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Capra Aegagrus
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got your attention, didn't I? :laughing:

We're tuckpointing an entire brick building that occupies about 1/3 of a city block. The first step, of course, is grinding out all of the old mortar.

We've had two guys working on the first ("learning") section for a couple of weeks, and so far they've burnt up a Makita, a Ryobi and a Hitachi 4 1/2" grinder. Those were already fairly well beat up, so not much surprise. FWIW, the Makita lasted the longest, and can actually be resuscitated for a while with new brushes--though the armature's about half gone.

I'm wondering if anyone has done the number crunching and usage to determine what grinder would be best for sacrificial application on a job like this. We fully expect to waste a few at least, but there has to be a best balance between price, longevity and usability (no point in having one that won't die if it kills the user's hands).

Anybody been there?
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Get one of these and hook it to a shop vac, last for a few more jobs.
Seen it, thought about it, and decided not to go for it (though that could change). Our reasoning was that
(a) we'd wind up buying just as many shop vacs as cheap grinders,
(b) we'd constantly be stopping to clean the vac filters,
(c) the location/environment doesn't demand dust control, and
(d) there are a lot of inside corners and doo-dad designs set into the brickwork that just can't be negotiated with a guarded blade.

Rebuttal? Please?
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Get the bosch and use a Multimaster type tool for the inside corners/hard to reach spots.

The only reason I suggest hooking to a vac is you will greatly extend the life of the tool.
Absolutely no question that a vac would extend the tool life quite significantly. But even assuming the vacs don't die, a big part of the equation is the man-hours involved. As I said, you'd constantly be stopping to clean filters (I know, I tried it with a freehand vac), and there's no way on earth that you could "Multimaster" stuff nearly as fast as just plunging a 4 1/2" blade in.

As it is, we fully expect cold weather to stop us long before the job's done. Which is fine by me--I'm past ready for a break right now!
 

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I'd probably say a Water/Metabo they seem to have the high-end grinder market in my town.

I have a Hilti 4.5" grinder but have never done extensive grinding with it, only short grindes. Even hilti only gives their grinders a 1 year warrenty due to the conditions they work in.

Maby the 9.99 harbor freight may be in order, a grinder is a pretty simple tool how could a 400 dollar one be that much better?

The only reason I suggest hooking to a vac is you will greatly extend the life of the tool.
Most things I've ground having a vac hose would be a real inconvinience..but your right about the extended life.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maby the 9.99 harbor freight may be in order, a grinder is a pretty simple tool how could a 400 dollar one be that much better?
I can vouch for the fact that when I replaced my Makita with a Ryobi, I had to put up with significantly more noise and vibration. And the Ryobi isn't as comfortable to hold all day long.

That's one of the balances I was talking about--if it's uncomfortable to use, you're not going to get as much production out of it due to the need for breaks.
 

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The com and brushes are going to take the worst beating. Bearings would also be the next thing to fail. I would just get a cheap makita grinder as they are built pretty solid and then if you have any issues blow them out and try and return them. I returned a dewalt angle grinder in the UK years ago and it was only a few days old but we was using it to chop out a fiberglass mold. Lasted just 2 days of hard use and they wouldn't warranty it. They said that it was designed to have a life expectancy of about 60hrs of non stop use!! later found out that nearly all of them have the same clause in the warranty.
 

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I've had good luck with Makita doing similar work. At one time HD, used to sell a two-pack of Makita's in my area.

Never understood why, unless they were marketing to guys like us who were going to tear all heck out of the machine...
 

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One of the best grinders on the market is the Makita 9564CV. I say this because of what it is commonly used for. This grinder is typically the grinder of choice by marble and granite contractors. They can polish, grind, cut granite and marble all day long and that is not an easy task. It is not a cheap grinder by any means, but longevity is the idea.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A big thanks to everyone for the comments!

It is not a cheap grinder by any means, but longevity is the idea.
Yes, longevity is way up there, but what I'm not really seeing from any of the responses here is anyone who's actually crunched the numbers for a good-sized project and come up with the best overall balance between:

Price
Longevity
Usability (= worker productivity)

I'd be happy to pay $200 per grinder for each man if I was satisfied it would last through weeks of grinding 8 hrs/day with good productivity. But if I can get the same production from five $30 grinders per man, I'd just as soon pocket the savings.

Know whut I mean, Vern? :thumbsup:
 

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First, using a grinder for tuck pointing is a whole different animal than grinding metal. You may have gotten a better idea of what grinder to buy if this was posted in the masonry section (but I do understand why you posted it here). My grinders are used for about half masonry grinding and half metal cutting. I had a Hitachi that recently died on me. Lasted a few years but I didn't use it all that much. Over all it was a decent grinder. I have a Hilti that gets used often and has held up very well. It is a much better grinder than the Hitachi.

Ask any tuck pointer and they will tell you a grinder is a disposable tool, but I think you know that already. Any grinder that you choose I would recommend stopping very half hour to hour and blowing out the inside with your compressor, the dust really kills those things. At the end of the day give it a few drops of oil inside then run it for a minute.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You may have gotten a better idea of what grinder to buy if this was posted in the masonry section (but I do understand why you posted it here).
Yeah, I dithered over that a bit, even maybe crossposting, but with the brilliant thread title I figured you guys would pop in anyway. :laughing:

Any grinder that you choose I would recommend stopping very half hour to hour and blowing out the inside with your compressor, the dust really kills those things. At the end of the day give it a few drops of oil inside then run it for a minute.
We do blow them out every so often, though I'm not convinced it really does all that much good. It's the floating dust that does the damage, not so much what's stuck to the surfaces already.

At the risk of appearing unintelligent, I'm not sure where I'd put any oil without disassembling the tool. And wouldn't that be prone to providing more area for the dust to stick to?
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Pneumatic impractical?
Yeah, pretty much. We're doing some of the work off scaffolding, some on a 45' lift. We try to keep the two away from each other so the bottom guy doesn't get rained on too much. The lift has an electric line built into the boom with an outlet on the platform, so you don't have to deal with dangling extension cords.

There's a lot of foot traffic in the area, and it's pretty much the worst part of the city. There's a shooting there every week or two. MOF, we heard one take place just a block away three weeks ago.

I'd rather replace an extension cord than air hoses and/or a compressor. :laughing:

On the bright side, so far we've been there for two months now and have had no issues whatsoever with any local characters. Of course, we're careful to start early and finish early, and leave absolutely nothing on site overnight. :thumbsup:
 

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Yes you would need to unscrew and slide the body off of the grinder to oil it. Otherwise you would be giving the dust a better place to get stuck. But over all there is no good solution to make a grinder last while doing pointing work. I know they are expensive but my vote is still for Hilti.
 
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