View Full Version : grinder location

11-19-2002, 11:06 AM
Dumb question for y'all: where in your shops do you keep your grinders relative to machine tools? I've been under the impression that grinding dust is a problem for machine tools. Is this a valid assumption?


Ragarsed Raglan
11-19-2002, 11:44 AM

I keep my off hand grinder in the garden shed. I bought it under the pretext of sharpening the mower blades.....then it needed some green wheels for those T.C tipped mower blades....Mrs. Raglan is so gulible!

The T&C grinders live on the far side of the workshop with a welding screen around them. I like to use the shop vac whenever I use them to ensure peace of mind.....even if it is misplaced. I just know they shouldn't be in there with the lathes and mill but sometimes you just have to compromise!!


11-19-2002, 12:48 PM
Grinder dust isn't nearly as fine or as "airborne-able" as, say, wood sawdust. The chunks of metal and wheel that get thrown don't go nearly as far or float around in the air like sawdust does, the peices are just too big and heavy. I keep my grinders all together on a bench but only about 10-12 feet away from the other machines. No problems.

11-19-2002, 12:48 PM

Your question raises an excellent point, and I know that I don't have a satisfactory solution in my shop. There just isn't enough space in my shop to put either my general purpose grinder or my Lisle drill grinder very far from the lathe or the mill. It basically means that I need to take counter-measures when I use the grinders. A low tray holding water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid under the wheel catches some of the dust, and a careful cleaning after any but the lightest touch-ups has become routine.

Major grinding chores need to be taken outside, and I am giving serious consideration to buying a second grinder to keep in the garage. That doesn't solve the need to be able to grind or sharpen a toolbit right there in the shop and deal with the mess it creates.

So, what is everybody else doing aout this problem?

Rich Kuzmack

Pi = 355/113 . . . to
<85 parts per billion

11-19-2002, 03:28 PM
The biggest problem with grinding dust comes from dressing the grinding wheel and using the grinder immedeately after dressing. Whether it's a Desmond type of dresser or a diamond, dressing the wheel throws grit and dust everywhere!

However, just using the grinder for everyday grinding chores will spread grit too, just not as much. The problem still needs to be addressed.


Paul Alciatore
11-19-2002, 03:46 PM

A wise man once told me that the only dumb question is the one you don't ask. Don't apologize for not knowing something: we all have different degrees of knowledge in various areas. It's the wise man who knows when to ask.

I think the answer to your question is the further the better in terms of the danger of grit and the closer the better in terms of user convenience. The tool post grinder puts grinding right on the lathe. Yucht! On the other hand, having it in another building is perhaps too far for any home shop. Perhaps a side room would be ideal if you have that choice.

11-19-2002, 03:46 PM
As far away from your other machine tools as possible!

11-19-2002, 03:59 PM
all my grinders, sanders etc live in a lean-to outside the main workshop, along with all the welding gear & the bandsaw.

11-19-2002, 07:59 PM

I do much like Rich does i.e. contain what dust I can and move heavy grinding outside the shop. Due to space limits, I keep my grinder and belt sander relatively close to my mill and lathe. The machines stay covered while the grinders run, followed by cleaning and re-oiling. They're also covered when I'm not in the shop. Maybe it's time for a teardown to assess just how much of this stuff is accumulating and if it's having any effect.

Anybody know what kind of practices are observed in industrial plants and working toolrooms? I have no such experience, but maybe some of you do.


11-20-2002, 12:04 AM
All good answers. I will add that I never turn on my bench grinders or die grinders with out the shop vac sucking first. This is of particular importance when grinding carbides or HSS with Cobalt. I also wear an approved breathing mask for hazardous dust. My lungs are worth more than taking the chance of breathing heavy metals into them.

11-22-2002, 03:23 PM
There are some very sensible ansewers to this post. Use a vacuum, dust mask for health reasons etc. I am redoing my shop and have plans to keep my grinding equipment isolated by making a type of shower curtain enclosure with a dust collector inside. I have done some surface grinding and found dust five plus feet away. Plan ahead.

11-22-2002, 07:27 PM
I keep my grinders out in the garage, where I have many grinders, wheel, stone, belt, drum, etc.

Tarps are cheap, so most stay covered. My buffers, I use those cheap show caps on the buff wheels. I have my wood lathe out there also, and it's covered. A dust collection system is nice, but can be expensive, so mine moves around with me.

The mill, the metal lathe and my precision use drill press are in my basement and in a humidty controlled environment.