Tinker Talk – March 2020: Tinker Tools: The Angle Grinder

By Justin James

A good angle grinder is a versatile tool that will always prove useful. There are various attachments available that serve a wide variety of purposes. You can get attachments for metal, wood, tile, stone, polishing and more. For the sake of this article we will be sticking to angle grinder uses as they apply to motorcycles and metalworking.

Angle Grinder Attachments (Refer to Photo 1)
Wire Wheel (A): Use for cleanup work such as removing paint or rust.
Flap Disc (B): Best for light material removal.
Metal Grinding Wheel (C): Provides fast and significant material removal.
Metal Cutting Disc (D): The name says it all with this one.
Fiber Resin Sanding Discs (E): For finish work and surface prep.

No tool related Tinker Talk would be complete without discussing some tool hacks. An angle grinder is plenty useful on its own but can be adapted to fill the role of many other tools with a little junk metal engineering. Keep in mind these are simply examples of things I have had to do over the years to get the job done. These are in no way intended uses or workplace approved methods, but they do work.

You can create a crude chop saw by attaching an angle grinder to a fixed lever, such as a tire bead breaker. In a pinch you can attach a hole saw to an angle grinder, providing that the arbor diameter or thread pitches match. A vise and an angle grinder can be combined to create a makeshift bench grinder. Remove the handle from the angle grinder (Photos 2A and 2B). Insert a bolt of the proper thread into the bore intended for the handle (Photo 2C). Clamp the bolt into the bench vise (Photo 2D).

These are only some of the uses for an angle grinder that I can attest to. I’m sure these awesome little contraptions have many other uses that I have yet to figure out or experiment with. If you don’t already have an angle grinder, consider investing in one. The 4” and 4 ½” versions tend to be the most common and offer the widest variety of attachments. These handy tools are particularly useful for those of you who do or would like to begin doing your own custom work. Become proficient with the use of an angle grinder and your work may begin to surprise you. Don’t forget eye and ear protection!

Tinker, Shred, Destroy, Repeat
-Justin James

(see more of my Tinker shenanigans on Instagram @justinjamesmoto)
You can also follow #teamtinkerin as we compete in the 2020 Blue Collar Build Off