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Thread: Best Tools for metal fabrication at home

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    Best decision I ever made was to stop buying harbor freight grinders. That $15 price tag is tempting every time I walk past it, but there are other home depot/lowes options that are MUCH higher quality for under $30. My current favorite cheap grinder is a Ryobi from Home Depot.

    A bench-mounted vertical belt sander is the next metalworking tool I'll be buying for my home garage. We have one at work and I never realized how much you can do with that tool. You can do the same stuff with an angle grinder or an assortment of other tools, but the vertical belt sander gives a really good combination of speed and control.
    Last edited by jpreston; 04-26-2017 at 01:15 PM.
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kam View Post
    Can and has happened: Glove gets caught in rotating assembly, glove is pulled into rotating assembly taking whatever was inside glove. Blood.

    So you guys are bare handing the angle grinders with cutoff wheels? Yeesh.

  3. #23
    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    If you have the stomach for it, have a look at angle grinder accident photos, including the ones that angle grinders catch on gloves or rings and proceeded to completely peel the entire skin off the bones and such..

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    I'm going to stop wearing gloves with grinding. The tough part will be remembering to remove my ring.
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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    Trust me, one look at said pics and it'll become much easier to explain why you are no longer wearing the reminder ring.

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    BMW Master bawareca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    So you guys are bare handing the angle grinders with cutoff wheels? Yeesh.
    That keeps you sharp and focused. Sometimes the protective layers make you soft
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbird View Post
    Trust me, one look at said pics and it'll become much easier to explain why you are no longer wearing the reminder ring.
    The ironically named de-gloving accidents are a strong reminder to not wear any jewlry, but as someone who nearly lost a thumb once to an angle grinder, im keeping my gloves. Its the only reason i can still count to 10 and not 9.5. The rule around any spinning machinery is nothing dangly

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    Kam
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    So you guys are bare handing the angle grinders with cutoff wheels? Yeesh.
    I use gloves, but I also understand the immense risk I'm taking, especially with a wire wheel.
    4.6lbs / whp -- 4lbs / bhp

  9. #29
    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpreston View Post
    Best decision I ever made was to stop buying harbor freight grinders. That $15 price tag is tempting every time I walk past it, but there are other home depot/lowes options that are MUCH higher quality for under $30. My current favorite cheap grinder is a Ryobi from Home Depot.

    A bench-mounted vertical belt sander is the next metalworking tool I'll be buying for my home garage. We have one at work and I never realized how much you can do with that tool. You can do the same stuff with an angle grinder or an assortment of other tools, but the vertical belt sander gives a really good combination of speed and control.
    Yep. If you're going to get a HF one, get their most expensive one. Even then you're probably much better off with anything non-HF.

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    I wore my wedding band for all of about 2 months. 10 years later it's still tucked somewhere in my wife's jewelry case. I work on cars, I'm left-handed, and it was a PITA to wear. It's an heirloom too, my father's, who was an EE and never wore it either because of the dangers of shorting a circuit with it. I just don't like wearing jewelry period; watches, lanyards, activity-tracking bracelets, etc. I could never own a V8 American car because I can't stand wearing necklaces either.
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    Since we are on hft tools...i need some hand protection. So I wear the cheap tight fitting thin cloth glove dipped in nitril coating on the fingers. They are under 2 bucks a pair and if snagged on something Im strong enough to let them get ripped off unlike a strong leather glove where your hand will just get sucked in. There is still risk. Its a trade off. Check them out for strenght and make up your own minds, but Moti is a pro and thanks for brining up this very important safety issue. One thing for sure Moti realy looks after racers and definately benefits us with his professional knowledge.
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    I understand protecting your hands, but being strong enough to tear through isn't the issue. It's your reaction to do that before that tool sucks it in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    Yep. If you're going to get a HF one, get their most expensive one. Even then you're probably much better off with anything non-HF.
    Bummer, I just bought the $14.99 version. I thought I'd just put a cut off wheel on it and only use it for that. Maybe I'll take it back if I have time since it isn't opened yet.
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  14. #34
    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    Bummer, I just bought the $14.99 version. I thought I'd just put a cut off wheel on it and only use it for that. Maybe I'll take it back if I have time since it isn't opened yet.
    It's fine, just order up a replacement and have it ready. Have the cheap one be your cut off wheel one.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    It's fine, just order up a replacement and have it ready. Have the cheap one be your cut off wheel one.
    I also have a newish Milwaukee with a grinding wheel. So far so good.

    I put together my cheap HF welding table today. I'm sure it will be fine for getting started. I also put together my UVEX shield, should be good.
    99 Mazda Miata SuperMiata #515 - AKA Sparky SOLD
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpreston View Post
    Best decision I ever made was to stop buying harbor freight grinders. That $15 price tag is tempting every time I walk past it, but there are other home depot/lowes options that are MUCH higher quality for under $30. My current favorite cheap grinder is a Ryobi from Home Depot.
    Cheers to this. I have 3 grinders

    1 harbor freight that I hate.

    1 hilti 9A deadmans switch i use for cutting etc

    1 Metabo 14.5A a friend in elevator construction gave me when it aged out and his job bought him a new one.

    The metabo is easier to use and is lighter on discs than both of the others because its all torque over RPM's. It spins slower but absolutely NOTHING stops it. Spend the money on grinders. It pays off in how the tool uses its consumables and how readily it maims you.

    FWIW its the hilti that nearly took my thumb.

  17. #37
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    I got a full machine shop but nothing to fabricate
    Milkshake!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. #38
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    Can I be your friend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    Can I be your friend?
    Milkshake!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. #40
    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Gents, what sort of tool do you use for grinding bad welds in a narrow space? Too tight to get the angle grinder in there, too major for a dremel.

    I have power and compressed air.

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