Working With Metal: The Right Way to Grind
The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you doing?
Kevin Caron: I'm grinding metal. Do you guys know how to grind? This is something I finally learned. It finally sunk through my head.
Come here and check out this grinder. See that little arrow? All the grinders have them. They show you which way the wheel turns, so when you come up against a piece of metal, all the sparks are going to go in that direction. Or, if you put the grinder at an angle like so, with the bottom of the wheel on there, the sparks will go that way.
This is really important, not only for your safety, because you don't want to get showered in them, but when you're using these little flex wheels, these little sandpaper wheels, they actually compress a little bit as you put it up against the metal. Then you?ll wind up with this little bubble in the wheel.
And if you're grinding the wrong way, putting the wrong side of the wheel up against the metal, you're going to round off this welded joint that you're trying to make. If the wheel is turning that way, and I came up against here, even though my pad is flat, it's going to compress a little and will take away my weld.
If I use the other side of the disk, the part that's coming away from the weld, it'll just clean that thing off nice and flat. Then I can go to the other side and use the correct side that's going that way now and come on this side of the weld where it'll grind and weld flat to this side of my piece.
That will give me a nice 90-degree edge right there. I can come back and fill in any little mistakes I've made, grind it one more time, and I'll have a nice, sharp 90-degree edge that I can then go over one time with the grinder, using a 120-grit pad and end up with metal that's nice and smooth. I?ll grind it one time right down the middle just to break that 90-degree edge. Perfect.
If you do it the wrong way, you wind up with little dips and hollows in it where you're grinding on the wrong side; it's digging in. It's a just a little uncontrollable.
Pay attention to which way the wheel turns. Try it yourself. Grind from your metal off. Never grind inward. You'll see a big difference in how your welding turns out. Come over here and let me show you. Look at this side; I'm going to use the top of the wheel so I grind off the metal that way. (grinding)
As you can see, I ground this off going that way. Now let me come around this side. You see that now the wheel's turning the wrong way. Watch what happens to my weld. (welding)
Now you can see this is smooth going straight off. It's a nice, straight edge. But look on this side and notice it's got a little divot to it. It's rounded off a little bit this way. Because this pad compresses up against here as you're grinding. The wheel's turning the wrong way.
Try it yourself. See what you think.
Back to work!
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