I'm removing a chain link fence from my yard. I've been using a
Roto-Zip with a metal cutting wheel to cut the chain-link material
into manageable pieces. That works very well, by the way.
I'm going to need to cut the vertical metal pipe poles as close to the
ground as possible. They're set in concrete footings and I suppose if
I was younger and more ambitious I might try to dig them out. But the
poles feel really solidly anchored, and the footings are below the
level of the dirt.
Anyway, I see two angle grinders in the latest edition of the Harbor
Freight catalog. Both are priced at $30, one 4.5" and one 7". The 7"
has a 1.66 hp motor and the 4.5" one is something like half that. It
seems that the 7" wheel would allow me to cut through the
approximately 1.25" o.d. pipe without having to keep moving the tool
around different sides of the pipe. But the metal cutting wheels they
advertise say they have a 1/4" face. That seems pretty thick to me,
removing more material than might really be necessary. Might the 4.5"
tool be better in some way?
I don't imagine I'll be using an angle grinder too often for other
tasks, so I'm hoping the likely rock-bottom quality of these tools
won't be too much of a problem.
That seems awfully thick. I have used thin cutoff wheels in my 4.5 inch
grinder, and they're only 1/16 inch thick. Even the grinding wheels,
used with one face against the work, aren't 1/4" thick.
With the same wheel thickness, you'd expect the larger grinder to cut
faster because of more power and higher surface speed at the wheel
edge. But if the thinnest cutoff wheel you can get in 7" is
substantially thicker than what you can get for the 4.5 inch grinder,
the latter might end up being faster because you're removing less
metal. So look at what wheels are available first.
yeah, I've used my 4.5 grinder for cutting a lot of metal..notably
rebar. but heck, you can get a sawzall for $100 nowadays,
toolbarn.com has an 11A Milwaukee for $109 right now)
and. Get one of the nice metal cutting blades, and you're all set.
safety-wise, you're probably going to want to make two cuts anyhow.
One to get the pole down, another to get as close to the ground as
possible...gotta be careful with that grinder/cutoff wheel on pipe.
actually if you don't already have 'em...get both the 4.5" grinder
and the sawzall. They're always good for something.
digging out the concrete by hand can be brutal. I've done it
with an electric jackhammer. Makes it more doable. (rather than
wrestling a solid 100lb+ cylinder of concrete.)
Dave Martindale wrote:
Use the 4.5" so you can get a thin cutter wheel. It's not that big of
a deal to move around the pole. Harbor Freight tools are junk. Angle
grinders are very handy tools, I'd opt for a better quality one. I
never pull nails out of framing wood anymore, I just cut them off with
my grinder, and reuse the boards. If you still want a cheapo model,
I'd go to Menards. I have a top brand name grinder, but I got tired
of changing from the cutter to the grinder wheels when I weld.
Menards had their generic brand grinder on sale for $12.99 a few years
ago. I decided for that price I could afford to toss it after a few
jobs. It's worked flawlessly and seems to be well built for a cheap
tool. Since then I bought their generic brand hammer drill and that
seems to be a well made tool too.
On the other hand, if you dont want all those chunks of concrete in
the yard, you can lease a skid loader for around $100 per day. Wrap a
piece of heavy chain around the post and you can rip them out of the
ground. Then knock off the cement with a sledge and sell the pipes.
Steel is high, so you might cover the cost of the rental.
Posts aren't that hard to dig out concrete and all. I just don't like
leaving stuff like that in the ground.
Just dig down one side almost to the bottom of the concrete cylinder, and
tip over the post. When the post is laying flat on the ground, you can pop
the concrete off with a hammer.
I've done this a bunch of times and we're talking max 10 minutes per post.
The small 4" or 4 1/2" angle grinders work very well, I've used my cheapie for
years. $30 is way too much to pay for a single use tool. Harbor Freight has
several for $15 right now, also get a 10 pack of the cutoff wheels for $3.49.
Just search their web site for "angle".
top of the fence into manageable pieces. That's probably the limit of
its capability. But otherwise it serves my (occasional) need for such
I find myself thinking that I'll be able to cut the pipe closer to the
footing with a grinder. I'm sure that the closest I could get with a
sawzall is about 3/4".
HF has a recip saw that goes on sale now and again for about $20.
Should make it through one job. Only sawzall the posts off at the
bottom. Not the fence. The fence will bounce around a lot.
Same HF store should have bolt cutters for nipping the fence
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
On Sun, 13 May 2007 19:35:42 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"
I already cut all the fence down. I started off with a sort of
mini-bolt-cutters, the size of linesman's pliers. They worked, but it
took more hand effort than I was ready to repeat a few hundred times.
I've got a Rotozip with the cutter wheel attachment. The metal cutting
wheel did an absolutely fabulous job. I'll bet it didn't take 40
seconds to make each vertical swath through the 4' high fence.
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