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chris95040

Help using grinder as sander

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Hi folks, 

I'm trying to use my angle grinder as a beefy disc sander.   It's a 7" dewalt DW840,  8500RPM. 

The locking nut that came with this grinder has a really long barrel and it actually prevents you from assembling a rubber backing pad and fiber disk - the locking nut "bottoms out" before you can fully tighten the disk and pad together.

I feel like I'm doing something wrong.   And in the manual for the DW840 they give this warning:

WARNING: DW840 cannot be used with conventional sanding discs and backing pads due to mismatched rated speeds.

I'd think this would depend on the backing pads and discs, and there are certainly 7" backing pads and discs that are rated for this RPM...   So I'm confused.    Maybe if I just buy a "normal" locking nut set for this thing I'll be in business?     I've attached 2 pictures to clarify,  "normal" looking lock nut set from a DW831,  and my weird lock nut with the long barrel that comes with my DW840.  

 

 

 

normal.png

stupid.png

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Just put a second grinding disc that is worn out underneath your fresh one and that should let the arbor nut tighten down enough. 

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Yeah that is a good thought but I think it would need like 4 or 5 discs acting as spacers to make up the room,  I think that would get weird.    

 

 

 

 

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Do what the manufacturer says and don't try to use it for the purpose you describe.

Buy a proper sander/polisher - they are extremely useful on boats and don't have to cost a lot.

Trying to bodge a grinder is asking to get injured - they operate at 7000 RPM and higher.

And anyway, even if you managed to bodge it up, you will almost certainly fuck up the work - I've literally seen boats totaled by using big grinders on them.

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26 minutes ago, chris95040 said:

Hi folks, 

I'm trying to use my angle grinder as a beefy disc sander.   It's a 7" dewalt DW840,  8500RPM. 

The locking nut that came with this grinder has a really long barrel and it actually prevents you from assembling a rubber backing pad and fiber disk - the locking nut "bottoms out" before you can fully tighten the disk and pad together.

I feel like I'm doing something wrong.   And in the manual for the DW840 they give this warning:

WARNING: DW840 cannot be used with conventional sanding discs and backing pads due to mismatched rated speeds.

I'd think this would depend on the backing pads and discs, and there are certainly 7" backing pads and discs that are rated for this RPM...   So I'm confused.    Maybe if I just buy a "normal" locking nut set for this thing I'll be in business?     I've attached 2 pictures to clarify,  "normal" looking lock nut set from a DW831,  and my weird lock nut with the long barrel that comes with my DW840.  

One option is to use 7" flap discs like these: http://www.smithandarrow.com/product-category/flap-discs/7-180mm-flap-discs/ 

Note, I've never used a 7" one, but the 4 1/2" ones work great.

However, if you want a big sanding pad, I'd take SJB's suggestion and get a 7" sander/polisher.

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I know I know, grinders can do a lot of damage.  

I do appreciate the advice but I'd rather not turn this thread into a conversation about whether or not to use a grinder: 

-   This is gelcoat removal in prep for gluing down teak so the surface fairness doesn't matter a ton, plus I'll just fair it after the rest of my repairs are done.    I've already done 2/3rds of the boat in this manner, the suckiest part involved using a giant belt sander and a 4" grinder to remove the gelcoat.    I just want to use a big grinder and do it faster.  

- I'm pretty good with a grinder in this job, I think I've learned the right movement to end up with a surface that isn't a total catastrophe. 

- I bought a 7" disc sander from harbor freight (figuring it'd go right in the garbage when the job was done) but it's just too slow.   

- I've actually tried the grinder for all of about 2 minutes -   One of the pads that came with my disc sander ended up fitting the grinder, but it wasn't rated for 8500 RPM and it exploded.    But before that happened I was plowing through literally 5x faster than I was going with the disc sander, and the resultant surface was plenty workable. 

So definitely worth cautioning against using a grinder, but I'm a special unique flower blah blah blah

 

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26 minutes ago, 12 metre said:

One option is to use 7" flap discs like these: http://www.smithandarrow.com/product-category/flap-discs/7-180mm-flap-discs/ 

Note, I've never used a 7" one, but the 4 1/2" ones work great.

