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January 20, 2019, 01:56:16 pm
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New pencil air grinder

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Author Topic: New pencil air grinder  (Read 2070 times)
mick B
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« on: January 31, 2012, 02:28:09 pm »

I have had this pencil air grinder for a couple of years, UHT Usio air pencil grinder Japanese made, great little tool, I was given the drum on this by a NZ carver, most of the pro carvers use these in NZ, very light and huge torque for air, max speed of 65000 rpm, very comfortable and light- great feel, I run on my 15 cfm compressor.

Cheers mick B






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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 02:51:29 pm »

I have one of those pencil grinders that I used to use for chasing my bronze castings, goes to a 140,000 RPM, a really nice tool to have as it is just about like using a pencil. Harbor Freight makes a cheaper version of the tool that only gets to about 60,000 RPM top speed but it is still and OK little tool for  the price. I paid $200 for my pencil grinder in 1967 and now HF is selling theirs for $25, it comes with an oiler and some other do dads too. I bought one and it works OK.
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pete
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 03:43:33 pm »

What size is the collet on these devices and is it changeable?
Also, what size compressor do you need to run it?
Pete
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Freeform
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012, 08:43:11 am »

thanks for the info
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2012, 09:26:39 am »

  man,  that's a cool looking piece you're working on!
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 02:09:39 pm »

The thing that is really nice about a high speed tool like this is that it doesn't snag like a lower speed  flex shaft tool. I can imagine that when working on stone with a diamond bit it would be pretty much like working on bronze or like what your dentist experiences when drilling on your teeth. These things are just spinning so fast that it is in fact like drawing with a pencil. I know that when I was chasing bronzes that it was like that, just so easy to work the surface back down to what it should be, even restoring very fine detail with carbide burs without difficulty. I was using a 1-1/2 HP air compressor at the time and had more than enough air. I still have my old tool and it is a precision instrument but the Harbor Freight tool should be able to preform some of the same basic operations. I don't think it will work as hard nor as long but what  would you expect for under $10? It would give you a chance to try a high speed tool to see if it is something you want to invest a large chunk of change in before you go and spend $300 on a tool that will not serve your purposes.
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2012, 07:28:20 pm »

Mick, that is beautiful. I am trying my first attempt to carving a fish hook out of a piece of Jade, Its a lot harder than i thought. I have a turbo carver 500, rpm no torque.
I see that you carving under water? Maybe that's one thing I am doing wrong , I've been carving dry. I know there must be a lot more to it.
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2012, 09:02:23 pm »

That is a great pencil grinder! I think this thread is going to start me on another lapidary obsession. help I have been itching to do some carving. Thank, Eric.
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Eric

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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2012, 09:59:36 am »


Could you post some more pics of it, as the others were deleted by Admin.....whoever they are lol

TOG
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2012, 05:46:58 pm »

I have been looking at some top tier used air pencils on eBay and the prices look pretty good. They have got to be better than the Harbor Freight tool. The prices have ranged from around $35 to $55 for some decent brands of air tools.
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mick B
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 04:39:56 am »

Added some new pics. I carved this with my pencil grinder.

Cheers mick B



* triangle.jpg (16.62 KB, 207x229 - viewed 632 times.)
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 07:54:06 am »

The red thing in this pic is the HF pencil grinder. I use it and the air scribe for cleaning fossils. I've had the HF grinder for about 18 years, and it's still going strong. I just run a couple drops of air tool oil through it before using it.
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2012, 08:15:44 am »

I wanna know how you took those first three pictures... thinking13
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2012, 08:26:56 am »

Very nice carving Mick. Almost an optical Illusion.  Beautiful color and beautiful design:)
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2012, 10:49:12 am »

Those pictures of the carving are sooo helpful! Gives me an idea how much water to use and where to hold the tools in the water! Thanks for posting them in action Mick!
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« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2012, 11:13:23 am »

This is probably a very stupid question but I am gonna ask away anyway. Those pencil grinders are air tools that can be used with an air compressor and are used in lieu of a foredom or dremel?  My son has a couple of air compressors and if so getting one of them might save me a couple hundred bucks for a foredom?
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« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2012, 12:15:41 pm »

Bob, the one from Harbor Freight only has an 1/8" collet, so you'd have to use only 1/8" shank bits. The other pencil grinders are more expensive, but should come with several sizes of collets. The real advantage is that you don't have to worry about lighting up like a Christmas tree if the compressor shorts out. The small air hose that they use is a bit more flexible than the Fordom flex shaft also. But with prolonged use, they tend to get cold to hold. ( In the winter I've had an air die grinder frost up on the outside).
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« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2012, 03:42:42 pm »

