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Grinding wheel versus Flap Discs

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  • Grinding wheel versus Flap Discs

    I get asked this question alot, which should I use, a grinding wheel or flap disc. My opinion is that if surface finish is not a concern use a grinding wheel (it is cheaper).

    However, if the part is going to be painted or is stainless steel use the flap discs which provides a much better surface finish. The grinding wheel tends to gouge the metal and will show through when painting, plating or on stainless.

    What do you all think?

    By the way, if you use flap discs I have found a great source at Lehigh Valley Abrasives (www.lehighvalleyabrasives.com) $1.72 each for Zirconia flap discs that perform well and last a long time.

  • #2
    Well I have never used flap disc but since I don't do anything real spiffy I just use a regular grinding wheel and if I have somethin that needs to look considerable I just turn the grinder on an off to get a lower rpmI might want to stop though for the grinders sake

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    • #3
      flap disks

      i tend to use a flap disk after grinding on most everything. it just gives it a more finished look. i buy my flaps from king but they are over $4.00 each-i'm going to check out the website you suggested. thx, cat

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      • #4
        flaps

        migman - i just checked out your suggested web site and i see the only 4" disks are zirc conical - i've always used flat. have you used the conical before? and if so, how are they vs. the flat? cat

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cat View Post
          migman - i just checked out your suggested web site and i see the only 4" disks are zirc conical - i've always used flat. have you used the conical before? and if so, how are they vs. the flat? cat
          I know this is stupid but what is the difference? prices store to store for 4" ones i saw was about $5-8

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          • #6
            I use the Lehighvalley flappers and they are cheaper than spending 8 bucks at wally mart. I went to a 5" disc for my 4 1/2" grinder because i couldn't get in between some bars as well...Bob
            Bob Wright

            Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
            http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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            • #7
              Flat versus conical

              Originally posted by cat View Post
              migman - i just checked out your suggested web site and i see the only 4" disks are zirc conical - i've always used flat. have you used the conical before? and if so, how are they vs. the flat? cat
              The conical are availabel in all sizes. The flat in only the 4-1/2". The most popular discs are the conical because they allow for more agressive material removal. The flat can sometimes access welds that you cannot get to with the conical disc, but, I have never run across that situation.

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              • #8
                thx

                i think i'll order some and see how i like them. i use 4" grinders cuz they are better for the artwork i do. thx, cat

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                • #9
                  I use a grinding wheel when heavy material removal is needed. I use a flap disc for less material removal. I have several different grits but 60 and 80 is my favorite. I use the flap discs for rust/paint/ dirt removal and for deburring and rounding edges. I have used many brands, but I buy Walter for grinding wheels and flap discs from my LWS. They spin on with no tools and last a long time. Pricey though at about $8 on sale
                  Scott
                  HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

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                  • #10
                    i gotta agree with HMW on the walters as the top disk. they are high $ though. as a hobby guy the Vally ones are a great option that are a good disk. i have used them both and prefer the walter but $$ adds up fast on a ply budget. the Vallie's are much essayer to afford on a Hobey budget and as Hobey guys we generally have the extra time to spend changing then. on a job site i would definitely want the walters.

                    if you have not tried then you might want to pop into a HF and pick up a few , they are on sail right now 3 for $6.99 and even a not so great brand will show you the advantages of them. wally world was like $4 each i think. you can then decide who you want to get them from long term. as i understand it the Vallie only sells in packs of 10 and up, but as an internet sale thats no big surprise.
                    if you try them odds are good you will really like them..
                    thanks for the help
                    ......or..........
                    hope i helped
                    sigpic
                    feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                    summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                    JAMES

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                    • #11
                      If you are trimming the Walter Enduro-Flex wheels back, then you will get 3-4 times the life of any compatable flap disc. I have done several demos and time studies on flap wheels and I think Walter is a better product by miles than anything else. They are $9.00 a wheel, but if you are paying $5 for a cheapie one the Walter just makes sense. The whole key is that you have to use them properly and trim them back as they wear or the advantage goes right out the window. Just MHO.
                      Rich Ferguson
                      Sales Technician
                      Jackson Welding Supply Co.
                      "Keep America Strong.....Weld It"
                      www.jacksonweldingsupply.com

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                      • #12
                        right on with the Walter, To me best I've tried. seems their grinding wheels are very good also
                        Scott
                        HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

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                        • #13
                          Walter

                          My company has done extensive testing on flap discs because we use so many of them and I have to disagree with your assesment of the Walters based on two factors.

                          First, in our extensive tests the Walter lasted 33% longer than the Lehigh Valley Flap Discs. We did trim the Walter back and use all the abrasive on the discs. We tested the Walter against a few other discs such as the Norton Charger and Pferd Polifan discs and never did the Walter last even twice as long as any other disc.

                          Second, at $9.00 a disc, the Walter only lasted 33% longer than the Lehigh Valley Flap Disc which costs $1.72 each.

                          I will keep using the Lehigh Valley Flap Discs and put all the money I save into buying some more Miller 350p's for our welding department. Walter makes a good disc, but, their real strength is their marketing department which convinces people to pay $9.00 a disc.

                          Good Luck everyone.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Are the lehigh discs the kind with threads with a hub made in or the kind you use the spindle nut on? gotta compare Apples to Apples, just curious. That price difference seems huge to be the same "apple", $1.72 sounds cheap even for a "cheap flap disc" Sounds like the price for a plain sanding disc, not a flap disc. but hey I would try anything to save that much. Can't say that I have tried the Lehigh valley discs Who sells them??

                            http://www.lehighvalleyabrasives.com...2%22-40/Detail

                            I found these and they are hubless, but that difference in price it would worth having to use the dumb wrench. Still seesm to cheap to be that good, but I'll try em once
                            Last edited by HMW; 09-13-2007, 03:46 PM. Reason: added info
                            Scott
                            HMW [Heavy Metal welding]

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                            • #15
                              i think if your only other option was a $5 disk from wally world the walters would probably be the best bet even for the Hobey guy. but as Vally offers then at just over $2.oo like $2.30 i think after shipping the Vally is a better option for home hobby guy on a budget. and i suspect some businesses would opt for the Vally as well. it would depend on there use and evaluation of time not only in how long the vally last but also taking into account down time to change out disks. you would have to change about 1/3-1/2 as often with the walter and the change time with a walter is almost none. push the button to lock the grinder gears (unplug first) then grab it with a gloved hand and spin it off , spin on a new one and get back to work. the Vally's require you to find the tool to spin the nut off then back on. in all due fairness i think they have started making tool less grinder chucks but cant comment on that as i have not used them yet. so it would really depend on the situation. if i was in the field, possibly up on a ladder or lift i would rather have a walter to change out. at home in my shop just playing around or fixing some thing the Vally's are a great option. they are a quality disk as best as i can tell from the 20 + of them i have used. true not as long lasting as the walter but still a fine disk thats well worth the $2.30.
                              i attached some pic's for a comparison but gotta go i'll explain the pic's after dinner.
                              enjoy
                              Attached Files
                              thanks for the help
                              ......or..........
                              hope i helped
                              sigpic
                              feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. james@newyorkmetalart.com
                              summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                              JAMES

                              Comment

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