However, if you want a big sanding pad, I'd take SJB's suggestion and get a 7" sander/polisher.

Has anyone used flap discs to remove gelcoat?  I was wondering about those.   Worth a shot.  

 

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Chris,

I have been using an angle grinder for rough sanding many times. For smaller jobs I prefer 5" discs, but I have a big grinder as well for the more extensive jobs. It is correct that one should not use convetional sanding discs, it is special ones for angle grinders - use to have a heavy fabric backside, thus being more expensive then conventional.

To my surprise I have noted that it is now difficult to find these sanding discs in the shops, at least where I live. Strange.

Your problem with the locking nut can most likely be solved by buying some parts made for sanding. I just bought some such for a new angle grinder I bought for some jobs this spring (if it ever arrives).

5ac26a338c934_stdrondell.jpg.12b1c1dbac9cfa404b0a577a8c376ef0.jpg

 

included in the package is a locking nut. Cost for 5" ~ $5, 7" is about $10.

Then one should just find the sanding discs ...

 

//J

 

 

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48 minutes ago, chris95040 said:

Has anyone used flap discs to remove gelcoat?  I was wondering about those.   Worth a shot.  

 

flap discs are the way to go for fast removal of anything... and since you're not too concerned with gouges, it'll do what you want and very quickly..   it'll remove stuff in a hurry,  a 60 - 80 grit will work..

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A decent sander and hooked to a dust extract system for me, I’d rather not everything around and me in shit. 

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2 hours ago, chris95040 said:

Hi folks, 

I'm trying to use my angle grinder as a beefy disc sander.   It's a 7" dewalt DW840,  8500RPM. 

The locking nut that came with this grinder has a really long barrel and it actually prevents you from assembling a rubber backing pad and fiber disk - the locking nut "bottoms out" before you can fully tighten the disk and pad together.

I feel like I'm doing something wrong.   And in the manual for the DW840 they give this warning:

WARNING: DW840 cannot be used with conventional sanding discs and backing pads due to mismatched rated speeds.

I'd think this would depend on the backing pads and discs, and there are certainly 7" backing pads and discs that are rated for this RPM...   So I'm confused.    Maybe if I just buy a "normal" locking nut set for this thing I'll be in business?     I've attached 2 pictures to clarify,  "normal" looking lock nut set from a DW831,  and my weird lock nut with the long barrel that comes with my DW840.  

 

 

 

normal.png

stupid.png

Dont know your tool 

 

normally a grinder rpm is too high for sanding 

 

change to. A tool like this  https://www.makitatools.com/products/details/PV7001C

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47 minutes ago, mad said:

A decent sander and hooked to a dust extract system for me, I’d rather not everything around and me in shit. 

I think you'd change your mind after the first 10 hours or so.     Anyways, I'm in a tent, so the only one wallowing in shit is me.   I'd rather do that for 4 hours instead of 40.    

Thanks for the help with my grinder!     

 

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21 minutes ago, chris95040 said:

I think you'd change your mind after the first 10 hours or so.     Anyways, I'm in a tent, so the only one wallowing in shit is me.   I'd rather do that for 4 hours instead of 40.    

Thanks for the help with my grinder!     

 

Sorry can’t help with grinder because I’ve never used one for that job, I use what I suggested as the boats I work on would have the deck laminate destroyed using a grinder. 10_800x600.jpg.67df28f097fbeb39b2627337619d39c6.jpg

Works well  

I hope you have a decent thickness of laminate to stand any nicks and gouges  

 

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Hell Yeah Slug!

     This rig will separate the men from the boys in the boatshop or yard!

P1010557.jpg

    Amazing but they do work. Not an April Fool joke but I have been accused of such until I pull mine out and demonstrate. I had a big Hitachi with a dial electronic speed control under your trigger thumb that was a godsend and let you do a 'soft start'. The shop had the biggest heaviest Milwaukee grinder rigged like this but without the softpad interface and that thing was murderous! Especially if you got you cord caught up in the spinning square pad...

    Don't let OSHA ever see one of these in your shop!

