Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tool Review - 4 1/2" Carbide Cup Wheel (Harbor Freight)

If I only had the money, I'd buy a Lancelot "Holey Galahad", but I don't have the money. Went to Harbor Freight and found this kind of a sort of a "knock-off".

To be honest, I was really, really skeptical how this would work. The first time I tried it was on some end grain cottonwood, and I thought "oh, crap, this was a waste of money". After all, cottonwood is soft and should be really easy to hog off. But then I figured what the heck....I'll try it for hogging off some of the chainsaw marks left when I slabbed some walnut, and was actually pretty impressed. End grain removal, even on cottonwood, mustn't be it's strong suit. With the grain, though, is something else altogether.

As you can see from the photo below, it definitely leaves marks in the wood which is to be expected given this is a very coarse grit of 24.

As a knock-off, I'd rate this product an 8 out of 10 with 10 being the highest. I've seen some videos of the "Holey Galahad" in action, and this one doesn't come close to the same amount of sawdust being made, but, for the work I do, this is good enough.

Plus, the price is right at a modest $9.99. I can go through a lot of these before I get to the price of a "Holy Galahad" at $79 each. That makes this product even more attractive from my perspective. Might take a bit more to "finish" grind the surface (essentially two more steps using router planer and belt sander, and another step for finish sanding) because of the relatively deep gouges made by the grinding wheel, but not all THAT much.

I even used this grinding wheel to take down a surface on a pedestal I'm working on that'll ultimately wind up being a television stand (looks kind of off kilter in the photo, but is actually pretty level all things considered):

I'll ultimately wind up using my router planer on this surface, as well, and on the other end of it (upside down in this photo) so they are parallel to each other.

This grinding wheel is an in-store purchase only. If you'd like more specs on it, go to the Harbor Freight page here.

It doesn't say if it's to be used with wood or not, but I did it anyway, and I'll say I'm satisfied so far. Still don't know how long it'll last, but hopefully long enough to make it cost effective. Labor intensity I'd be rating at a 5 simply because I'm old!