A link to one of the suppliers, I purchased the 1/8 standard hand piece, but I use a reducer for 3/32 points shown in the pics, in my opinion this little tool is more comfortable and easier to use , there are some other brands that do 500,000 rpm great for fine detail but have no torque, I can not stall this hand piece. There is also a NSK brand on the same link, plus others, I like using many different types of carving options, I have a flex shaft motor and several dremels, many of the dremels have bitten the dust, I do all my fine sanding by hand, one disadvantage is that air uses more power with the compressor than a flex motor. it can get cold but has never frosted up, you could purchase the reducer and use on the Harbor freight unit to give you the 3/32 option.
http://www.artcotools.com/uht-msg32bsn-ushio-pencil-air-grinder.html

Cheers mick B
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« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2012, 04:18:46 pm »

I have both pencil air grinders and Foredom's in my shop all are very handy but not really interchangeable for various jobs.

If I am carving stone with a diamond bur the  high speed and light touch of an air pencil are great. There is very little torque or turning power however. I don't think it would work for example with stone setting burs for setting stones in metal. Generally more torque required.

For that I like my Foredom L, R & S models more torque and electronic feedback that helps with speed and torque control. I love my L model for lower speed drilling and setting operations.

All handy tool's but depends on your application.
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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2012, 04:30:11 pm »

Will check out the Ushio air pencil, a lot different specs than mine.
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« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2012, 06:29:29 pm »

Don, how is the torque on your HF hand piece? Also, how noisy is it? I've seen egg carvers using pneumatic pencil grinders and oooh boy do they scream! dunno
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« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2012, 06:46:46 pm »

I haven't worked the HF grinder hard enough to stall it. It has an outer exhaust hose that fits over the air hose to muffle the noise. Works pretty good to quiet things down, but without the outer hose it really screams. Ear plugs help. yippie
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« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2012, 07:07:47 pm »

Thanks Don, for medical reasons I cannot use those insert style earplugs and haven't found a set of cuff type that block sound very well, so a muffler is a great idea.

Everytime I cut something hard with my 10" saw I can't hear (literally anything) for about an hour. I expect to be deaf within 10 years so I'm listening to lots of good music now chuckle
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« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2012, 01:43:38 am »

My son seems to be doing everything he can to discourage me from using these pencil type grinders. However, he does not have the final say in what I do or what I buy. Currently I only have a dremel. Someone over the last couple of years has been trying to get me to upgrade to a Foredom for my carving needs. I can actually see that. This is the first time I have ever even heard of these air tools (although I wondered about it). But the price of the one linked to above is as much money as a Foredom or close to it.

The second thing my son says is that for his compressors that he would need a regulator to run these pencil grinders.  dunno  No clue. Don't understand a lot of tools, Don't understand air compressors. They work great for blowing off and drying my Ameritool discs so that I don't have contaminates the next time I use the disc.

I make very little money at my job. So my budget is very very small. I need to make a decision based upon what will do the best job for me in the most situations that I will run into carving gemstones. Of course I could always devise ways of using sandpaper too. Shoot, how did the ancients come up with such phenomenal carvings before the advent of Foredoms and pencil grinders. Yes this is for another thread but my mind is burning for answers.

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« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2012, 04:28:35 am »

Bob, I do like my pencil grinder but you will need a regulator with a oiling system, if you buy the same one as mine it will cost more than $400 set up, if you want value and a good set up I would by a mastercarver flex shaft, looking at buying one of these myself, these are more powerful than Foredom and higher speed, 30,000, and 1/2 hp, there is a US supplier, the basic set is slightly over $200. I have used one and was impressed.
If you by the cheaper pencil grinders they do not have the quality of the UHT or NSK models, these 2 models have heaps more torque, have a look at this link, I have read reports on these said to be as good a quality as foredom but with more power and higher speed, but this is my opinion , its your choice
http://www.woodcarverssupply.com/NEW-1_2-HP-HANGING-BASIC-SET/productinfo/797422/
Another link, http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/forum/f52/foredom-vs-master-carver-flex-shaft-machines-40912/

Cheers mick B
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« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2012, 04:05:35 pm »

