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View Full Version : Glendo Accu-finish tool grinders / hones?



uncle pete
08-28-2011, 02:42 AM
Just so I don't hijack Arthur Marks thread about grinding HSS with a diamond wheel,

There were a few comments about Glendo's Accu-Finish diamond tool honeing equipment in that thread. The few I read didn't seem all that glowing as to satisfication with this product. I'd like to buy one in the near future. Any thoughts from owners, users about if this machine is worth the high price? I already know it's not designed for basic shaping. I'm looking for something that will produce a top quality honed edge on both HSS and carbide. Speed isn't the issue for me, Quality and accuracy of the cutting edge is. So, any thoughts?

Pete

gcude
08-28-2011, 03:18 AM
I recently bought a used Series 1 Glendo, if that is the type you are looking at. I got to use both a Series 1 and Series II at the Rich King scraping class in Arlington. These are low speed units meant for fine/keen edges. Mine came with a 260 grit roughing and a 600 and a 1200 grit for fine. And as you know you are not going to be hogging off profiles on your tools but creating gentle radii and slight bevels, but with no scratches or marks that would show in your hand or mechanically scraped finishes.

Not going to do for HSS. I would expect something with more speed and different grits for your HSS.

Hopefully Robert will add to this, more of his experience and recommendations as it sounds like he is building his own and maybe his range is better to cover both Carbide and HSS.

JCHannum
08-28-2011, 10:27 AM
In my opinion, they are seriously over priced for what you get. The machine itself is made of light bent up sheet metal and flimsy cut out pieces. The wheels are pot metal as I recall with a very thin matrix of abrasive.

You are stuck with being only able to use the expensive Glendo wheels when replacements are required.

I don't know what Robert might be building, but a competent HSM would have no problem building a superior machine for far less money. At worst, the chicom universal cutter in John's photos would be a better investment for most purposes.

japcas
08-28-2011, 11:01 AM
I have had an accufinish series 1 grinder for about 3 or 4 years now. I really like it. I would say that for the price it is probably more of a luxury than an absolute necessity but I wouldn't be without mine now either.

The machine isn't made of sheetmetal, and the table is very rigid. It can definitely grind carbide as well as hss. The wheels are expensive but last a very long time. I have the 180 grit gator roughing wheel, and a 600 grit finishing wheel. They both look as good as new. I touch up my used carbide inserts and hss parting blades on it and it makes a world of difference in how they cut. The flexability of the table and protractor guide make it very easy to grind to exacting angles if you need too, like touching up a threading tool. It really doesn't grind that slow, but it won't eat up your tools like a high speed grinder will if you accidentally bump into it. If you are setting up shop, I'd use the money to buy other shop equipment that will be used more, but for a well equipped shop I would highly recommend one.

J Tiers
08-28-2011, 11:51 AM
Lazlo and others who "once saw one" or "used one for a few hours"....phooey. When they are complaining about "bent up sheetmetal and potmetal wheels" they are acting like folks who would turn down a hundred dollar bill because "it's only paper, and floppy worn out paper at that".

I HAVE and USE REGULARLY an ancient used Glendo for which I paid $125. it came with three wheels, a coarse, and two finer ones up to at least 1200 grit.

YOU CAN"T BEAT IT.

It puts an EXCELLENT HONED EDGE ON HSS and it does the same for carbide, carbon steel, etc.

The wheels that came with it had been in use by the previous owner for many years, and I have been using them pretty regularly for 3 or so years also. Not even close to worn out.

The prior owner had got it used also, with the SAME wheels. He called up Glendo about getting new wheels because he figured these were worn out, just on an age basis.

The Glendo folks asked him if they were still cutting, and a couple more things, then laughed and told him that if he kept them wet when using it, that the wheels would last plenty more time, and that he would know when they were worn out.

Evidently they were quite correct.

Sheet metal or not, my old one is solid, well built. Yes, the sliding adjustable table is very good for all sorts of angles you want to grind. it adjusts two ways, the table adjusts in vertical angle and a guide bar adjusts at angles in the plane of the table.

The ONLY complaint about it that I have is that inside curves it won't reach unless you try to do them on the corner f the wheel, which it isn't designed for, and I don't attempt.

Even at the $600 or whatever, it could be a good deal, in my opinion. It just depends on your needs and amount of usage.

There are plenty of folks who pay 4 grand for a chinese lathe on which to make little model engines...... some of them are right here posting..... they could get $1200 worth of value out of a Glendo, most likely.

uncle pete
08-28-2011, 12:19 PM
Thank you all, I've read your comments and will read any future ones with a great deal of interest.

