Daughter was loaned a little Performance Power Tools angle grinder and
she has been using it for finishing some of her chainsaw carvings up
They have come down to go to an Arb show and she handed it to me with
the std "it stopped working .. can you fix it for me please Dadda?"
I went through the faultfinding steps with her b/f and we came to the
conclusion it was the switch and I'd look to see if spares were
I leant her my spare (like you do) and once they were gone I looked
closer at the switch.
Luckily it seems like it was designed to be taken to bits and as I did
so a fair bit of sawdust fell out (even though it looked sealed). I
removed the actual contact rocker, de-dusted everything, gave the
contacts a light clean and reassembled. It looked ok on the DMM and
seems to work ok again in the grinder (for now anyway?). ;-)
Anyway, I know it's only a cheap grinder and we could buy the same
(or better) model as a replacement but it's much better to be able to
fix the one you have, especially for nothing (apart from a bit of my
time of course but I enjoy doing so, especially when it's successful).
If she starts doing more of this sort of thing I think she will look
to getting something 'better', assuming there is such a things these
days and if so what please?
I still have one of the Black and Decker 'Pro' (in black?) series and
I think it's probably better balanced than the Bosch I have that I
think is supposed to be pretty good.
Cheers, T i m
I've got one much the same (dunno what it's labelled but it was from B&Q
about 10 years ago) that I bought for a one-off use but it of course
came in useful for a bajillion other things so, having performed
faultless & stirling service and even though I keep thinking about
getting a "posh" one, I've stripped it down and given it a good clean
before the gunk inside caused it to eat itself and I hope it lasts many
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
And that's probably the thing isn't it. Often these 'cheap' lines are
let down by either a small bit of poor design or a poor component. And
not always the cheap lines it seems?
Like, I bought one of the Charke steel cutting bandsaws and halfway
through the job (I bought it for) one of the blade bearings failed. So
I changed the lot for good / branded ones and it's been fine ever
I'm doing similar with a couple of trailers, amongst other things I'm
replacing the unbranded wheel bearings with (in this case) NTN ones
(at 3 x the cost) in the hope it will allow them to last a bit better.
And it's not that these things fail per-se but the issues that be
caused when they fail and especially if un-noticed for a while (you
can't always hear a bearing start to fail as you generally can on a
I bet your grinder gearbox had what looked like wax stuck around the
outside and no sign that it had ever been anywhere near the gears?
Daughter has just re-furbished an old sack barrow we were given
(because it was suited to carrying bits of tree trunk and had
inflatable tyres) and the bearings were originally shielded. It had
been left outside and water had got in the shields and the bearings
had rusted apart. Because the bearings were unlikely to be worked hard
but may get wet, I replaced them with the sealed type for 50p each.
The decent bearings I fitted to the 13month old failed washing machine
I was given via Freecycle seem to be doing better than the originals.
I really feel with some of these things the devil is in the detail.
The number of times I ask a 'specialist' for some technical support
and they typically say "nah, we just use any grease / paint / material
/ bolts / bearings and just do <whatever> every year or so".
IMHO, fewer people (present company accepted of course <g>) seem to
have the interest in doing it right first time these days and finding
someone that knows their subject is a breath of fresh air. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
Bearing design is probably an exact science but tweaking the detail for
marketing purposes is rather different.
A long while ago now but, back in the '80's, the Japanese bearing
industry stole a march on the European competition by marketing a range
of *quiet* ball bearings for domestic equipment. Apparently, this had
been achieved by relaxing the groove tolerances and would have had
serious impacts on the thrust performance and overall life expectancy.
But quietness was a bigger marketing point.
Ah! Detail. Along with my barn frame, I received a 10l drum of high
build primer paint. On opening it was found to be congealed to a stiff
paste! Vigorous stirring reduced it to a just about paintable cream but
I was determined to discover how to add thinners. The manufacturers web
site only offered a snail mail data sheet, the can only mentioned Xylene
as a risk factor. How is one supposed to know what to use?
