die grinder, tools question

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die grinder, tools question

Post  Stewboy on Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:09 pm

Hello all,

First time posting after an absence of a couple of years. I need some advice on a set of manual carving tools, and on a suitable die grinder. On the latter, I've done a fair amount of searching on the forum, and gather that Makita is very popular. Can anyone suggest which would be better: GDO 601, GDO 800c? The 800c has variable speed, but seems a bit bulky--I'm not sure. I've gotten some good info on bits/cutters.

As for manual carvers, can anyone suggest a good set? I'd prefer to buy good tools that will last; I'm not interested in throwing money to the wind, but I don't want to buy twice either.

Just to give you a sense of my material: I've got a few trees grown from cuttings: a couple of olives with 5-inch bases that have been potted up and cut back, a couple of junipers, and a few more trees in various stages of development.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Stewboy in the PNW

Stewboy
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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  Mario Stefano on Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:16 pm

You can buy hand tools from me. Details on PM or mail.
http://sites.google.com/site/mariobonsaistorming/home/alati

regards

Mario Stefano
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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  mike page on Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:40 pm

I think the best die grinder is the Bosch 1215. I've owned one for about 25 years and put 100's of hours on it with no trouble. Still has the original motor brushes.
http://www.cpotools.com/bosch-1215-4-6-amp-die-grinder/bshn1215,default,pd.html?ref=googaw&kw={keyword}&gclid=CLy4sLGrlqICFSAxiQodgW2rEA&keyword=bosch%201215

You will need 1/4 inch shank carbide burrs. These are made for metel work, but also work well to sculpt hardwood.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dindustrial&field-keywords=tungsten+carbide+burr&x=15&y=14

For rough carving, a 1/4 inch shank corebox bit will do well. A tool store that sells router bits will be able to supply this.

If you go this route, be careful! 2 hands on the machine, one close to the rotating end. One of the features of the Bosch is a smooth rotating hub near the collet that will gently remind you that you're too close to the tool.

For bonsai hand tools, check this link.
http://www.stonelantern.com/Bonsai_Tools_s/39.htm

Have fun and post some of your work!

Mike

PS. Don't waste money on a variable speed die grinder. People I know that have, that's the first thing to go wrong. If you need slower speed, buy a variable speed box that plugs into the outlet, and the die grinder plugs into the box. The box has variable control from 0 to full speed.
http://www.bonanzle.com/booths/HomeTech_Tool_Supply/items/ROUTER_SPEED_CONTROL_Power_Tool_Variable_Speed_Control

mike page
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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  Joao Santos on Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:50 pm

Mario Stefano wrote:You can buy hand tools from me. Details on PM or mail.
http://sites.google.com/site/mariobonsaistorming/home/alati

regards

Nice site, congratulations!

Joao Santos
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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  Mario Stefano on Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:05 pm

Joao Santos wrote:
Mario Stefano wrote:You can buy hand tools from me. Details on PM or mail.
http://sites.google.com/site/mariobonsaistorming/home/alati

regards

Nice site, congratulations!

thanks Joao!

Mario Stefano
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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  Stewboy on Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:07 am

Thanks very much for all the advice--very helpful. And yes I'll post some photos (as well as asking for advice about styling). Thanks again, and if anyone has more ideas, I'm all ears (or eyes, in this case).

Stewboy
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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  landerloos on Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:22 am

Also take a look at my friends site. http://www.beaverbonsaitools.com/en/en_index.html

Peter

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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  flor1 on Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:57 pm

Stefano any dealers for your products in U.S. shipping and customs kills it for us. Thanks

flor1
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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  Victrinia Ridgeway on Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:01 am

Frankly... I am more than a little turned off by how Makita changed their GE0600. So I'm going to give you the only non-ebay source for them left in the US.

http://www.icecrafters.com/cart?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_new.tpl&product_id=30&category_id=18

I've bought 3 from her which gives me a total of 4... I'll likely pick up a few more before she runs out. Mostly because I want enough to have them available for teaching at some point. All die grinders are not created equal... and while people have very particular reasons for loving the one's they do, this one is the classic... and it's also a long lasting tool. But the big thing for me is the weight... the Bosch weighs 3.2 lbs... Dewalt weighs 3.25... the new Makita weighs 3.5... and the old one weighs 2.0 lbs... that makes a big difference when you are carving for hours on a large tree.

I also found this listing today for them... about the same price with shipping. As I recall... the purchase price at icecrafter's also included shipping, so it's about the same both ways... about $150.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130397876465&rvr_id=&crlp=1_263602_263622&UA=WXI7&GUID=096d3f801260a0aad4a1c871ffc098d4&itemid=130397876465&ff4=263602_263622#shId

I also purchase Ninja Master and Shogun Master bits through Dale Cohocy who is also on this site. I get most of my special bits from him, and my corebox router bits locally.

