's from Granger.Bill Mitchill Racing also has good porting supply's.To answer the first post,I've been using an "Aro" brand die grinder for over 15 year's with no problem's.

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cpmaverick
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Posts: 1256
From: Auburn, AL.
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 03-27-2001 02:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cpmaverick   Click Here to Email cpmaverick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Snap On or Matco are good sources but very expensive. I've had good luck finding them at swap meets, usually 3 for $20 (for the good carbide bits that last forever )

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Tim
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From:
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 05-03-2001 08:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tim   Click Here to Email Tim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I bought a Harbor Freight "professional" a couple years ago. It seems a little more heavy duty than the other cheapies going around. It has the same power and noise output that a IR unit I use. As far as "bearing down", with a good burr I have to be carefull as to how much material i cut. Same as any other die grinder with a good burr.

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Tim
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From:
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 05-03-2001 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tim   Click Here to Email Tim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh, by the way. The thing I hate about the front exhaust is the blow the chips all over the place including myself! Some people claim this is a good cooling source?

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