SSYTC041 The Angle Grinder Grows Up

This is the AGP 125, in the Protool range, as seen at the Festool Media event.

Never really felt any real interest in working with concrete/tile etc, or owning a tool capable of doing so….until now that is.

This tool has two setups – a shrouding for cutting, and a second for grinding/smoothing. Both lend two significant advantages: dust control and operation control.

Tile/Concrete Cutter

For cutting/grout-line grinding etc, the tool is held on a sled that can also engage the Festool/Protool rails and controls the depth-of-cut.  The orange-shield can be flicked open during grinding to see the end of the blade so you can stop right on a point when needed.  The orange shield is just that – extra shielding, and improves the dust collection.  The dust control doesn’t need much discussion – you cut, and the dust goes away.  What is normally a very dusty operation (dry cutting) is instead rendered dust-free.  The use of the Autoclean Vac is a particularly good idea – the amount of concrete dust the system collects would completely block a filter with a thick crust very quickly.

Dust-Free Concrete Cutting

From this angle, you can see the grinder component, and that the guide/shield is an attachment.

Blades

Some of the blades available – check out the kerf on the bottom one!

Grinding the Groutline

It will cut pretty straight when used hand-held, or dead straight when used with the Festool/Protool rail.

The Big Brother

And if you need more than the standard unit, there is also a big brother on its way.

Polisher

If you’ve finished with cutting, perhaps a polished finish would be in order.  Once again dust free, and where it comes to control, the last thing you want is the edge of the surface grinding blade digging into the surface. (The equivalent of a belt sander doing damage if not controlled properly.)

Surface Treatment

Other than the powerful surface polisher blade visible here, there is the disk around the outside that can be set to a specific height to prevent edge dig-ins. Just inside that ring is a ring of brushes to control dust leak.

Real Smooth Shave

Grinding, polishing dust free – sounds like the way to do these jobs!

SSYTC041 The Angle Grinder Grows Up

If I had one of these, I’d have a very smooth/shiny shed floor!!

Scraping with Scrapers

These are not cabinet scrapers (which are a skill all of their own), but instead for scraping when you need to remove a surface – such as paint, varnish, stripper etc.

I have had an opportunity to put the Linbide range through some initial trials, and as much as I normally wait until I’ve had a chance to build up a real opinion on a tool, these had me sold straight out of the box (or packaging to be precise).

Linbide Scrapers

Linbide Scrapers

From right to left, are a straight (or flat) scraper, a corner scraper, a profile scraper, and a cutter.  All are sporting Tungsten Carbide blades which makes a lot of difference to the performance of the blade (and the durability of the sharp edge)

They are very utilitarian in their look, but that does not detract from their performance, and the handles are surprisingly comfortable and provide a good grip.  The blades are replaceable (and with the straight and corner scrapers, the blades are reversable).

I took one to my front windows (external) which are increasingly desparate for a repaint.  I had a mind to a couple of years back, but after trying with some sandpaper, decided that job was too big.  I then tried a heat gun, with no success (it might have worked elsewhere, but not on a paint designed to survive the Australian sun).  So I tried a waterblaster, and that stripped the wood apart faster than it did the paint.

So it was with interest that I gave the scrapers a crack at the task, and we had a winner!  Paint came away with ease, and the wood was undamaged.  I don’t need to remove all the paint, just that which is too loose to paint over.  Damn, now I have even less excuses not to paint the house!

To get into corners, and over the different profiles around the windows, we have the profiled scrapers.

Radiused and Corner Scrapers

Radiused and Corner Scrapers

All Tungsten Carbide blades.

Now speaking of Tungsten Carbide, the final tool is called a laminate score and snap knife.  It sports two carbide tips, and is designed to score laminates, and can be used quite successfully as a glass and tile cutter, and will make short work of drywall.  Given its design, it will be easy for it to follow a straight edge.

Not having had a decent scraper before (the last one I had came from a $2 shop), it is quite enlightening to see what difference a quality blade can make!

These scrapers are imported in Australia by the Woodworking Warehouse: www.wwwh.com.au and cost around $20 each.  You can get them from their store in Braeside, or order over the phone 03 9587 3999, or via email sales@wwwh.com.au

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