Long ago when I was chasing bronzes I added foam rubber to the inside of my ear muffs to further deaden the noise of my pencil grinder as it was a real screamer. Also you will want to wear a face style respirator to filter out the very fine particles of oil mist that get in the air. The guys at the air tool shop told me this so you don't get inhalation pneumonia from getting oil in your lungs. It very difficult if not impossible for the lungs to get the oil out so wear a respirator rated for oil particles when using one of these things.
Now for my grinder I have a combination oilier/pressure regulator/water filter. When you compress air it tends to condense the moisture out of the air and sometimes that  gets shoved down the hose or pipe to the tool so you need to trap or filter that out. Then there is the pressure regulator, it is adjustable. I adjust mine at the compressor since I now only run one tool at a time and they all more or less use the same pressure but way back when I ran a main line and used a couple of things that needed  higher pressure, like a sand blaster for one, so each station had combination O/PR/WF at it. On my compressor I also had and automatic tank drain that drained the condensed water out of the tank ever so often in an attempt to keep the tank for failing due to premature rust through. The water filter also separates out any crud that happens to be in the line before it gets to the delicate innards of you pencil grinder. It don't take much to gum up the works on a tool spinning at a 100.000 RPM or faster.
Great tools, you ought to get one.
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« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2013, 07:19:16 am »

What kind of points do you use at those RPMs?  The same as you would for Dremel/Foredom?  What about polishing?
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« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2013, 12:43:52 pm »

Tim, the same points I use in my flex shaft motor, never had any trouble with points, sintered diamond, plated, nova points, silicon carbide, alum oxide, I now use a flex shaft motor for roughing and my air pencil for smoothing, the higher speed removes most bumps, I always hand finish after the air tool, in my experience hand finishing gives a much smoother carving, its awesome for drilling, I use small ball points, do not blow out on the bottom.

Cheers mick B
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« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2013, 01:20:26 pm »

Don't know about the grinder Mick has, but on mine the speed can be controlled by turning the silver collar. It'll go from 0 up to around 30,000 rpm, and anywhere in between. You can also buy a needle valve that will screw right into the end of the grinder ahead of the air hose to control air flow and speed.
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« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2013, 04:26:43 pm »

The third pic from top shows the speed control, the black piece, 0 to 65,000, the USIO is one of the more expensive ones, has huge torque, in my opinion USIO and NSK are the to top grands in this field, and the most expensive, I do not use it for all carving, better to remove most material with my flex shaft motor, and the pencil grinder for smoothing, drilling, polishing.
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« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2013, 05:15:05 am »

I have one of those pencil grinders that I used to use for chasing my bronze castings, goes to a 140,000 RPM, a really nice tool to have as it is just about like using a pencil. Harbor Freight makes a cheaper version of the tool that only gets to about 60,000 RPM top speed but it is still and OK little tool for  the price. I paid $200 for my pencil grinder in 1967 and now HF is selling theirs for $25, it comes with an oiler and some other do dads too. I bought one and it works OK.
Excellent, friend~!
Today I'm supposed to get delivery of this one I got on ebay for only $18.19 with free shipping.
(If anyone else wants one, that looks like a pretty good deal)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PENCIL-TYPE-AIR-MICRO-GRINDER-56000-RPM-TOOLS-/270851409438?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f1000861e

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« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2013, 10:35:34 am »

It's kind funny, they had them for under $10 about a month ago at a sidewalk sale, still not a bad little tool but nothing like my $200 one. Just remember that you don't need to apply heavy pressure to get these to do a lot of cutting, it is the speed of the tool that accomplishes the quick removal of material. Make sure you have some water to wash away the dust generated and keep the bur cool.
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« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2013, 10:49:16 am »

It's kind funny, they had them for under $10 about a month ago at a sidewalk sale, still not a bad little tool but nothing like my $200 one. Just remember that you don't need to apply heavy pressure to get these to do a lot of cutting, it is the speed of the tool that accomplishes the quick removal of material. Make sure you have some water to wash away the dust generated and keep the bur cool.
I will, friend...Thanks
I'm the king of pressure...Ha  So, I'll keep that in mind.
Do you wear a mask or respirator?
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« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2013, 11:38:31 am »

That pencil grinder looks just like the one I bought from HB years ago. It has served me well. I just wish they had a 3/32" collet available for it. Anyway, I just ordered one for a backup grinder. Thanks for posting the link..
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« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2013, 11:42:52 am »

That pencil grinder looks just like the one I bought from HB years ago. It has served me well. I just wish they had a 3/32" collet available for it. Anyway, I just ordered one for a backup grinder. Thanks for posting the link..
You're very welcome, friend.
But "know you", I'd have though you'd made a few of your own custom design =)
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« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2013, 11:53:11 am »

Wish I still had access to a metal lathe and milling machine. Us old retired folks can't afford all of those fancy tools.  dunno dunno

