It's been quite a while since I had a project worth posting on here. This is my first stainless steel project. I'm building a couple of 1/4" 304 stainless steel craftsman style columns with built-in lighting for my new entryway on my house. The project is coming along, but as you may guess, it has begun to eat my lunch.

First, just the 25 lb spool of 308 wire was $250. That was a kick in the pants. Then, there was a lot, lot, lot of welding. I should've gotten my parts cut slightly differently so I wouldn't have had to build so much weld up to be able to sharp angle. Lesson learned. It's looking good now. IMG_0249.jpgIMG_0248.jpgIMG_0250.jpgIMG_0252.jpg

This is the main problem I have now. IMG_0266.jpg My grinders are trashed. I had two 4 year old Dewalt D28110 4-1/2" grinders that burned up. The cost to fix them makes it necessary to just get new ones. I also had a 2 year old Dewalt D28402 4-1/2" grinder that stripped out it's gears and brushes. That one is salvageable with a gear from the burned up one and new brushes.

I know I need a 7" grinder and new 4-1/2" grinders. What do you pros recommend for the extra stress required for stainless? Have you noticed better quality from Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Hilti, etc? Better handling/life expectancy from a higher amperage/lower amperage? I'm not too concerned about the cost as I expect to spend $130-250/grinder because I'm not buying HF garbage.

Another question: I have some interior fillet welds to smooth out. A couple of grinding stones used with my die grinder have just come apart on this stainless. Do burs hold up well on stainless or do I just need to plan on buying a ton of stones? (I realize I could just become a better welder, but that may not happen.)