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Since I have been building projects lately which need to be painted, I have had to remove all the scale from the steel before painting. The 8" wire wheel works great for most of it, but then there are those hard to get to areas which become problematic. Consequently, I bought a Makita die grinder, which works really well for getting into tight places. It accepts all 1/4" shaft accessories, although you have to make sure that they are rated for high speed operation (25K max RPM). I have been using a small 2" wire wheel which gets into just about everywhere. It is especially good with small parts, which are difficult to work on the larger wire wheel. I make a fair mount of leaves, which the big wheel loves to eat. Now I can stick them in the vise and clean the scale off in a much safer manner.

The unit was only $88.00 (with a $20.00 discount). I would suggest using a face shield along with this tool as small bits of scale come off the work at a high rate of speed. Eye protection is absolutely mandatory, and gloves and long sleeves highly recommended. Otherwise, it's easy to use and a worthwhile investment.

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I have one of these that came in a tool cart I picked up at a garage sale. Mine is Milwaukee though. It came with a few bits but I haven’t purchased any Additional ones for it yet.  It seems like a tool I could find many uses for if I had more accessories to go with it  

Anybody have suggestions on what to get as sort of a “starter kit”?  

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54 minutes ago, Jbradshaw said:

Anybody have suggestions on what to get as sort of a “starter kit”?  

I feel a die grinder starter kit MUST include PPE. Goggles and face shield, long sleeved leather jacket and perhaps chaps depending on work position. Table top and a leather jacket is enough any open air and you need your legs protected too. Leather boots goes without saying. Yes?

Long sleeves only work if they withstand wire penetration so flannel, etc. are entanglement hazards and poor wire protection, they're okay against sparks and chips. See leather jacket. On a further note the jacket should have tight or tightenable cuffs. No loose clothing around rotating machinery rule ALWAYS applies. 

I assume you're actually asking about bits for your die grinder but I'm not going to apologize for the PPE digression. PPE is never a digression in my shop/book. 

There are so many bits available for die grinders ranging from Dremels to the big boys. It really comes to what you want to work on. The always in the box basic bits with my die grinders, I have both electric and pneumatic die grinders. I have a few various brushes for the same basic reasons Ted describes though a light touch with brass on black hot steel is faster, easier and more controlled than hand brushing with a brass brush. Wire brushes are as or more dangerous in a die grinder as on a bench or right angle grinder. The whole machine can get away from you and end up rooting in your armpit. 

I have a number of abrasive stone bits: flat disks, cones, long and short, cylinders, balls, and occasionally I pick one up on spec because it LOOKS useful. I have a number of spec bits that weren't so useful in a box in the carrier. 

I have cut offs, both abrasive and saws. They're all scary! wear PPE for sure and certain, these are NEVER casual casual use bits!

I have a bunch of buffs too but they're scary grabby, don't let em get you! They LOVE to get wrapped up in shirt sleeves!

My least used bits are the carbide cutters, I even have a couple diamond cutters. I use them almost exclusively for cleaning out welds and slag inclusions I can't reach with a stone. Some inclusions laugh at die grinder abrasive bits. These cutters are scary grabby but when you NEED one. . . .

Everything but my Dremel are yard, shop, sale, tools I even have a flex shaft but haven't figured out how to hook it up, it probably just doesn't fit one of my die grinders.

That's what I use in general, your mileage and uses WILL always vary. Be super careful these things LOVE blood and hair.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I use the snot out of my pneumatic die grinders, both straight and angled. As Frosty mentioned, they make Many different attachments for them. Personally I Love the rolock grinding discs. Easy to change out and swap grits. I think they are mainly better on the angle die grinder but can be used on a straight, just less control. 

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What I like best about my pneumatic die grinder is how the exhaust blows crud away from me, even though it's another level of hazard to account for. I forgot about the Rolocks! They RULE!

Do NOT forget ear protection  running pneumatic die grinders and not just to defend against the noise, You REALLY want to keep blown grinding debris out of your ears. I love my Howard Leight Sync radio ear muffs.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Just watch edges and direction with the rolock discs. #1 they will chunk off and fling bits of the disc (not as bad as chunking a cutoff wheel tho) and #2 it's a bear drilling and digging the plastic lock nub out of the backing pad if it breaks off. 

The worst with flinging metal chips are the burr bits. The course ones are just nasty. 

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I have a series of small scars across the inside of my right arm from a spray of metal slivers that resulted when a piece of steel hit the blade on the tablesaw. To the uninitiated, they look a lot like needle marks!

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I have a couple welding magnets I put close to what I'm grinding to trap shavings. They drive me nuts, sometimes duct tape will pull them but . . . 

Exploding disks are always entertaining. They'll teach you what plane of rotation means first lesson. eh?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Duct tape will remove slivers. And, white wood-glue works a treat. You spread the glue over the area that has the slivers and let the glue set. Then pull the, resultant, film off.

That should get rid of most,  if not all,  the splinters. This is an old trick of folks who grow cactus and succulents.

SLAG.

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White glue eh? I'll give it a try next time I'm all shaving prickly.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Come out here to Cactus Country and nobody will lift an eyebrow save maybe showing you their needle tracks...

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Frosty I certainly don’t mind a PPE reminder. I never use any powered abrasive without glasses and hearing protection. If it is more than a 3 second deburr of the end of a piece of small stock I also use a respirator and face shield (over the glasses). I can pull out the old leather biker jacket from the Mohawk days if I need to. I usually use it when welding. 

 

Are the pneumatic die grinders typically variable speed? I find myself wishing I could turn the speed down the few times I’ve  used the electric one. 

I’ll pick up some Rolock discs and stone bits (I only have a white ball shaped one) to have around and figure out what I can best use them for. 

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My pneumatic die grinders tend to be on off but there us a knob near the air inlet where you can make adjustments. It's not easy but you CAN feather the paddle valve for some control.

If I want fine control I use my electric.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Posted (edited)

I asked about the pneumatics being variable speed because my electric one is on/off. I wonder if I could plug it into a variable speed foot pedal to adjust the speed. Something like this assuming I can find one with adequate amps. [Commercial link removed.]

Edited by Mod34
Commercial link removed per TOS

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Interesting idea. I think I'll try plugging my Makita into the variac. It has a universal motor, so it should work okay. Might even leave the deadman switch connected, to make it easier to turn on and off.

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