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Motorsport Fabrication Fundamentals: Die Grinder

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Die Grinder


00:00 - Working in tight spaces is often an unavoidable aspect of motorsport fabrication and it's pretty common to be working within areas where we can barely see, let alone access easily with our tools.
00:11 Because of this, it's handy to have a versatile tool that can get us into these tight spaces and clean up or remove any unwanted material and that's where the die grinder comes in handy.
00:22 This is traditionally a small pneumatic high speed tool with a collet that tightens and accommodates 100s of different cutting and grinding tools.
00:29 More recently these tools have also become available in electric variants with corded and cordless battery operated options.
00:37 It should be noted that these electric versions are a lot larger than your pneumatic versions in order to accommodate the bulky motor and battery though.
00:44 Die grinders are available in a few different sizes, the smallest being a micro die grinder that uses a 3 mm collet to attach small cutting tools, spinning at 50,000 RPM for light duty work.
00:57 The larger and more common version uses a 6 mm collet and typically will spin at 25,000 RPM.
01:03 The collet on a die grinder is the mounting spindle where we insert our cutter or tool and once inserted, we tighten the collet with a pair of spanners.
01:11 These collets are available to suit both metric and imperial cutters with the metic collet measuring 6 mm diameter and the imperial version measuring a quarter inch.
01:21 There are literally 100s of different tools available to insert into our die grinder, depending on the material you're working with and the specific task you're wanting to complete.
01:31 Let's start at the less abrasive cutters and work our way through to the high material removers.
01:37 Abrasive stone grinding attachments offer very light material finishing and are ideal for grinding and finishing inside bores.
01:44 These stone attachments will require frequent dressing which is the process of removing the outer layer of impregnated stone to reveal a fresh cutting surface.
01:53 Honing can also be successfully done with a die grinder utilising a rubber mandrill, over which small drums of sandpaper of various grits are pressed.
02:02 These are useful for removing material evenly and smoothly.
02:06 If you want to remove a lot of material quickly, burr cutters are a good option and these are offered in many different profiles and lengths.
02:13 These are manufactured out of tungsten carbide that's machine ground to have a very fine or coarse cutting face which is dependent on what material they're designed to work with.
02:23 Burrs designed for working with aluminium and other non ferrous materials will have a wider area between each cutting edge so that the material won't build up and clog the cutter.
02:33 Burrs used for steel on the other hand have a much finer cutting face so that the cutter won't grab and damage the material that we're trying to cut.
02:41 6 mm end mills which are made from tungsten carbide can also be used with a die grinder in order to remove material extremely quickly.
02:49 When we're removing material with a burr cutter, it's important that we wear appropriate protection as always but also brace ourselves in a comfortable position, clamp our job to the bench and use two hands as the cutter has a tendency to grab and try and make its way over onto things that we don't it to grind.
03:07 It's also worth mentioning that the swarf from a burr cutter is extremely sharp and it can also be extremely hot.

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