If you are going to do any porting, you will have to invest in some equipment.
How much you want to spend will pretty much dictate how much porting you will be
able to do.
For a clean-up and a little blending, a small Dremel and some stones can
handle most jobs. Investment?....Cha-Ching...about $70.00 for a kit.
To do some more extensive bowl work and gasket matching, you will need
something a little more heavy duty. A die grinder or large electric grinder
will do the job. In fact, these two will do most any port work you may want
to try. The die grinder in the picture, cost about $20.00. Of course,
you will need a compressor and hose to run it, but it is very good for
doing this type of work, mostly because the speed is so easy to control.
The large electric grinder, on the other hand, has much more power, and you
will need a speed controller if you want to swing some 6" carbide bits
with it. The Craftsman electric grinder in the photo costs about $100.00.
If you are going to use a die grinder or large electric grinder, then
you will want to buy some carbide burrs. Carbide burrs cut fast and leave
a relativly smooth finish if worked properly. They offer much more precision
than you can get with stones.
These two burrs are all you will
need to do some bowl work and gasket matching. They will cost anywhere
from $15.00 to $20.00 each, but I found these on sale for about $11.00
each. You might find these at your local hardware store, larger tool stores,
welding supply houses or saw shops. They come in two pitches, for steel and
If you want to move some walls or work the roof or floor of a port, you
are going to need some 4" or 6" carbide burrs. These guys are not cheap
or easy to find. Expect to have to order these and pay about $30.00 each
for the 6" burrs. The 6" burrs in the photo came from Summit Racing
Equipment, and I think they are a great deal. You get 3, 6" carbide
burrs (for ferrous metal), a handsome hand stitched simulated leather case (maybe it's
real leather?) all for $49.99 (Summit Part Number SUM-900640, and
number SUM-900630 for non ferrous bits, $66.69).
The longer carbide burrs cannot be rotated too fast because they will wobble.
It is impossible to control them when they wobble, much less even hold
onto the grinder, but if you are going electric, I found that a
varible speed electric drill does okay for working the 6" carbide burrs. If
the drill has enough speed, it will probably get you through a set of
heads without too much delay. I like my battery powered drill because it
is so handy and the cord never gets caught on things or knocks over
my valve rack or such porting nuisances.
Stones are cheap and easy to find. They are great for bulk removal of material and for
smoothing ripples left by carbide burrs. However, they are usually to big
to do any precision work and they constantly change shape as they wear down. They are a
must have, but not recommended as your only means of porting.
For lighting, I found my battery powered flashlight is just the ticket.
It is very portable and can be positioned just right to get the light right
where I need it with its rotating/pivoting lens. One of those snake lights would work well also.
Saftey is No Accident
Look closely at the carbide burr on the left. The tip and shank snapped.
When this happens at high speed, you will know it. You may even decide porting is not
your thing and take up
bird watching, or golf. This happens often when the burr gets bound in a tight place,
such as between a bowl wall and valve guide. So be wary when working areas where
the burr can get stuck, or bounce between two surfaces. Reduce the speed. Of course, you would not
even think of turning on that grinder without the proper saftey gear, right?