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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 04-28-2007, 09:48 AM
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Q for the angle grinder users. . .

I fired up the HF angle grinder I bought yesterday to make sure everything function okay. It's a lot of fun to make sparks!!! I think for now it will be a viable means to reduce the stock down to where I want, then I can hand file from there until I get a belt grinder built.

However, the sparks fly about 8 feet through my garage. I'm thinking about building a semi-enclosed area to grind. I have access to some old highway speed limit signs--about 2x3 sheets of aluminum plate. I thought I'd build removable "walls" or a box that attaches to the side of my bench to deflect the sparks so they don't fly as far.

I know some of you guys have bigger areas to work with, or can work outside, so it's not as big of an issue. But generally, what do you guys do? Do you just let them fly?
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:42 AM
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Watch out for flying sparks! Several shops and barns havebeen burnt down by not watching where they go. If you have a garage, move to the front door and throw the sparks outside.Asmall wooden table and secure your knife to it with a C-clamp or something a simple as a drywall screw through a hole in the tang.
If you are gonna work in the garage watch for flamable liquids. and yes you can use the signs to build a box,3-sides and a top and shoot sparks into it.
Hope this helps.


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Old 04-28-2007, 03:22 PM
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Since knifemaking involves small pieces of steel, I just position it so that the sparks shoot straight down.

It is a lot harder when building big stuff like smokers and trailers but with knives it is easy to do.


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Old 04-28-2007, 07:07 PM
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i either work outside or just make sure the direction the sparkes are shooting is clear. sometimes i will stick a board in the way of the sparkes if they try to go somewhere i dont want them to.
brett


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Old 04-29-2007, 08:15 PM
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I always cut in the yard, I guess you could position it to spark down into the slack bucket. If you have some sheet metal, building a sheilded area might not be too bad.


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Old 04-30-2007, 09:34 AM
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Like Bob , I try to "aim" the sparks, but I always have at least 2 (just in case one doesn't work) fire extinguisers handy in the shop. You could also reposition the guard to divert the sparks, unless you're like me and remove all "unecessary" safety equipment as soon as you get a new tool.
-Dave


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Old 04-30-2007, 11:56 AM
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Variable Speed!!!

Just for the heck of it I plugged in my HF angle grinder to the foot-controller for my Foredom. Guess what? It worked! I only used it for a couple of minutes, and only ground a chunk of 2x4 lumber, but the variable speed from the foot pedal worked. I need to test it out to see how much power I lose at the lower speeds, but I think this will give me a lot more control than simply turning it "on" and letting it go full blast. If nothing else I can rev it up to full speed and let it grind on the way down.

Have any of you guys tried this? How did it work for you?
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:33 AM
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I try to aim 'em down into the slag bucket or just onto the floor. However, I did catch my shirt on fire once!


A fire extiguisher is a must!


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Old 05-01-2007, 10:28 AM
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Just make sure to wear face/eye and hearing protection. You do not want one of those sparks in your eyes! A trip to the ER will be in order. Cheap grinders are really loud too. I should know, I have 3. I usually use flap disks and no gloves. The flap disks wont take the hide off your hands as fast as a hard grinding disk and leaves a smoother finish. Also, I dont want that grinder grabbing any loose clothing or gloves. When I do use the grinding wheel, I have thick welding gloves on that arent grabbed by the grinder. I should probably use welding gloves all the time.

Grinders are dangerous things if you arent paying attention. Even wimpy HF grinders. Using the cutoff wheel is even worse. I broke a handle on one of those when it decided to buck on me. Also, I dont think the stock shield is the correct one for cutting either, but I'm not sure about that. It seems to me it should be covered on the top and bottom and have just the cutting edge sticking out. YMMV

Just my 2 cents

[edit] Just to be clear, none of this input is knifemaking related but is my general
experience over the years with grinders, welding, repairs and general debotchery on the ranch.

Kurt

Last edited by horseman1; 05-01-2007 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:46 AM
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My other purchase at HF was a full-face shield.

Thanks for the input, guys. Looks like I'll build a sheet-metal deflector box to mount to the top of my workmate portable table.
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  #11  
Old 05-01-2007, 10:53 AM
horseman1 horseman1 is offline
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I edit my reply to indicate that my safety bear rant was inspired by having to grind on things that werent nice and flat and screwed to the table . Sometimes the handle had to be removed and such to get to where I needed to go.
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:11 AM
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Well, the things I grind probably won't be nice and flat when I'm finished. And if they stay where I put them, I'll be happy.
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:18 PM
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Ditto on the noise factor. I have 4 angle grinders i use in the production of damascus, 3 of them are HF models. My DeWalt is a lot quieter and more powerful even though it is the same physical size as two of the HF grinders.

I know people have used them to grind blades before so it can be done but I'd sure wouldn't want to be the one doing it. Be careful, and good luck ....


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Last edited by Ray Rogers; 05-01-2007 at 12:22 PM.
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