It’s late in the afternoon. You’ve been laboring over a project since barely after the sun broke over the horizon. You’re weary. You’re tired. And you just want to see this finished. You’re working metal and need something more forgiving than the traditional fixed grinding wheel.
You have choices. You can figure out the best way to grind down what you need using that rigid wheel or you may be tempted to utilize a hand grinder, or a few small bits on a die grinder.
The challenge lies in the exact specifications that must be met in order for you to have the finished results you want. You know that the level of work still needed is more than a die grinder can comfortably handle. In fact, using this isn’t practical as it would thoroughly eat through a number of bits and hours and hours of sweat before you even made it halfway through the project.
No, you would like something a bit more … flexible.
That’s the Word Playing Through Your Mind
Flexibility. You want something that can work with you, not exactly something you have to try and force to work within the parameters you have staring back at you. When it comes to grinding work of any type, there are plenty of tools, but most of them are the same. There are also a number of disk with a wide range of ratings, numbers, sizes, thicknesses, strengths, and more.
But you need smooth results. You have welded seams and corners and the last thing you want is for there to be rough edges, hard corners, or poorly beveled surfaces.
With your level of experience, you stick with what you know: the traditional grinding wheel. And as it’s the end of the day and you’re trying to get done as quickly as possible, the finished work isn’t what you had hoped it would be. Your hands are worn out, the work piece in front of you is not what you wanted or envisioned, and there are bounce and chatter marks all over the place.
Now it’s time to quit. The sun’s setting, the day is over, and you could scream. You truly wanted something better, and that’s where Type 27 and 28 ‘flexible’ depressed center grinding wheels could have been instrumental for you.
What happens with conventional wheels.
One thing that often occurs when using conventional ‘rigid’ grinding wheels is that the machine bounces along the working surface. No matter how hard the machine is held, it’s going to be bouncing and jostling along, making it extremely difficult to keep it positioned properly. There will be times when the grinder ‘grabs’ and slides along the edge, and the operator has to make adjustments.
Creating a finished surface with metal requires years of practice, experience, and dedication. It also demands the right tools.
Using a rigid grinding wheel to create a smoother, softer corner or seamless weld points is like taking a hardwood table and trying to create a soft, smooth finish with 40-grade sandpaper. That coarse paper is going to certainly begin to smooth out the surface, but when the finish is applied, it’s going to simply look awful.
Flexible grinding wheels allow the operator working on the metal more flexibility. With more flexibility, it offers more forgiveness. It provides an opportunity to avoid the common bounce and chatter from the machine on the metal that is naturally going to occur.
When Two Hard Surfaces Meet …
It comes down to some basic physics. When two hard surfaces are being worked against one another, there is going to be jostling. When you have a ‘flexible’ tool working across the unforgiving metal surface, then there will simply be less chatter, less bounce, and fewer flaws as a result.
More Comfort for the Operator
Another benefit of Type 27 and 28 flexible grinding wheels comes for the operator. Anyone who has used these machines for hours and hours on end understands how difficult it can be on the hands. They feel the vibrating, the pain, and discomfort for a long time after the work is over.
Unfortunately, when using a regular, rigid grinding wheel, after all those hours working the surface, there will still be steps needed to help smooth out the surface and reduce the blemishes that result from these wheels.
Using a flexible grinding wheel provides the opportunity to get the job done right the first time around. Instead of having to take two steps to complete the job, it will only require one.
You can grind quickly, moving through the project efficiently and effectively, and having a more polished end result that doesn’t need much more work on your end.
It doesn’t bounce, which means you can maintain better contact with the surface, offering a smoother finish. Also, because it’s not going to bounce nearly as much as the rigid wheel, there will be a lot less pressure and tension in the hands for the operator. A flexible grinding wheel also absorbs more of the shock from the machine meeting the metal, so there’s less stress on the body.
What About on Non-Ferrous Materials?
Finally, another benefit for using Type 27 and 28 flexible grinding wheels is that when working on non-ferrous materials, these discs are not going to load.
There are certainly different materials that can be used for these grinding wheels that will provide better results on a range of surfaces. No matter what surface you may be working on and what you have slated for future projects, it’s important to understand the difference between rigid and flexible grinding wheels to helping you save time, energy, and distress.
Type 27 and 28 flexible grinding wheels are the solution to a pressing problem through the years. It helps to limit time needed to complete projects, offers a smoother finish, and can save operators’ hands and arms from the rigors or constantly working on these rigid materials.
It’s a solution that metalworkers and home project aficionados may not have know they needed, but will be glad they finally have access to it.