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The rig works fine.  Great for underwater surfaces. After a bit of practice it produces very good work 

for topsides and high visabilty areas  you still must  board sand 

be aware that it is a dust generating monster..so much dust that it ruins your tools by clogging air circulation...over heat.

if you use the rig remember to take your grinder apart  after a few hard days work and clean out the dust buildup.

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I've used all of these tools (edit: not the "custom pad", that looks fun, but unlikely to be the fast material-remover that an 8k rpm grinder is) and found the 7" angle grinder to be the best for the job  (right up until the underrated rubber backing exploded).  I bought a new rubber backing pad rated to 10K RPM  but the geometry of my locking nut prevents me from using it.  I don't understand why my grinder has a weird nut for it's spindle and was hoping someone would chime in with any ideas about that. 

 

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3 hours ago, chris95040 said:

Yeah that is a good thought but I think it would need like 4 or 5 discs acting as spacers to make up the room,  I think that would get weird.    

 

 

 

 

Thats what we do, also keep the grinder flat and if you want a fine finish hold it lightly and move it slowly. 7' is pretty big though, 5" is much better for general work as you can use it one handed. 

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24 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

Hell Yeah Slug!

     This rig will separate the men from the boys in the boatshop or yard!

P1010557.jpg

    Amazing but they do work. Not an April Fool joke but I have been accused of such until I pull mine out and demonstrate. I had a big Hitachi with a dial electronic speed control under your trigger thumb that was a godsend and let you do a 'soft start'. The shop had the biggest heaviest Milwaukee grinder rigged like this but without the softpad interface and that thing was murderous! Especially if you got you cord caught up in the spinning square pad...

    Don't let OSHA ever see one of these in your shop!

It's all in here http://www.westsystem.com/wp-content/uploads/Fiberglass-Manual-2015.pdf

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3 minutes ago, chris95040 said:

I've used all of these tools and found the 7" angle grinder to be the best for the job  (right up until the underrated rubber backing exploded).  I bought a new rubber backing pad rated to 10K RPM  but the geometry of my locking nut prevents me from using it.  I don't understand why my grinder has a weird nut for it's spindle and was hoping someone would chime in with any ideas about that.

And you didn't get a locking nut together with the rubber backing pad? They do sell in pairs, as the locking nut must fit with the backing pad.

Have a look opn this pic:

vinkel.thumb.jpg.9dca26fdbd1351be4098e5c9324ee29f.jpg

to the left a new Bosch angle grinder. To the right of it you see first the Bosch lock nut and then a distance plug. Above those latter you see a new rubber backing pad made for angle grinders and the locking nut. As you can see the original Bosch lock nut will not fit with the backing pad.

Those who say ange grinders cannot be used for sanding gelcoat doesn't know what they talk about. It works fine. I use to use very course sanding rondels, 24-36 grits. 60-80 is for fine sanding when doing plastic jobs.

So, you just have to tget the right parts to do what you want.  Some few $. Of course, be careful, wear glasses and some kind of air filter.

//J

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this is an April fools joke right?

why wouldn't you use a variable speed big soft pad with the proper grit?

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12 minutes ago, Coolerking said:

this is an April fools joke right?

why wouldn't you use a variable speed big soft pad with the proper grit?

For the same reason I don't drive a cozy coupe to work or cook turkeys in an ez bake oven

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Coolerking said:

this is an April fools joke right?

why wouldn't you use a variable speed big soft pad with the proper grit?

For some reason the OP want to remove gelcoat. He hasn't said why - and in a way that is besides the question. If you want to remove a large area of gelcoat you "must" have a powerful tool which works fast. An angle grinder is ideal.

I did the same for some many years ago due to pox. Away with the gelcoat and on with many layers of epoxy. Worked fine.

//J

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25 minutes ago, Jaramaz said:

And you didn't get a locking nut together with the rubber backing pad? They do sell in pairs, as the locking nut must fit with the backing pad.

 

 Nah mine didn't come with a locking nut -  wtf.     Thanks - looks like I've just got to find a different brand pad.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, chris95040 said:

Hi folks, 

I'm trying to use my angle grinder as a beefy disc sander.   It's a 7" dewalt DW840,  8500RPM. 

