... Is it possible to do what I want with just with the tools that
In a word, yes. I've done this many times -- almost every new hammer
it seems, sooner or later -- so yes, it is quite possible.
As to whether it's ideal or not is quite another question. As you've
surmised it can be very slow going. It can also be quite hard on
your equipment, especially if you're impatient and try to speed
things up by applying more pressure etc. And it's incredibly messy
because you have the whole thing in your hands, as opposed to a bench
grinder where a lot of the dust and grindings are directed downwards,
or into a dust trap.
If you do decide to go this route I would recommend the following:
- a full face shield, not just goggles.
- a serious dust mask, NOT one of the paper disposable ones.
- a full smock that closes around the wrists and neck.
- ear protection.
- a good selection of grinding wheels, available at auto body or
- water for coolant (you'll need to cool your workpiece frequently).
Note that the grinding wheels mentioned above are usually rated at
5000 RPM maximum. That's at the very bottom end of the speed chart
for your garden variety flex shaft so either (a) use a flex shaft
that can run comfortably at those low speeds or (b) change to
abrasives that are rated at 10,000 RPM or higher.
If you have to use a regular flex shaft (not a low speed version)
then look for "cut off" wheels which are quite aggressive cutters AND
can be stacked to form a larger cutting surface. They usually come in
three grades of coarseness, go for the coarsest you can find. Buy a
tube or two of them because you've going to be burning through them
Go lightly and don't apply too much pressure, take your time, let
the tool do the work. If you are bogging the machine down then you're
working it too hard: back off or you'll be repairing your flex shaft
before you're done.
in The City of Light
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