Sunday, December 23, 2018

Wire wheel angle grinder with adjustable height

Angle grinders come in handy in the workshop. They can be used for cutting, polishing or bushing and more.

Wire wheels are useful for removing rust and debri from a variety of items. This system allows you to set the height of the grinder to get the desired action of the wire wheel. The weight of the grinder keeps it quite solid on the base. The grinder on the base helps to control the polishing action.  Wire wheels leave a scratch pattern so you can always use a brass wire wheel.

See the video here: Angle Grinder Build

Here I will show you step by step how it is made.

The first thing to do is to make a base, since I don't have a piece of plywood thick enough I glued two pieces of plywood together to give me a piece 1" thick. 

After the glue is dried the piece is trimmed on the table saw. This will make everything look clean and will be a good solid base. It is 1'x 17.5".

Here I am cutting a piece of 1/2" plywood to 4"x8". It will be the back for the grinder. Blocks will be added to this back and this will be for the guides. 

The side handle slot for the bolt is angled so I used my mini bevel gauge to get the angle for drilling a hole for the bolt.

I used a block to set the height to get the approximate angle for drilling.

The back fits nicely on the grinder and the bolt angle is correct. Two maple blocks are cut out, they will be screwed onto the the back and will hold the metal pipes which are the guides.

Two blocks for the guides are clamped and drilled for the pipe. Clamping and drilling together is very important to make everything precise.

The block is clamped to the table to get ready for drilling the base. Everything has to be precise to make make the guides work.

 I used a forstner bit and tapped it with a hammer to make marks into the base. 

Pipes and bars where purchased at my local metal shop. The diameter of the bars are 16mm. After I cut the pieces the pipes are 10" and the bars are 14".

The base is drilled with a 15mm forstner bit for the bars.

Cutting the pipes to length, 10".  


Glueing and screwing the blocks onto the back.

Two slots are made in the back for a pipe clamp. They are about 1/4" long. I did this on the drill press. I marked the slot then drilled several holes and then used the drill bit as a router to finish up to  make the slot.    

A pipe clamp and the bolt hold the grinder secure to the back.

The pipes were very tight in the blocks so a Dremel tool was used to ream the hole to get the right fit. If I hammered them with force the maple block may have split. 

To keep the pipes secure set screws are made simply by using screws and cutting them to the right size and screwing them in until they touch the pipe, this is all they need to hold them in place. 

A stop for the grinder is made using a threaded rod. To adjust a nut and wingnut are used. 

To secure the threaded rod a nut was inserted in the plywood base. To do this it was first marked, chiseled out and then pounded in.

When the grinder back is placed on the bars it will rest on the top of the threaded rod, now it is easy to make the mark for the threaded rod.

This hole can be drilled free hand since it will be for a stop and not a guide.

To help preserve the base I found a piece of  metal in my scrap pile, cut it to size, then drilled and countersunk the corners. 

I tested the grinder and found it worked great. Setting the height was very effective for the pieces I was cleaning. 

I know this will come in handy in my shop. It is easy to make and I know there are many uses for it.

See Also:                                                                            

mini kerf maker                                

              Reciprocating sander                                                                                                                           


Sunday, October 14, 2018

File Blocks

Files can remove material quickly and depending on the grit they can cut smooth or aggressive. When you want to remove material quicker than sandpaper, files can do better.  They are also great shaping tools. 

These files blocks are simple to make and will sit nice in your tool case or fit in a small tool box. I know I will be using them a lot in my shop.

I bought a 10" file and cut 2  pieces from it. I used my Angle Grinder Miter to cut the file. This is hard steel but the grinder cut it quicker than I thought.

Of course you can use any file and  experiment with different files from fine to course. The one I am using is called smooth. 

                Grades of cuts- Files             
                      very smooth
                      second cut

The file cut alright but I will have to add a metal base plate for my Miter table to help prevent the table from burning. 

The tablesaw fence was set to the width of the file which is 28mm, this will be the same size as the bottom part of the handle. 

Now I will cut the lower part of the handle. I had some scrap Brazilian cherry hardwood flooring pieces. They will look good together with maple.


The maple will be the top of the handle, the blade was tilted to 7 degrees and both sides are cut. 

The cherry pieces are glued on to the maple block. Weights are put on and set aside overnight.

The ends were slightly tapered, this will make it look better. NOTE: This was all marked out earlier to match to exact size of the file.

A round over router bit was used for the top only, this will look best and feel comfortable when holding. I used a screw clamp to hold the block to keep my hands far from the router bit.

All to do now is some fine sanding, I first used some 150 grit then 220.

I brushed on  a couple coats of Polyurethane. Fine sandpaper and steel wool was used between coats. Two coats makes a difference, it will give you a smooth, even protective finish.

The file can now be glued onto the block. I used 60 minute  epoxy for this.

I tested a few pieces and I am very happy with the results. It took off sharp edges very quick and shaped the wood easily, and the wood still felt smooth.

This will be my go to tool when I want to remove small amounts of wood fast. The handle helps control the file and works on large flat surfaces which is difficult to do with a regular file.

I have 2 and one will be a dedicated tool for some of my piano work.

I came up with this idea because I felt a regular file could not do what a sanding block could and a file does not have the right handle. Now with a nice handle it works and looks  great. I certainly will get a lot of use from these file blocks. 

See Also

                                            Make a large bevel gauge                           Belt sander stand            

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Jigsaw Table with Quick Install and Release

I made this simple jigsaw table for my shop. It is very basic and can be made using  your cordless drill, jigsaw and a few other simple tools.  You can go to your Home Depot and get them to cut the base top and sides to the right dimensions.

I made the base and top 11"x 15". The height is 11". The box is inset to the base 2" this is to help with clamping the unit on a workbench or other table. 

You can make the first part of this table and clamp it to a table or workbench and use it right away. Or you can carry on and make the box. 

Here are a couple blocks, they will be for support/guides for the jigsaw. Four holes are drilled using a countersink bit.

Using a ruler carefully measure and mark the position for the blocks.
First screw on one of the blocks then put down the jigsaw and firmly place the other block on and screw it in. The jigsaw should now feel secure with no side play.

I can make the mark for the blade. To do that I found an old blade and cut it so it would fit even with the bottom of the jigsaw. This made the marking so simple.

The slot was drilled out using a 11/32nd drill bit.

Cupped 1" magnets are now installed. These are available from Lee Valley, they have a countersunk screw hole in the center of the magnet which makes them easy to install or remove.

These are very strong earth magnets so you must be careful, I made a video of  a simple  magnet separator which will come in handy.

 A front block is drilled on, this will act as a stop guide when the jigsaw is put in the box and also helps with removal. 

The magnets are very strong and after a few tests I knew they would work fine.

 Three sides are screwed together to make the support for the top. Remember to always use the right size drill bit for the screws or the wood will split.


With the jigsaw the corners can be rounded, this looks better and now there wont be any sharp edges. I did this only to the top since this is the work area.

Screws are countersunk and put on the top. I then put on a few coats of Polyurethane. After it was ready I made many test cuts using different types of wood such as hardwood, softwood and dowels.

Everything turned out great, I was very pleased with the table. Caution should be taken when using the table. Since pieces are not clamped the upstroke of the blade can lift the workpiece so you always have to hold the pieces firm.

                         You can watch the video Here

See Also:

                     Large wood clamp                                                                          Mini bevel gauge