Angle Grinders

I want use an angle grinder to clean up a small piece of live edge wood. Do I need to take a specific class or are they available to members? I know they’re used extensively in the metal shop, but I’m not sure what the policy is for wood shop use.

I am dubious that an angle grinder is the right tool for this, unless you are using a specialized disc for wood. Why wouldn’t you use some variety of sander?

In any event, these are metal shop items whose use and safety are covered in the metal shop safety class, so that class is required to use them.

People sometimes use the a cup brush to knock off the bark. I have seen people using flaps wheels to shape lives edges


I very frequently use an angle grinder with a worn out flap disc to shape and smooth live edge slabs. The grinder makes quicker work of it, and the flap disc last longer. FWIW, I don’t use new disc unless I want to remove lot’s of material. Worn out discs, ones I’ve already grinded metal with, work really well to smooth edges without gouging them.

As far as the grinder being a correct tool, a flap disc is just sand paper laid sideways so I don’t see a problem with it.


To add to Joe’s and James’ good suggestions, please do any wood sanding or grinding outside—it generates huge plumes of dust and there is no dust collection on an angle grinder. Not yet, anyway…


Ditto to all of the above. I use the angle grinder to rough shape some of my wood sculptures. One of the dirtiest jobs I have ever done definitely an outdoors job.


Thanks everyone for chiming in. I’ll check out the schedule for the metal safety class.

Perhaps in the future there can be a mini-class or orientation for angle grinder use for those of us who do not do metal work.

I stand corrected about the use case.

The class requirement stands. I don’t think there is much of a case for a narrower class. MSS is only 2.5 hours, $30, and is offered frequently.

I would like to get a metal grinding safe dust extractor

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A grinder will take away everything have you considered a nylon wheel on a drill? Leaves character but cleans up the edge.

In order to preserve the natural live edge, I do this process without a big grinder or burrs.
The I carefully polished the real live edge shape w. finer abrasives by hand.

Look amazing / gives good results.

There are some types of grinder-based burrs and cutters / these:
Kutzall Extreme Shaping Dish - 4-1/2" Diameter - Medium | Woodcraft

come in many “grits”

but, again, this gives a fake live edge. you could use a finer one or worn out flap - as james says - and be cautious to follow natural contours

Thanks everyone for chiming in…the 17 inch long piece of live edge I was hoping to use the angle grinder on I’ve completed with my hand tools. No worries, I was just looking to remove a huge area of worm tunnels quickly, but nothing a sharp chisel and mallet could not handle.

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