The locking nut that came with this grinder has a really long barrel and it actually prevents you from assembling a rubber backing pad and fiber disk - the locking nut "bottoms out" before you can fully tighten the disk and pad together.

I feel like I'm doing something wrong.   And in the manual for the DW840 they give this warning:

WARNING: DW840 cannot be used with conventional sanding discs and backing pads due to mismatched rated speeds.

I'd think this would depend on the backing pads and discs, and there are certainly 7" backing pads and discs that are rated for this RPM...   So I'm confused.    Maybe if I just buy a "normal" locking nut set for this thing I'll be in business?     I've attached 2 pictures to clarify,  "normal" looking lock nut set from a DW831,  and my weird lock nut with the long barrel that comes with my DW840.  

 

 

 

 

That's a fine thing to do.  But your disks must be rated for it(as many are).

https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/0826362

Note max rated RPM of 8600.

In order from your pictures, moving from motor to pad along shaft you would install:

#3 first.  #10 second, fiber disk, then #11.

However I do not like the look of that pad, those narrow nuts often have thicker edges, and don't pull far enough into the center of the pad to grind flat with or grip well.

You're on the right track though.  Make sure you get the backing pad that is flat, many taper up from the center towards the outer edge, these are for blending and impossible to keep smooth.

 

Also buy a pack of 3m P95 dust prefilters for the triangle cartridges on your respirator.  Tape these over the air intakes on your grinder, tape right on the edge only so they have more surface area.  This will add 5$ and years of life to your grinder.

3 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Do what the manufacturer says and don't try to use it for the purpose you describe.

Buy a proper sander/polisher - they are extremely useful on boats and don't have to cost a lot.

Trying to bodge a grinder is asking to get injured - they operate at 7000 RPM and higher.

And anyway, even if you managed to bodge it up, you will almost certainly fuck up the work - I've literally seen boats totaled by using big grinders on them.

Rated backing plate, rated pad.  Correct tool.

2 hours ago, chris95040 said:

Has anyone used flap discs to remove gelcoat?  I was wondering about those.   Worth a shot.  

 

No they are godawful. Excellent for blending in welded seams, but only good for leaving nice half ring gouges all over fiberglass.  They don't wear correctly either so you have to trim them, unlike on metal. 

2 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

flap discs are the way to go for fast removal of anything... and since you're not too concerned with gouges, it'll do what you want and very quickly..   it'll remove stuff in a hurry,  a 60 - 80 grit will work..

No.  Slow, and leave ugly results.

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3 minutes ago, chris95040 said:

 

 Nah mine didn't come with a locking nut -  wtf.     Thanks - looks like I've just got to find a different brand pad. 

Not wanting to overdo this but ....

Ask the shop where you got the backing pad where the locking nut is ... Check so you get a locking nut with the right threading. As I live in Sweden nearly all threads are metric, I only buy machines with M14 so I can re-use some parts. But there are M10, M12 as well. Never heard of M16 but you never know ...

Of course I have some old locking nuts (nuts are made in metal wheras backing pads is in rubber, which has a much shorter life time), they all look very similar.

//J

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11 minutes ago, jgbrown said:

No they are godawful. Excellent for blending in welded seams, but only good for leaving nice half ring gouges all over fiberglass.  They don't wear correctly either so you have to trim them, unlike on metal. 

No.  Slow, and leave ugly results.

My experience is pretty much the opposite, at least with 4 1/2" discs.  I found the fiber discs gouged the gel coat and glass while the flap discs left a smoother more uniform finish and edge and the grinder was more controllable with the flap disc.  Roughly the same speed of removal, but I felt the flap discs were a bit faster.