My kingdom for a TIG welder.
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« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2013, 12:41:07 pm »

Wish I still had access to a metal lathe and milling machine. Us old retired folks can't afford all of those fancy tools.  dunno dunno

My kingdom for a TIG welder.
Yeah =)  Would a MIG welder do?
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« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2013, 01:00:11 pm »

Got a small MIG welder. They're no good for really small work. Don't like MIG for welding aluminum or stainless either. Guess I got spoiled by all of the neat tools I had to play with before I retired. LOL. Company I worked for let us work on home projects on our own time, and opened up on weekends for employees to play.
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« Reply #38 on: July 30, 2013, 03:30:57 am »

thank you

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« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2013, 07:20:46 am »

Got a small MIG welder. They're no good for really small work. Don't like MIG for welding aluminum or stainless either. Guess I got spoiled by all of the neat tools I had to play with before I retired. LOL. Company I worked for let us work on home projects on our own time, and opened up on weekends for employees to play.

I picked up a spool gun for my milllermatic 180.  I'm anxious to try it out.  My neighbor teaches welding/milling and lathe work at the local college.  He said when I was ready he would come over and give me some lessons.  I have a small lathe and the next on the agenda is a TIG machine.  If I live long enough I want a plasma cutter.   Want want want..... yippie
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« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2013, 07:41:40 am »

My kingdom for a metal lathe and a milling machine. Have a wire feed welder. Also have a TIG torch, hoses and flow meter. Just need the machine to attach them to.
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« Reply #41 on: July 30, 2013, 09:35:45 am »

There is nothing like a TIG welder with a foot pedal control. I did a lot of welding with a manual adjust amp dial welder then I got a chance to try one with a foot control. Man that was sweet and I would not weld with one after that if it did not have a foot control. It is so good that you can weld grease together. Ok, not grease lol but very precise especially on the low end doing delicate work.

I would love to try an air grinder but that is not in the cards right now. Just need a new flex shaft for my Dremel since I do not use a rotary much.
Jim
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« Reply #42 on: July 30, 2013, 04:20:52 pm »

Just need a new flex shaft for my Dremel since I do not use a rotary much.
Jim

Jim, about a month ago my wife (bless her heart) came up to me at a yard sale and showed me a flex shaft for my dremel and said "Whats this for?"  I had walked right by it and was getting ready to leave. $1.00 yes $1.00
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« Reply #43 on: July 30, 2013, 10:19:01 pm »

I love a deal like that. Three years ago I bought four motors at a garage sale for 25 bucks. One only lasted about a year (I was overworking it) and one just gave up about two weeks ago. The other two were only 1/8th horse power so I tossed them. Still a bargain.
Jim
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« Reply #44 on: July 31, 2013, 08:24:01 am »

I love a deal like that. Three years ago I bought four motors at a garage sale for 25 bucks. One only lasted about a year (I was overworking it) and one just gave up about two weeks ago. The other two were only 1/8th horse power so I tossed them. Still a bargain.
Jim

I think we might be hijacking this thread. shemademe
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« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2013, 07:58:31 pm »

The thing that is really nice about a high speed tool like this is that it doesn't snag like a lower speed  flex shaft tool. I can imagine that when working on stone with a diamond bit it would be pretty much like working on bronze or like what your dentist experiences when drilling on your teeth. These things are just spinning so fast that it is in fact like drawing with a pencil. I know that when I was chasing bronzes that it was like that, just so easy to work the surface back down to what it should be, even restoring very fine detail with carbide burs without difficulty. I was using a 1-1/2 HP air compressor at the time and had more than enough air. I still have my old tool and it is a precision instrument but the Harbor Freight tool should be able to preform some of the same basic operations. I don't think it will work as hard nor as long but what  would you expect for under $10? It would give you a chance to try a high speed tool to see if it is something you want to invest a large chunk of change in before you go and spend $300 on a tool that will not serve your purposes.

Bentiron:  Wouldn't a dremel drill be good enough if a diamond drill bit was used?
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« Reply #46 on: August 21, 2013, 11:05:19 pm »

I was very frowny on dremels for carving rock for some time but in recent months I've been seeing a lot of carvings over on facebook that when one takes the time to read the attachment - were made with dremels.

I think different tools yield different abilities according to technique and preference.

You can give somebody without an ounce of art in them the most expensive and technically able tool made and you will not get art.

You can give an artist a rock and a stick and bag of grit and they'll make the most artful carving you've ever seen.

I am constantly blaming my tools for my problems. Much of that is justified in one way or another, but never in the outcome - that's all me, for better or for worse.
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-frank-

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