My progress on the dugout chair has been stymied by rains from two hurricanes, building two Campaign bookshelves and laying out a forthcoming book on carving by Mary May. But today I fired up my angle grinder to remove the rotted interior of this silver maple.
I don’t have a ton of experience with an angle grinder. But if you’ve used an electric router, then you’ll quickly get comfortable with it. An angle grinder is like a router that contracted rabies, took some crystal meth and forgot its ADHD medicine.
Safety gear is not optional: face shield, face mask, hearing protection, protective clothing and gloves (yes, gloves. Give me crap about my gloves and I’ll slap you across your cheek with one).
Mounted on the arbor is an Arbortech TurboPlane, a bitey little beast that makes mulch as it sculpts the wood.
- Keep as much wood as possible between you and the spinning wheel. For example, when working the inside of the stump I stood on the outside of it as much as possible, using the wood as a shield.
- Use the tool’s guard to control the cut. When planing, I touched the guard to the work first, then tilted the angle grinder until I achieved the cut I wanted. Then I swung the tool from my left to my right.
- Use the tool like a pattern-cutting bit in a router. The rim of the TurboPlane doesn’t cut, so you can run it against a surface to guide the tool as it cuts down.
The only glitch in today’s work was the Metabo grinder itself. Though I like Metabo tools, the switch on this grinder is easily clogged by shavings in the “on” position. I had to clear the switch after every grinding session.
With the interior shaped roughly, tomorrow I’ll start removing the bark on the exterior.
— Christopher Schwarz