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8 minutes ago, 12 metre said:

My experience is pretty much the opposite, at least with 4 1/2" discs.  I found the fiber discs gouged the gel coat and glass while the flap discs left a smoother more uniform finish and edge.  Roughly the same speed of removal, but I felt the flap discs were a bit faster.

what kind of backing plate were you using?  The tapered ones are no good on flat surfaces.  A flat backing plate, flat disk and you float it over the surface always flat and it'll cut fast and fairly clean.  The quality and size of disk matters, even a 5" is a good step up from a 4.5, and at 7" I can't imagine running a flap disk and getting anything reasonable out of it.  The cheap, usually bent ones they sell at auto shops are no good, and take time to settle in to shape(hit a bit of scrap wood with it until they do) if you try to use them as soon as you stick them on the pad, they make an awful mess.  A better quality disk will be flat when you buy it(3m Cubitron II 36+ grit being the fastest and best).  Flap disks are slow on any kind of heavy removal and wear quickly, and any inattention leaves a nice half moon ring.  I should correct myself slightly, they are handing in slightly convex areas or for feathering in an already ground edge once in a while/inside a locker.    I did use them for everything on my own boat, but now a couple of them will last me years as they are task specific only, whereas we might burn through hundreds of fiber disks in a busy year.  Finish with a quick once over with a DA and some 40 grit ceramic pads and it comes out nice. 

It might be helpful if the OP posted what he's actually trying to achieve.  Remove lots of material, reasonably flat(eg no gouges) surface to glue something to, he's on the right track.  Planning to spray a coat of paint after?  It will end badly. 

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19 minutes ago, jgbrown said:

what kind of backing plate were you using?  The tapered ones are no good on flat surfaces.  A flat backing plate, flat disk and you float it over the surface always flat and it'll cut fast and fairly clean.  The quality and size of disk matters, even a 5" is a good step up from a 4.5, and at 7" I can't imagine running a flap disk and getting anything reasonable out of it.  The cheap, usually bent ones they sell at auto shops are no good, and take time to settle in to shape(hit a bit of scrap wood with it until they do).  A better quality disk will be flat when you buy it.  Flap disks are slow on any kind of heavy removal and wear quickly, and any inattention leaves a nice half moon ring.  I should correct myself slightly, they are handing in slightly convex areas or for feathering in an already ground edge once in a while/inside a locker.    I did use them for everything on my own boat, but now a couple of them will last me years as they are task specific only, whereas we might burn through hundreds of fiber disks in a busy year.  Finish with a quick once over with a DA and some 40 grit ceramic pads and it comes out nice. 

 

No backing plate on the flap disc.  Most work done around the portlight area, so slightly convex surface.  Did one side with fiber disc and one side with flap disc and flap disc did a much better job - at least for a DIYer like me.

Maybe I was too aggressive with the fiber disc grit.  I think it was 24 while the flap dis was 40.  Anyways, the fiber disc was done before I even completed one side.  Done in the sense it was clogged and couldn't cut any more - with 35 year old gel coat.  The flap disc was a used one that I could probably still use today - and it was a cheap CT unit.

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13 minutes ago, 12 metre said:

No backing plate on the flap disc.  Most work done around the portlight area, so slightly convex surface.  Did one side with fiber disc and one side with flap disc and flap disc did a much better job - at least for a DIYer like me.

Maybe I was too aggressive with the fiber disc grit.  I think it was 24 while the flap dis was 40.  Anyways, the fiber disc was done before I even completed one side.  Done in the sense it was clogged and couldn't cut any more - with 35 year old gel coat.  The flap disc was a used one that I could probably still use today - and it was a cheap CT unit.

I meant on the fiber disk.  24s suck(unless you're carving out a big taper on a thick hull repair and using a boron carbide concrete disk).  The grits are so big they break off/blunt quickly too, and it's very hard to get any kind of an even result with them. 

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10 minutes ago, jgbrown said:

I meant on the fiber disk.  24s suck(unless you're carving out a big taper on a thick hull repair and using a boron carbide concrete disk).  The grits are so big they break off/blunt quickly too, and it's very hard to get any kind of an even result with them. 

I was kind of scratching about why you would ask about a backing pad for a flap disc.  Must have had a brain fart there.

Can't recall the backing plate on that - most likely a plastic CT special.

Agree with your asessment of the 24 grit fiber discs.  Never actually considered using a less coarse grit.  Next size up we have in the store is 36 then 60.  Does 36 work okay? I'm still pretty happy with the flap discs.

