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Carving Tools (2)


Angle Grinder
Pictured below is an average angle grinder. They come in a range of power outputs and a huge range of prices depending on the make and model. This is the most common secondary tool chosen by chainsaw carvers. Complete with a sanding disc it is indispensable when it comes to removing saw marks and giving a chainsaw carving a smooth finish. Note the guard has been removed, but only for sanding applications. Gloves should be worn, as well as a dust mask, eye protection and ear protection (they do make quite a lot of noise).

Fitted with a coarse sanding disc it is possible to finely sculpt the wood as well as removing all saw marks. Fine discs give a very fast, even smoother, finish. The discs have to be of the fabric reinforced variety, designed specifically for angle grinders. Do not use discs larger than that designed for the angle grinder. They will almost certainly fly apart. A flexible plastic backing pad made for sanding discs has to be used.
Angle Grinder

The drawback with the angle grinder is that it's not very good at getting in to tight spaces. The side handle can be removed, which helps a bit. However, it is excellent for cleaning up and fine tuning large, in particular convex, surfaces.

Wood Cutting Discs

Or to be more precise, wood cutting discs for angle grinders, not circular saws. This is a disc of the "Arbortech" variety. They are pressed steel discs with chainsaw style teeth formed on the rim. The mounting nuts that come with the angle grinder for grinding discs, are used with these cutting discs.
Cutting Disc

Note that it is essential that the guard be fitted to the grinder.

The guard in the picture has been fitted to use the disc as a cutting/trenching tool. It can be moved round fully towards the cable end in order to use the tool for skimming surfaces (rather like the action of a grinding disc).

It should be said that these discs are very dangerous. They can snatch and kick unexpectedly causing them to be wrenched from the operators hands. If the switch is not of the paddle type, the machine can land still spinning and proceed to jump about, cutting everything it comes in contact with until the power is switched off. This usually includes the operator. As an extra precaution, anyone using this machine would be advised to wear chainsaw type protective gloves, over and above the eye, and possibly ear protection that is standard. The chips are too big to bother with a dust mask generally.

I personally believe that these attachments are more dangerous than chainsaws. They can, in careful hands, remove a lot of wood quite quickly. They may be the only option for those who have no access to chainsaws, or for
indoor work. A chainsaw will however, cut far deeper and more effectively than one of these blades. Chainsaws will also perform all of the functions of these blades, and more.

Here we have a tungsten carbide tipped cutting disc for the angle grinder. Doesn't snatch as much as the previous disc. Leaves a rougher surface in softwoods but works quite well in hard woods. It's even claimed that it can be used with aluminium. Once again it's from "Arbortech"

The teeth can be loosened and rotated to present new cutting edges. Or be removed and replaced.

Same safety precautions as above.
Carbide Cutting Disc

Lancelot and Squire
Another variation on the theme. These are chainsaw chain loops mounted between two large washers. The idea is that the cutters will slip in their mounting washers if they hit anything that they might snatch on. They do seem to cut quite smoothly. There is the facility to use two different sized discs in tandem on the angle grinder at the same time. Special mounting nuts are supplied with the blades.
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