Yup. With a little thought and some elbow grease, any piece of junk can be a jewel. I have modified many of HB tools to fit my needs.
I will keep y'all posted on the Northern grinders. The power difference in the motor was less than 5o or 60 watts to the OREGON 511A. I'll take some side by sides. If all the parts interchange I think I'll sell my older 511A and use the Northern unit for small chain and depth guages.
I can always dump them on ebay if they don't live up to my expectations, but I haven't seen anything that bad from NT or HF. Just have to wait till the sale is over to drop them on the bay.