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ByTheLake 04-13-2013 02:05 PM

Hilti DEG 500-D Angle Grinder
My son builds aircraft parts for a living. Knowing that I like to repair and rebuild just about anything, about a year ago he gave me a dead power tool. It's a Hilti DEG 500-D Angle Grinder, made in Germany. With the northern Michigan winter refusing to leave, I decided to do a quick project to repair this tool.

My power tools tend to be "household" grade - Ryobi cordless tools from Home Depot, for example. That could be why this angle grinder seemed so heavy - like a rock. This tool retails for $200 on Home Depotís web page, so itís a better quality tool than Iíd normally buy for myself. I plugged it in, pulled the trigger Ė and nothing happened. The grinder came apart quickly, held together with Torx-head screws.

I found a parts manual on-line, which was helpful. The toolís trigger switch tested good, and the motorís armature was also good. The motor had a pair of carbon brushes, one of which was highly worn. Brushes are cheap, so I decided to replace those. The sealed roller bearings were smooth and solid, so I left those alone. The bevel gears were in good condition and only required cleaning and lubrication.

I drove to a local hardware store to browse their selection of carbon brushes. There were 4 boxes of brushes of various sizes to pick from. Not a single brush was an exact fit, so I decided to buy a pair that were slightly larger than what I needed. These carbon brushes can be filed or ground down re-size them very easily. The new brushes were $5.50 each, so my total investment in this tool repair was $11. When I got home, I spent a few minutes at the grinding wheel to reduce the carbon brushes to the size needed, then reassembled the tool.

The Hilti Angle Grinder went together much faster than I expected, but there really werenít many parts. When it was finished, I plugged it in and pulled the trigger. The tool spun quickly, starting right up with a solid kick. I put on a new cutting wheel and tried it again. It really sounded good, and had a lot of power. This tool will only see occasional use Ė how many times do you need an angle grinder?

The pictures below show the tool from start to finish.

Larzfromarz 04-14-2013 08:53 AM

I'm waiting for the paint job pics. This is just a mock up right? Since it's German built (I like Hilti), might I suggest a vintage BMW throttle twist for the handle and polish out that housing too. Get Spokes to do a custom liner for one of the Bucos as a carry case...
Funny- Hilti and Honda have the same number of letters, that case looks like a worn Honda scarlet...You are obviously not finished yet....

ByTheLake 04-14-2013 09:34 AM

Too funny, Larz. I suppose it's pretty pathetic when I'm taking pictures of a tool rebuild, huh. Time for another motorbike.

My British uncle sent me a note in response to my tool rebuild, which at least has a motorcycle tie-in. He said that he used to make his own carbon brushes for his '59 Norton Dominator by ripping apart an AA battery and cutting the carbon core in half to make new magneto brushes, which fit perfectly, and were much less expensive than the Lucas replacement parts.

Smithers 04-15-2013 11:32 PM

Nice tear down. Those are awesome tools made to last and to be serviceable forever. You got a nice little grinder there that has top of the line power and gears made to handle it. I'm sure he made his pay many times over what he paid for that tool so it served him well. I would snatch that sucker in a heartbeat if I came across one at a garage sale or anywhere. Yeap it's time for you to adjust some valves or to do some motorcycle related task. :D

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