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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
January 21, 2019, 09:43:17 am
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New pencil air grinder

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Author Topic: New pencil air grinder  (Read 2070 times)
bgast1
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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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jakesrocks
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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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mick B
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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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Isotelus
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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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Bryan
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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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Bryan
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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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jakesrocks
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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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bgast1
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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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mick B
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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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tkcaz
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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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Tim

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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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jakesrocks
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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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mick B
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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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