Need to use angle grinder with wood rasp disk in the wood workshop

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Hi,
I’m working on a project: wood shelf with mountain topography

In order to carve the mountains isn’t feasible to use hand wood carving tools and I use angle grinder with a wood rasp disk (the disk don’t cut, it is nothing fancy as a plane or a chain) :point_right: see description

Yesterday @joeatkin2 pointed out to me that angle grinder isn’t allowed inside the wood workshop but we both believe this is something that can be solved because regulation wasn’t defined for this context and safeguards can be put in place (I used the SLMS angle grinder, a wood rasp disk and I was wearing protections).

I’m happy, as suggested by @joeatkin2 to draft a risk assessment and verify that the abrasive disks have CE marks, but there is already a risk assessment for the angle grinder and there is not CE marks because these type of rasp disks are made of steel and not covered by an European directive or regulation (I believe it is the same for many drill bits we use every day with the cordless drill in the workshop).
I could:

  • review the existing risk assessment discourse page and explicitly write that in the wood workshop the risk is mitigated by using only wood rasp disks
  • buy a dust shroud to be attached to the vacuum cleaner, reducing amount of dust and also covering the disk when not in use.

I really would like to move forward in the next days with this project inside the wood workshop, can you please share with me if I’m making correct suggestions to get OK from the @woodtechs team ? If not, is there something specific I’m missing and that I need to do?

Thank you :pray:

Hey Dario. This is a nice idea, I know another person that wants to do something similar, but unless this is done in an enclosed area I don’t think it’ll be a good idea to do in the woodshop. It’ll create a massive amount of fine dust that the air scrubbers won’t handle efficiently and put other members at risk within the space, especially if they don’t use an FFP3 masks. Much like the big cnc, it needs to be completely isolated to stop the fine dust.

I’m not against this and think it can potentially be done outside, but again, it’s producing lots of dust and I don’t know what our policy is surrounding using the outside space for this kind of thing.

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Do you think that the Dust Shroud for Angle Grinders will not solve the problem?

Potentially on a flat surface, but you’re sculpting more than grinding. If anything, the shroud will annoy you because you won’t get the full use of the disc, which then leads to wanting to take it off.

I wonder if we can set up a sort of sand blasting style cabinet for this sort of thing. Provided the pieces aren’t too large, you’d be able to move around fairly freely and we plug directly into the big dust extraction system. It could be a simple box with a Perspex window and long gloves to hold the grinder. It’ll also provide a safety shield if the blade explodes or rips apart.

I’d be happy with this as a solution, and then it’s just getting a risk assessment done/mini induction to use it. But let’s hear what the other techs have to say on this.

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I have done some power carving in the past, and it is very dusty so I’ve always done it outside. I can’t imagine a dust shroud would capture much of the dust but might be worth a go. I think most of the dust shrouds are designed for stone/concrete applications, either cutting or grinding a face, so not ideal.

As @Ryanf says with the guards designed for face grinding you wouldn’t be able to see the blade, and I’m not sure the dust would make it back past/through the blade (like a good sander). The shroud designed for cutting might take some of the dust away but will also reduce the angles you can get the blade in.

I would steer away from chain based wheels or even the style with cutting blades (arbortech make some) as they are more likely to grab and cause injury. (I think, I’ve not used them, because they looked more dangerous! There are videos of accidents with the chain type)

It also might be worth including flap discs and sanding discs in the RA. I found that flap discs had an ok finish and were only a little slower, whereas the power carving wheel always wanted finishing. Flap discs are designed for metal, but work for wood, but if you have any metal in your wood it will happily grind/sand it producing lots of sparks.

I have the green (coarse) version but the extra course is probably good and then sand paper after that.

Saburr-Tooth 4" Power CarvingCarving - https://www.kaizenbonsai.com/saburrtooth-4-power-carving-wheels-carbide-cutting-tools

You can still use the normal guard with it. To clean it one suggestion is to burn of the residue with a blowtorch.

We perhaps shouldn’t really be using a metal workshop grinder in the woodshop and then back without a thorough clean. And in general the wood carving produces a lot of dust that will get in the grinder filters. For some grinders you can get additional filters, perhaps we can make some. But you don’t want to bring a load of sawdust into the metal area so that needs to be considered?

Also angle grinders eat through batteries very quickly so always use a corded one for this sort of work!

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:innocent: it sounds that this will require more time and thinking. Specific to my case I’m building a shelf: the carved part (mountain) it’s a small cube of 150 mm but the overall piece is a board that can get to 1500 mm long (done with band saw).
Working outdoor is a good idea, the guy from the cabinet shop at the entrance of the arches is always sanding outside… maybe I can ask him.
Thanks for looking into it.

If we had an enclosed spray booth, could this be done in there? Doesn’t help Dario in the immediate future, but could be worth thinking about when we design & build the spraying area :thinking:

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The air intake of the grinder have to be wrapped in filter paper, and it have to be properly dusted out with air after. @Ryanf 's box idea is good, we’ll have a pair of spare sleeves when the blasting cabinets will be fixed.

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What about rendering it digitally and then doing it on the Cnc ?

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Outside is a RA nightmare.

The most important thing about a spray booth is to to keep it dust free

A drill bit and a Rasp a very different the cutting velocity at the edge of the disc is significantly higher.

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Great idea, I’ve look into it before deciding to use the angle grinder but Z axis carves maximum 100mm or less… I’m going to investigate more. Thanks

Ah right, sounds like a non-starter then

Definitely a +1 on avoiding chain based wheels - Stumpy Nubs woodworking on YouTube did a video about how he nearly lost a hand with one of those, and he’s usually very very vocal about proper safety in woodworking.

Kutzall make some really good wood carving bits, I’ve got one for my dremel and it works great - pretty sure they make carving discs for angle grinders as well.

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There is UK Safety Alert issued for angle grinder chainsaw disc attachment

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Don’t know if it’s better than an angle grinder for dust dispersion, but if you went down the dremel route I’ve got a set of tungsten carbide rotary burrs that would be pretty effective, especially for that relatively small area. Or used after the main shaping to add detail. Welcome to borrow any time…

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Not surprised to be honest, that thing looks tailor made to spin out of your grip and lop off a finger haha

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The bit of a chainsaw that causes kickback is the tip, and that thing is basicly ALL TIP. What a terrifying machine!

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it’s a deathtrap!

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Never known Gergo to be one for exaggeration, but how bad could it really be?

Damn what the hell were they thinking!?

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