Hope this helps,

Victrinia

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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  Stewboy on Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:04 am

Victrina,
Funny you should mention this. The more I looked at the new Makitas online, the less I liked them: they're bigger, and they have a fat collar exactly where you don't want it for carving--at least when you need to get in tight places. So I found a seller on Ebay who had the GEO600 and ordered one this a.m.--dennylumber or something. So, it's on its way. The Bosch 1215 which was also recommended looked great, but I didn't want to drop $250 on one. I'll check out the bits you mentioned. Thanks again!

Stewboy
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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  Victrinia Ridgeway on Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:53 am

Have you ever actually used one? The one best peice of advice I can give you is this...

Always (whenever possible, which is most of the time) maintain contact with the tree you are carving.


Notice how Daniel maintains contact with the tree with the same hand which guides the tool... it increases your control greatly.





This last one is what NOT to do....



Hope that helps.

Victrinia

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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  Kevin Yates on Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:21 am

I teach sculpture at a university which includes teaching wood carving and woodshop and tool safety to the students. For liability reasons only instructors and technicians can teach technical and tool safety to the students. This is because some students may come with prior experience with these tools but this knowledge might have been through an unsafe source and their behavior could be passed on to others. All tools, machinery, and the different makes and models perform and handle differently and this is also a concern. Just because Makita seem to be frequently used to carve bonsai doesn't mean that they are the best tool for the job, but just perhaps the most widely available. Safety should always be the first concern and not the speed at which you can remove the wood from your trees. Die Grinders have not been designed to carve wood but to grind metal which is for the most part a consistent density unlike wood which can have knots, hard and soft areas, shifts in grain direction, stones and dirt. Often they run at very high speeds for the wood carving bits and if they grab the wood they can kickback and skip across the surface of the wood or areas to don't want carved or even worst on to your hand.
I understand Victrinia is trying to be helpful and not that Dan isn't an expert at carving and still appears to have all his fingers, but he might have just been lucky or happen to have enough respect for the tools not to over work them and get into a situation where it might kick back. The Makita is a large and powerful die grinder and should be used with BOTH HANDS FIRMLY ON THE TOOL and not as pictured, CHECK THE SAFETY MANUAL and don’t rely only on what might work for others. If the carving bit did grab or kick back and your fingers were in front or beside the cutting bit resting on the trunk they might be seriously cut. These tools also vibrate quite a bit and if your hands are only loosely holding the tool it could be just enough to allow the grinder to slip if your hand becomes tired or numb from the vibration. The biggest issue I have which the photos is that Dan IS NOT WEARING SAFETY GLASSES or better yet a full face shield, and we often forget about our lungs, wood dust is a known carcinogen, and those areas of rotten wood can put dangerous molds into your lungs.
Another factor is of course the size of your trees or the area you want to carve and a tool like the Makita might be overkill if you have smaller trees.
I have used a Makita and did not like it (but obviously others do). I use a Foredom with a flexshaft. This tool is powerful, has variable speeds through a foot controller, with the flex shaft it can get into almost any area and can be use for a variety of jobs on a lot of different materials. They are more expensive but would have a higher resale value and more importantly they are safer to use to carve wood with.
I would also check out Arbortec mini carver and power chisel, I've used both and they are great. I would also look into air die grinders if you have or need an air compressor since most air tools are controlled through the air pressure which allows you to control the speed of your tool.
Buy safety glasses and a good respirator.
Good luck!

Kevin Yates
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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:22 pm

Can I add, working wood at the appropriate stage with the right tool, makes work easier and safer. In most cases, I bulk carve wood in the green. I only use the Makita and large cutters at this stage and the wood will carve very easily and relatively safely. Wood is allowed to harden before smaller more detailed refining work is carried out with a dremmel. Obviously some deadwood is old when it needs carving and this is where the potential danger lies. Never force or push your makita into the work. Let the cutters go into the wood at their own pace. Take frequent breaks as well. This gives the tool a chance to cool, your arms a rest and a chance to evaluate your work.

Guest
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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  Kev Bailey on Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:31 pm

I second all that grafton toad and Will have said. Having nearly been hit by a bit that sheared off at maximum rev's, safety is now paramount.

The control aspect that Victrinia shows can still be achieved, more safely, by resting the knuckles of one hand that is grasping the body of the tool against the wood well AWAY from the bit. Also remember that some wood that is commonly carved contains toxins ie all Taxus or Yew.

_________________
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

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Re: die grinder, tools question

Post  FrankP999 on Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:08 pm

Mario Stefano wrote:You can buy hand tools from me. Details on PM or mail.
http://sites.google.com/site/mariobonsaistorming/home/alati regards

I like the turntable. Is it sold in the United States?

Frank

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