Fortunately, Hammerite brush cleaner/thinners works!
Everyone knows something about something:-)
After phoning around it seems like some of the big brands are also
having (some of?) their bearings made in the likes of China. Not that
that in itself /should/ be a problem but I fear it's more to do with
the 'if we don't join it we will be left out' philosophy than anything
Most of the bearing suppliers confirmed there was indeed 3 levels to
these (trailer) bearings. Very cheap that should be considered as
consumables , 'good' unbranded (possibly made with the same stuff
as the good bearings just without the label) and the genuine good
stuff. I could get two sets of 4 wheel bearings delivered for less
than the cost of one Timkin.
And this is where the suppliers of this sort of thing should step in.
"These bearings are quieter and that's ok for your washing machine but
not a good idea for your trailer. I'd suggest getting the ABC bearings
for that role". And I guess when times were easier people could afford
to potentially miss out on some potentially bad business. Now the
gamble may pay off, especially if everything works ok?
I would have thought 10l would have been a tester size from my
memories of your new barn! ;-)
And probably hard work with a brush.
Our daughter supplies more information with her chainsaw carvings than
Well exactly, and using the wrong stuff (especially on such a large
project) could have serious implications.
I still have a can of Acetone that seems to be a good solvent for all
sorts of things. ;-)
Of course, however, I find few of them seem to be working in their
field of expertise anymore (tending to take 'a job' rather than one
they might be good / skilled at etc). Can't blame them of course.
I was buying some bolts to use on a galvanised trailer and thought I
remembered something about stainless and galvanise 'reacting'. I like
to use ss fastness because they can be removed easily in the future
but not if they would react with the galvanized plating. He suggested
that it wouldn't be a problem as you couldn't generally put galv and
non galv fasteners together (different thread / size or summat) but
whilst that was good to know it wasn't really my question. I didn't
pursue it any further as I felt it might not be something they would
know in any case (even though it could be of use to their customers
and indirectly, them).
I'm also finding more "I don't know, I just sell it" type answers or
"I wouldn't do that" even though they can't offer a logical
explanation why you wouldn't. Big difference (IMHO) between something
someone wouldn't do because /they/ didn't like the idea or they didn't
think it looked nice and something that may be dangerous or be against
the regs (in which case they are logical answers).
Cheers, T i m
Where does using a fairly dangerous tool for a useful purpose end and
larking around begin? Chainsaw carving isn't something I'd
contemplate. If a tree blows down or a feral elderberry is crying out
to be butchered I will rev up and have a go (DIY) to get the mess out
of the way.
On Fri, 6 Aug 2010 04:26:34 -0700 (PDT), Part timer
Good question but you could ask the same for pretty well anything the
human race invent for one job (normally to make it faster, easier,
cheaper or use less people) then mutate into a sport (like bicycle /
motorcycle / car / boat / plane racing or jumping off a building with
It's not for everyone that's for sure. She can't contemplate sitting
in an office all day, people can die of boredom you know. ;-)
Hmm, well she's a 'professional ' in that she's had the training,
achieved the tickets, has /some/ experience (groundy / trainee t/s for
6 months), climber, has and wears all the PPE, has insurance, is
generally 'sensible' and isn't 'reckless'. No guarantees in life
though (only death). ;-(
When she was regularly working in the tree surgery game I was more
concerned about her riding to work at 6am in the dark and rain on her
motorbike than I was her using all the (mostly 'dangerous') kit or
being 60' up a tree.
Cheers, T i m
p.s. I saw a similar point raised when we were discussing shooting
somewhere. Someone asked "who in there right minds would put a real
gun in the hands of a child?" Someone replied, "How else can you train
them properly?" <g>. I wonder how many kids accidentally shoot their
mates / family / selves because they /weren't/ trained in the safe
handling of weapons? A blunt knife is more dangerous than a sharp one
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