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  1. #1
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    Default Favorite Power File

    Ok, so after not needing one for over a decade, i suddenly had the need, hate air tools and so got one of the cheep kits to convert a small angle grinder into one. Im hooked! Came with properly spliced belts, last time i used a air belt file was at a customers with crap belts with just a taped splice and the belts just fell apart hence i kinda got put off them.

    Mainly want it for use on small as in sub 2" pipe weld blending. Lots of 1/2" and 5/8" dia stuff. Won't see regular use, but like a lot of my tools when it does get dragged out the cupboard its gotta earn its keep and will see hard work for a while. To be fair the kit for the grinder is sloppy as but kinda proves it works so much easier than trying to blend with a wheel, especially when you can't get a grinder too the spot.

    So what do you guys recommend? First thought is these seam bloody expensive outside of air powered cheap ones. Was hoping makita did one for there 18V cordless line but they don't seam too. Metabo do and i do have 18V batteries but i have had so much agro with my metabo stuff im kinda not sure i want to spend that kinda money with them.

    Really want to avoid air, the noise is a problem here. The cheap grinder kit is really pretty quiet, the cheap plastic body really deadens things down a treat compared to even a std grinding wheel. Ideally i probably want the option of 1/2" or 3/4" ish belts or there metric equivalents. Narrow 1/4" or 3/8" is not going to nicely blend the kinda stuff im trying for.

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  3. #2
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    Ghat's a belt sander...not a power file.

    HF sells a cheap copy of a Nikko power file on this side of the pond.

  4. #3
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    I have one of the 110v Dynafiles with 18" x 1/2" belts.
    I had borrowed a friends air powered and never liked the noise, and I had a small air compressor.
    I bought the Dynafile used about 10 years ago and it gets used daily, well made tool.
    Belt prices can be high, but with planning I buy on Ebay or the HF store.

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  6. #4
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    Default

    I get to use air powered ones at work, they do OK but they have the noted draw backs.
    I do NOT recommend the Horrible Fraud electric version.
    I dont remember how it messed up, just that it was UnFixable and it was needed, so to relieve my stress about the situation I attempted some severe percussive maintenance...
    The innards relieved that it was nothing more than a rather cheap 4 1/2" grinder with some different craptacular gearing and a craptastic cast Al head for guiding the belt...

    Next time I need one Im getting a much better one from somewhere else...

  7. #5
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    Ok, so after yet more digging, its looking like there either crap or mega bucks. Unless i go air.

    Gotta say with the cravat that this cheap kit only fits nicely on my little 4 1/2" bosch grinder not my metabo or my hitachi 4 1/2" grinders it realy is kinda good and performs far better than you would expect for the cost!

    Kinda at the point in this were its probably just buy another Bosch grinder and hell another kit so i have spares and just leave it mounted, maybe if i get bored i will make up a nicer copy of the conversion kit but in some decent metal so its nice solid and slop free.

    The belt just really nicely wraps around tube and blends things out way better than i ever considered. Got a bunch more belts coming to try too see if a finer grit is that much slower cutting, also going to try pulling it apart and changing the spring out for a weaker one see if that gives me a bit more wrap. probably should turn up a larger drive pulley and get a bit more belt speed too, generally i find abrasives last longer the faster you can run them.

    Think im also going to look at some of the more specialist wrap around tube polishing gear too, think its fair to say right now there's some real time saving to be had with what im doing by being able to use this kinda approach on some of these parts.

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  9. #6
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    Another plus for the Dynafiles is that many models have multiple arms that allow different length belts and also different composition idler wheels

  10. #7
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    ^ dynafiles look nice, but ekes there serious money over here and also mostly air powered. Equally at the moment, the more im looking at what i want this for its very much using the slack in the belt to round a convex not a wheel to dig into a concave type surface.

    Also seams like the different belt sizes are rare over here, the std 1/2" x 18" power file belts are very cheap and readily available. Its like my main belt grinder is a 2x36" belt size as there readily available here, 2x72 the typical belt grinder belt size are rare things to find here. So i have to factor that in a bit too. Don't get me wrong, i don't mind spending on abrasives when it pays off, but i very much need to keep the cost and availability - range in mind. Sure i can get non std ones made, but its costly, slow and normally a fair bit in minimum charges too. Have had issues with custom belt joints in the past too.

  11. #8
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    I have a Dotco air belt grinder that uses 1/2 x 12" belts. Owned it for about fifteen years and love it. Never a problem. Was a shocking price when I bought it, even used, but sometimes you get what you pay for and Dotco is top of the line stuff.

    metalmagpie

  12. #9
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    Another vote for a dynafile.
    I have two of them and they are great, electric powered version.
    I use mine often and they are a well designed tool, pay more and work less.
    Also a lot less aggravation buying a good tool vs a cheap tool.
    I put on both my grinders the contact arm with the large space so the belt can bend around pipes or whatever, it works very well.
    We use them mainly for breaking edges but they shine at lots of other jobs.

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  14. #10
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    Anyone have experience with the Milwaukee electric version? Looks like a modified angle grinder, but those work well for me.

    5.5 Amp Bandfile

  15. #11
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    don't know if this is available over there, but seems like a good deal here;

    https-//www.zoro.com/makita-band-file-1-18-x-21-in-656-3280sfpm-9031/i/G3198526/feature-product?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8Jzx8Mv24QIVxMDICh3FRQJd EAQYAyABEgI2K_D_BwE

    if the link doesn't work, thats a 1 1/8 X 21 corded Makita for 275 from Zoro.


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