Pete

rkepler
08-28-2011, 01:06 PM
I have an Accu-Finish II that I use almost every time I go into the shop. I've used it for lapping valve faces (the head rotates up so the disc is horizontal), grinding sight glass ends square and clean, the standard carbide and HSS tooling as well as putting a really find edge on carbide scraping tools. I usually rough HSS on a regular pedestal grinder, but the 1200 grit plate on the Glendo really puts a nice edge on a tool.

BTW: if you're going to do inside threading tools they have a wheel that helps with the grind - it has a 30 degree reverse side on it.

JCHannum
08-28-2011, 01:21 PM
I have owned and used an Accu Finish II as well as a couple of the reciprocating type grinders/hones. They work as advertised, but are very expensive if purchased new.

The Accu Finish I lists for $700-$1000 depending on the package purchased, the Accu Finish II goes for $1500-$2600. Add the microscope package and the price hits $5000. Replacement wheels start at $100 and go up to as much as $250 depending on the type. That reverse 30* wheel is $250.

If you can justify that sort of expenditure or find one for cheap on the used market, go for it. For myself, I can find much better use for that amount of money.

uncle pete
08-28-2011, 02:35 PM
My shop is small and equipment weight is a huge issue along with any grinding dust that could be generated. Without those restrictions I'd just look for a proper used T and C grinder as that would sharpen far more than just lathe cutting tools and carbide tips. As for Glendos tool makers microscope, I see no need with what some of the cheaper web cam setups can do for fairly high magnification and tool inspection. Yes Glendos equipment is fairly expensive, But from what I've read so far I think it may be worth buying. Again, I appreciate the information posted.

Pete

Forrest Addy
08-28-2011, 03:04 PM
General remarks you'll have to take with a grain of salt because I have very little experience with the system.

Don't let an apparently flimsey construction of sheet metal dissuade you. If it works, it works. Look at ag machinisery. Made out of sheet metal and lasts for generations. I've seen overkill heavy cast iron equipment that's not satisfactory because of poor ergonomics, lame design, plain bad concept. It's all about the design. If you have a besetting prejudice against even well designed sheet metal equipment the Glendo is probably not for you.

From what I've seen the Glendo aint bad. It's an adaptation of an earlier design that I've seen where it was made of stout castings. The cast version was brilliant but expensive. So it's a trade-off: an excellent design brilliant in machined castings but expensive Vs affordable but sheet matal. Damn! I hate decisions.

OK The machine is a good concept. The grinding surface is a flat plane so interior angles and concavities are out. That said, it's a woodworker's dream for plane irons and chisels, gouges, scrapers (carefully) where dead keen edges are desired. It's not well adapted for use in a machine shop where the tools are so much more robust and long straight cutting edges are almost rare. However it does have a few niches like touching up carbide scrapers and final refinements of cutting edges. So keep these limitations in mind: shapening and final grinding, no. Refinements of the finished edge yes.

thistle
08-28-2011, 03:21 PM
I bought a Accufinish series 1 from ebay awhile ago, it turned out to be new in the box.
i am quite pleased with it

i just have a fine 800 grit diamond wheel on it .
i was going to get a coarser grit wheel , but am doing fine without at the moment.

the only negative for me are that the wheel i have has some runout at the edge, but i think this is due to the countersunk set screw used to fasten the wheel being off center, as oppsed to a defect . this could be fixed by carefully cleaning up the screw in the lathe.

i would say it actually removes material at a fairly good rate, especially compared to doing the job by hand .

the machine could be easily reverse engineered.
it is just a spindle with speed reduction via large and small pulley wheel

Lew Hartswick
08-28-2011, 04:03 PM
the machine could be easily reverse engineered.
it is just a spindle with speed reduction via large and small pulley wheel
We were given one at school about 3 or 4 years ago and I have used it extensively for lathe bits with excelent results. Made a fixture to sharpen wood chisels for the wood shop also.
As to "reverse engineering", the motor / wheel wouldn't be too dificult but the table with the degrees of motion and clamping would be another matter entirely. [ I have considered doing something like it
for another grinder but too many other things in the queue ]
...lew...

uncle pete
08-28-2011, 05:09 PM
Forrest,
The use of sheet metal doesn't sway my opinion. As you say, If it works, It works. I'd love to own heavy duty large cast iron equipment but can't at this time. Your thoughts about overkill cast iron equipment can have bad design, Ergonomics, Poor concept are very seldom mentioned by the "Old American or nothing" crowd. There were some beautifully designed and made equipment and there were some duds too. I own a Atlas MFB horizontal mill and a S.B. 7" shaper. While they were built to a price point and generally for the HSM types There's a noticable differance between the build and design quality on them and what's been done on my Chinese lathe.

Thistle,
Nice score, I'm jealous.

