View Full Version : Using a diamond tile saw to grind carbide...?

Doc Nickel
04-23-2008, 03:57 AM
Over the weekend, I needed to sharpen/grind a carbide threading insert (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/carbideholder4.jpg)- I was doing some stainless, and ran out of sharp points.

I have yet to buy one of the oft-mentioned Enco/Harbor-Freight Baldor-clone carbide grinders, and have no suitable wheels to install on any of my other grinders.

The job was time-sensitive, so I ran up to the local hardware store (less than three miles away) but they had no "green" wheels whatsoever, and the only diamond they had were tile and masonry blades of various sizes.

There was a 4" diamond tile-saw wheel that was only $11 or so, and I considered picking it up if for nothing else than as an experiment, but decided against it as it seemed pretty coarse.

I eventually remembered the wheel in my old and no-longer-used Drill Doctor is diamond (or so they say- but you're supposed to grind steel drill bits with it, so I have my doubts) so I just flipped off the wheel cover and touched up the insert on the wheel directly.

But I'm still curious- anyone now how well that tile wheel might have worked? It seemed quite coarse, and I assumed I'd get a fairly rough grind, but I wondered if the rim might have been somewhat finer than the sides. Anyone ever try this?

(Yes, one of these days I'll be getting a proper diamond wheel and motor for this sort of thing. I'm just curious how the tile blade might have worked.)


04-23-2008, 08:11 AM
Probably won't work well. It will most likely chip the carbide. This would be especially true if it is not a smooth diamond coating but sort of "serrated." Also, I believe that lubricant should be used, either water or oil or the life of the diamond tool will be short.

04-23-2008, 09:23 AM
I've used those cheap diamond wheels, but only to dress stones.
Sorry, can't help further.

04-23-2008, 12:00 PM
They don't work worth a damn. (At least the el-cheapo ones I have.)

Mine have the equivalent of a few dozen sharp boulders attached to the rim. And the surface finish looks like it was done with 6 grit.

(But I had to see what would happen.):D


Doc Nickel
04-23-2008, 04:05 PM
Yeah, that's pretty much what I figured. Actually, even the Drill Doctor wheel have me kind of a rough finish- well, compared to the finish of the insert before I ground on it.

Like I said, I'll have to pick up the "real thing" one of these days.


04-23-2008, 04:07 PM
Wasn't being facetious Doc.
Save those cheap diamond wheels and use em to dress stones on your bench grinder.

Alistair Hosie
04-23-2008, 06:37 PM
or make your wife some largeish custom jewellery:DAlistair

04-23-2008, 06:43 PM
Doubt she'd like a 0.5 carat bortz Alistair, they're black :D

Doc Nickel
04-23-2008, 07:12 PM
Wasn't being facetious Doc.
Save those cheap diamond wheels and use em to dress stones on your bench grinder.

-Oh, I know it wasn't facetious. I suspected they were too coarse, but I was still curious about it. I've seen stranger things happen, but in all, I'm glad I didn't blow the $11 on it anyway. :D

As for the bench grinders, I have proper diamond dressers as well as a very handy Norbide stick. I got tired of those "star wheel" dressers a long time ago. :D


04-23-2008, 10:41 PM
I bought a 7-1/4" wet tile saw at Home Despot for $88.It cut all the tile I needed it to and sat there until oneday I noticed the motor.Nice,good quality aluminum finned motor with a rigid cast base and threaded arbor shaft with the front bearing setup not to float axially.

Perfect for a small tool grinder.

As an answer to your question Doc,not worth a dam for lathe tooling,but good for stumpgrinder teeth:D