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4 hours ago, chris95040 said:

Hi folks, 

I'm trying to use my angle grinder as a beefy disc sander.   It's a 7" dewalt DW840,  8500RPM. 

The locking nut that came with this grinder has a really long barrel and it actually prevents you from assembling a rubber backing pad and fiber disk - the locking nut "bottoms out" before you can fully tighten the disk and pad together.

I feel like I'm doing something wrong.   And in the manual for the DW840 they give this warning:

WARNING: DW840 cannot be used with conventional sanding discs and backing pads due to mismatched rated speeds.

I'd think this would depend on the backing pads and discs, and there are certainly 7" backing pads and discs that are rated for this RPM...   So I'm confused.    Maybe if I just buy a "normal" locking nut set for this thing I'll be in business?     I've attached 2 pictures to clarify,  "normal" looking lock nut set from a DW831,  and my weird lock nut with the long barrel that comes with my DW840.  

 

 

 

normal.png

stupid.png

In your picture I have taken parts like # 10 & 11 and used them on a 4" angle grinder. I've then used 4 1/2" discs of sandpaper in 40 & 60 grit for grinding down glass / cracks before laying new glass. You can't lay the disc perfectly flush when grinding, but pretty close and it's spinning so fast you only use the outer edge of the sandpaper anyways. If I remember correctly, those two parts are intended for another type of sanding machine than a grinder so you need to make sure the thread size on the shaft is the same. Seemed like some of the more popular name brand grinders have a larger thread/shaft size. Just buy the cheap Chinese ones and after a few years they get are all caked up inside with dust anyways and throw them away.     

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21 minutes ago, 12 metre said:

I was kind of scratching about why you would ask about a backing pad for a flap disc.  Must have had a brain fart there.

Can't recall the backing plate on that - most likely a plastic CT special.

Agree with your asessment of the 24 grit fiber discs.  Never actually considered using a less coarse grit.  Next size up we have in the store is 36 then 60.  Does 36 work okay? I'm still pretty happy with the flap discs.

36+ Cubitron II disks are our go-to for heavy grinding.  You can get em from Lordco.  Get a couple the next grit up.  They cut so fast that a step up in grit is a good idea to get a feel for them.  They will be purple and say Cubitron on them, they have some old stock purple imperial ones(not the same ceramic abrasive, barely better than the cheap aluminium oxides). 

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12 minutes ago, sailingbeme said:

In your picture I have taken parts like # 10 & 11 and used them on a 4" angle grinder. I've then used 4 1/2" discs of sandpaper in 40 & 60 grit for grinding down glass / cracks before laying new glass. You can't lay the disc perfectly flush when grinding, but pretty close and it's spinning so fast you only use the outer edge of the sandpaper anyways. If I remember correctly, those two parts are intended for another type of sanding machine than a grinder so you need to make sure the thread size on the shaft is the same. Seemed like some of the more popular name brand grinders have a larger thread/shaft size. Just buy the cheap Chinese ones and after a few years they get are all caked up inside with dust anyways and throw them away.     

No to cheap Chinese. If you wanna go cheap on a 4.5" buy the bosch ones with epoxy coated windings when they are on sale, they're often 50$ish and last amazingly well and have decent power and decent quality bearings.  

tape 50 cents worth of filter on the intake as above, you'll be amazed at the difference in lifespan.

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If you do convert it to a larger disc,  beware of the disc continuing to rotate right off the grinder when you shut it off.

It will usually be found across the boatyard by the fence.

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20 hours ago, chris95040 said:

I think you'd change your mind after the first 10 hours or so.     Anyways, I'm in a tent, so the only one wallowing in shit is me.   I'd rather do that for 4 hours instead of 40.    

Thanks for the help with my grinder!     

 

don't forget to order one of these..

 

fullface

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4 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

don't forget to order one of these..

 

fullface

oh and a pair of 3m 2097s filters.  I have lost track of the number of times Ive seen people using the triangular organic vapor filters for dust. 

2097 gives you p100 filtration and nuisance level organic vapor removal in the lining(no good for painting, excellent for grinding) pancake design is lighter on the face and less effort to breathe means you'll suck less dust around the outside of the respirator too.

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