Shamus Blargostadt

breaking down stock with limited gear

Recommended Posts

I've not had one of the cutting wheels disintegrate. As you cut, they get smaller and the sand sized pieces from the cutting disk fly along with the sparks from the metal.

In my experience, the cutting discs will shatter and disintegrate if you're cutting thin stock and you get ahead of the cut.

 

 

If the above short answer didn't make sense, following is a longer description of what I'm talking about:

As the disc rotates, you can orient the grinder so that the rotation tends to pull the grinder away from you or push it towards you while you are cutting.​  I tend to prefer when the rotation pulls the grinder away while cutting, but if you move the grinder too quickly, there's the possibility that as you get to the end of the cut, the wheel (disc) reached the edge of the material and the rotating wheel will suddenly push the grinder toward you as the wheel rolls around the edge of the material and this is when the disc will shatter and/or disintegrate. 

The only way to avoid this is to pay close attention to what you are doing and not rush things...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"SpankySmith said- I use the living heck out of it, my go-to tool for such jobs.  It's one of the few tools in my shop that if it ever broke down I would have to stop everything I was doing and go get another one"

​I feel the same way about mine. They are easy to mod too.  I just cut some 7" lengths off of a 20' flat bar to make some shop door hinges yesterday. I like it for that much better than the angle grinder. I saw in one of the local ads this week it was on sale for 70 something, not sure if you could apply the 20% coupon to that.

Good luck with it and dont forget safety glasses.

Edited by norrin_radd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Side note on those 4.5" grinders:  Not all brands of cutting discs perform the same. I've found that the Dewalt brand last almost twice as long as others. As has been said, the biggest danger in these things is side-loading the disc. Do not use a cutting disc to grind and clean up the surface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hmmmm.....

That is about half as expensive as the 9 inch bench model HF sells.  I may have to look into doing a table / mount for that instead, might be cheaper in the long run.

​I don't think HF sells a vertical bench mounted band saw that will do steel. Occasionally you will find older floor stand Deltas that have the gearing installed in them to do both wood and steel, but they are fairly rare. Wood bandsaws simply run at too high an RPM to cut steel, even if you manage to get the right blades. You can cut alum on a wood bandsaw as cut speeds for alum are a lot closer to that of wood vs steel.

SWAG Offroad is one of the companies that makes a vertical mount for a portable bandsaw. I've heard decent reviews of their stuff. I've also seen someone who makes a unit that allows you to use your portable bandsaw as a bench mounted chop saw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as zip disks exploding, I've had more than my fair share disintegrate over the years. It's one of the things I give a lot of respect to and don't hesitate to use plenty of PPE with. I will admit many times when one has let go, I've been doing things that they really weren't designed to do, or do well.

If you want REAL excitement, have a 14" abrasive blade detonate on you. That's another I've had happen on occasion, usually using a gas powered cut off  saw. They make 14" blades for both electric chop saws and gas saws. The RPM rating is much lower on the electric saw rated blades. When you fire up the gas saw and spin it up to speed, you get about 1-2 seconds of warning as the blade stated to flex wobble and distort before the forces tear the blade apart. The instant you see this you had better be off the trigger and trying to get the blade to slow down or it blows up and sends good size shrapnel every where.  I stopped buying blades for the electric chop saw where I used to work and convinced the boss to only buy ones for our gas saw. To many times the idiots I'd work with would grab a blade from the electric chop saw vs finding the gas ones. Boss thought I was making to big a deal over this until HE had one detonate on him.

 

Any time you use any sort of blade in a rotating tool, make darn sure the RPM's match the tool speed. I've seen plenty of guys load partially used large low RPM disks in smaller grinders etc with a lot higher RPM speeds with ugly results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it rather interesting that on this blacksmithing site, and two pages of replies, only 3 suggest hot cutting with forge and anvil.

Edited by anvil
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it rather interesting that on this blacksmithing site, and two pages of replies, only 3 suggest hot cutting with forge and anvil.

Hot cutting is a new fangled invention by blacksmiths to lazy to pound the stock into the shape you want. Humbug!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hot working large stock by yourself with somewhat limited skills is not an easy thing and may lead to doing yourself an injury. What is interesting about us trying to point out other methods that may be easier for them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a related note, what would be the safest way to make the cuts for a split cross using a portaband. Feels like the fingers are awfully close with 1/2 inch stock. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a related note, what would be the safest way to make the cuts for a split cross using a portaband. Feels like the fingers are awfully close with 1/2 inch stock. 

​Use another piece of stock to push it, or use some terrible cheap pliers to hold it.  Crummy pliers with slices are much better than fingers with slices.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a related note, what would be the safest way to make the cuts for a split cross using a portaband. Feels like the fingers are awfully close with 1/2 inch stock. 

​I use a wooden push stick or some long nose vise grips:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a related note, what would be the safest way to make the cuts for a split cross using a portaband. Feels like the fingers are awfully close with 1/2 inch stock. 

​I have made a lot of these using a piece of 1-inch by 4-inch bar about 8 inches long with a 1/4(minus half a blade thickness) by 1/2 rabbet milled on the end as a holder with a HF horizontal bandsaw.  Use a visegrip to hold it in position with 1/4 inch of the stock projecting past the end of the holder.  You can use the same holder in a vise and guide the portaband along the end of the holder.  Will have to shift grip for the long cut.  Use a rubber tipped spring clamp to dampen vibrations if desired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto on the vice grips, I make a lot of split cross necklaces from 1/4" stock, I just clamp well in vice grips and use those to feed it into the portal and mounted on a post. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just as a follow up, I cut halfway through with the grinder then hot-cut the rest of the way (with the help of my son)  Now said piece is well on its way to becoming a sushi knife!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been away for a while and missed Thomas' and Frosty's reply. 

Got a good chuckle out of them.  ;)

Glad to see you did try it hot and involved your son in the process!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some times you can just cut the 4 edges of the metal and bend. It will break the rest of the metal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for the sake of noobs like me - I've grown much more comfortable using this cheap ($19) 4" angle grinder. I'm tearing through this truck spring pretty nicely now. It takes about 20-30min to cut a bar out, using light back-and-fourth motions (rather than just digging in and cutting it like a piece of wood)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It isn't as satisfying but a steady moderate pressure and a steady hand cuts much faster and is a LOT less likely to get away from you. Listen to the motor, you'll hear it change note under a load and when you're overloading it. Apply pressure till it begins to overload, (lug down) then back off till it picks up speed again but doesn't free wheel. With a little practice you can take care of truck springs in 5-10 minutes tops. And I am talking about heavy truck springs, say 1" x 6" +.

Moving the disk back and forth only cuts a wider curf prevents maximum contact and seriously increases the probability of getting it crossways in the cut, binding the blade and having a bad thing happen.

Edited by Frosty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I look through all the answers to your questions it seems you answered it your self. You have a forge and a hammer and a hot cut with that you do not need any thing else sure it takes longer and it would be easier with power tools but it is not necessary 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.