Grinding metal is one of the last steps before welding. It’s often a manual process, accounting for the increased demand for metal grinders.
Whether you’re joining their ranks or just curious as to how it’s done, we’re going to walk you through the process. Here’s our A to Z guide on how to grind metal the right way.
The Need to Grind Metal
Why does metal need grinding? The most basic reasons are to create the right weld lines or to polish your piece.
Once a piece is processed, there can be sharp edges or leftover bumps and dust. Getting a smooth, clean line strengthens your weld.
Grinding metal can also give it the last finishing touch. A bit of grinding can help your metal shine and look great.
Basic Tools for Grinding Metal
There are two basic tools when it comes to grinding metal: the power tool and the disc. They come in a wide variety to suit different needs.
For example, a wheel grinder is large and powerful, perfect for bigger pieces of metal. An air grinder is smaller and best for jobs that need a delicate touch.
Your discs will vary according to the kinds of metal you’re using and their thickness. Discs will wear out easily and should be considered a consumable item in your shop.
Metal Grinding Technique
Turning on your power tool and grinding away with a disc isn’t all there is to it. Each project has its own grinding technique.
For polishing metal, use a flap disc to gently buff away lumps and bumps. Move the disc in a steady back and forth motion until you get the metal polished to your liking.
To grind a metal corner, hold a disc against the edge at an angle with only one edge of the disc touching the corner. Grind back and forth for a sharp corner, or at a five to ten-degree angle for a rounded one.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong if you don’t practice good safety techniques. You can get cut, get struck in the face with pieces of the disk, or even lose a finger.
Always wear protective gear like goggles and gloves. Make sure your piece is secured and that you are comfortable operating the grinder.
Watch out for sparks and make sure that they’re always flowing away from you. Listen to the sounds the grinder makes to make sure it’s not overstressed or close to failing.
Know How to Grind Down Metal
Now you know the basics of how to grind metal. You can improve the quality of your welds, strengthen your projects, and polish your metal till it gleams.
Always know which tool is right for the job before you start. Look for ways to reduce your work and do the most with the least amount of movements.
Being safe should be your number one concern. Ensure you’re using the best, safest techniques for your projects.
There is plenty more DIY info for you to discover. Check out more of our home/DIY articles!