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Angle grinder safety

Discussion in 'Working the Steel' started by erik831, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. erik831

    erik831 New Member

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    Hi folks, today I started making my first knife from a piece of steel I found at the scrap yard, I believe is 3/16 thick don't know what kind of still it is but I think is good for practice. At any rate , I had never used an angle grinder till today , I'm a guy who loves tools (I do woodwork) but never had the need for a grinder so here I was trying to cut the piece of steel and I got a few scary kickbacks so I decided to learn more about angle grinders and while searching I watched a few videos of angle grinder accidents , well now I have to confess I'm afraid to use that thing I saw the cutting disc explode and pieces flying everywhere I also read a lot of people have bad experiences so my concern is will I be safe if I follow safety guides like never removing guard and using the right cutting disc for the material I'm using?using goggles and face shield and gloves? I have a thin disc to cut the steel I mentioned are those thin discs the right ones? Attached is a photo of the steel and the grinder.
    Thank you in advance.

    Erik

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Rob W

    Rob W Active Member

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    Hey Erik , where are you from , may be a maker in your area...........welcome aboard
    lots of good guys and info here...............slow and steady with your angle grinder, don't try and take to much off at once, before I bought a bandsaw I did it this way as well as I'm sure many of us did and still do.......any idea what kind of steel this is ? for heat treating.........
    eye protection , good gloves and don't forget some ear protection are an absolute must in my opinion..............
     
  3. stevebates

    stevebates Active Member

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    Looks like you got all the safety gear, face shield, gloves etc.. The kickback is going to come from having the steel extended out from the clamp though. You want to make sure it is clamped in tight and the steel can't flex this will give you moe control. A bench vies is a good idea when using an angle grinder as its very tight and easy to adjust your work piece. A little tip when cutting your lines is to ride the cutting disc backwards opposite the discs rotation to create your cutting lines and then gently back and forth evenly for a few passes. When the depth of the cut is almost through the steel that's when you should cut with the wheel in the proper direction to get through the steel. You will be safe and always remember never to force a cutting disc, let the equipment to the job and you will have greater control and no problems. Hope this helps!
     
  4. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    @Erik
    Steve gave you the best advice for using your grinder. The other option is a good old hacksaw. That's what I use to cut rough cut my blanks. If you use a sharp blade, it goes pretty fast and gives you fairly precise control of your cuts.

    As for your scrapyard metal, I think for someone starting out, you're much better off buying good blade steel. You can get lengths of 1084 steel quite cheap. When one of your practice blades turns out like something you'd want to finish, you know you can heat treat it at home and have a decent knife. Save the scrapyard steel for making patterns of your favourites.
     
  5. stevebates

    stevebates Active Member

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    I should've also mentioned to make sure the cutting disc you select is rated for the RPM of your angle grinder this is also very important so the discs don't blow apart on you.
     
  6. erik831

    erik831 New Member

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    Thank you guys for the response, I worked on my knife for a couple of hours yesterday , I ended up following the advice of working with new steel so I used a piece of 01 steel that I had ordered last week. I'll keep you guys posted on my progress.
     
  7. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    Angle grinders scare me...
     
  8. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    I think they serve their intended purpose when used carefully to smooth welds and such. With that being said I have never, and will never use one for anything related to knife making. I cut my profiles with a hacksaw and then hog the rest off with the belt. Burning an extra belt once in a while seems far cheaper than missing shop time, or life in general because a wheel flexed and blew up. To each their own, but its not for me.
     
  9. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    That's how I feel about buffers. I won't use 'em.
     
  10. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    Buffers haven't hurt me yet so there's no fear lol.
     
  11. shadman

    shadman Member

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    i ve had a few stiches from buffers-a few lost fingertips from grinders and a healthy shot of fear from just about anything ive plugged into the wall-but in every case the underlying reason was always a distraction.if you dont give what you are doing your full attention a trip to emergency is usually next.
     
  12. BigUglyMan

    BigUglyMan Active Member

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    Scared is the safest way to be. Scared keeps you safe. Hand tools wound, power tools maim!

    OP committed the first safety infraction of using angle grinders...never put them down with the wheel down. Lay them on their back.
     
  13. Ryan Ladurantaye

    Ryan Ladurantaye Active Member

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    One thing I could suggest about the grinder is to try and keep you cuts straight. If the curves and flex worry you it will make it easier. Once you have the blocky form cut out you can go back and either use the thin cutting disc to make smaller more precise cuts or if its close to shape use a thicker grinding disc to cut out the form. It doesn't take the thick disc long to hog through material.
     

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