View Full Version : Dual Duty on a grinder

08-19-2008, 02:04 PM
With a certain amount of trepidation (following on from the poor mans grinder thread...) I submit the following question:

I have a need to make some accurate form tools for a job. I only have an offhand grinder, so I have come to the conclusion I need a 'proper' grinder. Now this is a 'home shop' and I have no space, but I do believe that its usually best to buy a 'proper' (industrial) tool. Ill deal with the space thing once Ive got something to put in it (creating space to early leads to it being filled with something else :rolleyes: )

Now As I see it I could get either a Surface grinder (eg J&S 540 or similar) or a proper T&C grinder, such as a J&S 310.
Herein lies my dilemma:
Given that I need tools and I have seen a few fully tooled T&C grinders, but I can foresee in the near future some flat and radiused ground things needed (punch dies and similar) is it easier to grind flat on a T&C than it is to grind tools on a surface grinder? I suspect tools on a surface grinder is easier, but does anyone have any actual experience of doing this?


08-19-2008, 02:36 PM
A well tooled T&C grinder can do quite a bit. They can even do flats, did some in trade school... (well, kinda flat).

A well tooled surface grinder can do.... Well, not sure what it can't do. I have done punches on a surface grinder, even some punches that weren't round. We have one at work that I have seen ID's ground on as well.

Not sure I would try to grind endmills on a surface grinder but, I have no doubt that with a little thinking it could be done.

08-19-2008, 05:34 PM
Just buy both ;)

08-19-2008, 07:00 PM
Being a tool maker have done both. A tool and cutter grinder will do it all fairly easy with the proper attachments = lots of money. A surface grinder will do it to with proper attachments ,but you have lots of limitations. You have more movement with tool and cutter grinder.and can still do light surface grinding also with the right tooling OD grinding. A surface grinder is kind of like having a horizontal mill and a Tool and Cutter grinder is like having a Bridgeport. Hope this helps some .

08-19-2008, 07:46 PM
Do the "form" or "shapes" (and/or the tools to make them) have flat sides, angles, circular or "other"?

The range of "shapes" you need will narrow things down considerably.

There will almost certainly be something or someone here who can help.

I guess that as "space" is a problem that you need or would prefer something that is "use and put away (in a drawer) and preferably not cost much either.

Can you show or describe what you want to do?

08-20-2008, 03:39 AM
My lack of space means Ill have to move and lose something from the workshop. (last time it was the shaper, it went as I now had a mill to do flat)
Im looking at 'proper' tools, not a put away model of a tool, as I would still have to put it away somewhere, and there isnt anywhere to put it... I prefer to have tools ready to go, not spend 1/2 the time I have available faffing around setting the thing up. I find industrial tools tend to be better though out with regard to the little helpers to make the job faster / easier, and being a true engineer (basically Im lazy) I like all the help I can get.
As to the tool shartening part, I have a bucket of dull endmills, lots of split point / 4 facet drills, lathe tooling etc (usual stuff) to sharpen, in both HSS of varing types and carbide. 'Form' tools I need shortly are for esoteric gear making, and other parts related to my hobby business - micro RC Helicopters.
Then the punch /die things are for cold pressing thin steel / brass / alloy into parts for a product I have in my mind, but the details are naturally hushhush ;) the dies will need to have radiused corners, compound curves and flat bits. I can almost certainly mill them from 'normal' steel, but thinking ahead and not limiting myself should I need to grind some bits in the future is part of my way of working.
I nearly bought a T&C grinder, but was unfortunaly away when the auction closed, c'est la vie. Then after a bit more thinking I wondered if the SG route might be better, as the wheels on a T&C are mounted (naturally) close to the wheelhead coulmn. But then the wheelhead swivels and the table swivels on a T&C, and that looks useful.....

Maybe Im overthinking this, but when Im spending my own money I like to be sure (at least in my own mind)