Greengate Ranch Remodel
Remodeling a Daylight Ranch in Oregon

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Green DIY: Own a Bench Grinder

I would guess that most people don't think of a bench grinder as a "green product", but it's probably the most environmentally and economically responsible tool I have in my shop.

A few years ago, I bought a small Ryobi bench grinder for $40 (I checked, they are still the same price), that has a work light attached. It has paid for itself over at least a dozen times. As soon as a bought it, I could believe I didn't get one years earlier.

My main uses:
  • Sharpen drill bits - much better than throwing them away or using them dull. I use it for both spiral (metal) and spade (wood) bits.
  • Sharpen knives, chisels, hoes, axes, shovels, lawnmower blades, scrapers, etc.
  • Fix broken screwdrivers by re-grinding the ends
  • Smoothing ends of metal pipe or bar that I have cut
  • Modifying hardware to fit (shorten bolts or metal plates)
  • Fixing the threads on stripped bolt ends
  • Cut chain and metal cable
  • Grinding / smoothing the edges of tile

    If you consider extending the life of tools, plus trips to the store you don't have to make, plus the added safety in using sharp rather than dull implements, it's hard to argue against this having a good impact on the earth and your wallet.

    I prefer Ryobi (good quality for DIY), but there are obviously a number of brands that work well. I bought my dad larger one from Harbor Freight a few years ago at Christmas, and its still going strong. It cost about $50.

    Gene said...

    Do you need a special attachment to sharpen spiral drill bits?

    Also, how do you fix stripped bolt ends with it?

    Sounds like a great tool to have, in any event.

    TTFWEB said...

    I just use the tool rest to sharpen the bits on the side of the wheel and eyeball it.

    For bolts with stripped ends, I put a taper on the end so I can get a nut on and run threads.

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