Lew,
LOL, Yeah it could be reverse engineered but my project list right now is at least 300 years long.

Pete

Arthur.Marks
08-28-2011, 05:40 PM
You prompted me to look at these. From what I can tell, there were a few makers until recently: Kool Kut, Cold Grind, KK Calamar (same as Kold Kut??) and Accufinish. All I can find now are Accufinish and two in-stock KK Calamar grinders at MSC. I think all but the Accufinish are now defunct. I see the pictures of the others and think Heavy Duty, Cast-Iron Monstrosity :) ...as mentioned. I also found this webpage: http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/GrindRLap.html Look here, though: http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/GrindRLapBottom.jpg Sure it is cast (Aluminum), but the impression from the top gives a misleading impression ;)

From what I can tell, these are all essentially the same except for one feature. On all but the Accufinish, the wheel moves side to side. On the Accufinish the table moves side to side. To continue with the Accufinishes, it looks like the major difference other than size between the Model 1 and the Model 2 is how the table moves. The series 1 uses a rod & bore to slide the table. The series 2 uses a ball-bearing slide. For those that have used both, is the movement of the series 2 table noticeably smoother? In other words, is it really an 'upgrade' or is the series 2 just intended to be a more permanent, freestanding machine---what with the optional stand and all.

gcude
08-28-2011, 05:52 PM
I did not notice a difference in the slide of the tables between the Series I and II at the Arlington scraping class. However, when I got my used Series I, the table was very stiff and jerky. Checked the slides and found gummy residue ... cleaned the slides and now the table moves slick-as-a-whistle. Maybe the Series II never has an issue with gumming up and needing cleaning?

Arthur.Marks
08-28-2011, 06:09 PM
Gary, sounds like it might have been a rust preventative. (whoops. Just noticed you mentioned buying yours used.)

Arthur.Marks
08-28-2011, 06:44 PM
These things were looking familiar. I hope some find this picture fun :)
http://i771.photobucket.com/albums/xx357/Arrak_Thumrs/Widgets/accufinish.jpg
from Turret Lathe Operator's Manual. Longstreet and Bailey. 1940 Warner & Swasey Co. p.57

rklopp
08-28-2011, 09:47 PM
I have a Glendo II and like it. My main beefs are that the table travel is a tad too short, and that it's tough to hold lathe tools with near zero lead angle for sharpening. I end up holding them against a rectangular block used as a square against the miter arm.

uncle pete
08-29-2011, 12:18 AM
Arthur,
Now that's a heavy duty unit and a pretty cool picture showing how things were once done. Thanks. Interesting grinding tool with what looks to be a full length set of tee slots on the R/H side of the grinder in the picture. There's more to that grinder than it first seems.

Pete

PeteM
08-29-2011, 12:51 PM
I've owned two earlier versions of this; with 5" diamond wheels. These were sold as Do-All, Lenoard, SPI, Glendo, KK Calamar Grind R-Lap etc. These have a fairly heavy die cast housing and a sturdy and easily adjustable table.

The wheels attach with magnets and the user has a choice of either a slow rotation or a combination of rotation and oscillation to better use the entire wheel.

They do a terrific job of finely honing carbide lathe tools, scraping tools, and even touching up lightly worn inserts. I've also built a number of my own wheels; some faced with aluminum oxide for HSS and some made from cast iron and impregnated with diamond grit. All work fine.

The new price does seem high. However, used units often go for around $300-600. Get one with at least one of the pricey diamond plated wheels (better IMO than the resin bonded) in good shape.

uncle pete
08-29-2011, 04:57 PM
PeteM,
Good information, Thanks.

Pete

lazlo
08-29-2011, 08:45 PM
In my opinion, they are seriously over priced for what you get. The machine itself is made of light bent up sheet metal and flimsy cut out pieces.

If you can justify that sort of expenditure or find one for cheap on the used market, go for it. For myself, I can find much better use for that amount of money.


That's a pretty concise summary of my opinion as well. But then, Gary and I only used an Accu-Finish I and II side-by-side for 30 hours straight, so what do we know? :p

The Accu-Finish II has a more substantial incline mechanism than the AF I, but they're both essentially a 1/4 HP belt driven motor in a stamped sheetmetal box. The table is stamped sheetmetal too.



Hopefully Robert will add to this, more of his experience and recommendations as it sounds like he is building his own and maybe his range is better to cover both Carbide and HSS.

It's just a high-tech version of Forrest/Lane's power lap. 1/2 HP, 3-phase 1100 RPM motor on a VFD, so I can turn it down to 275 RPM and it still has immense torque, but I can turn it up and use it for a disc grinder.

This is Lane's. I'm doing the tilt mechanism differently. I'll have it done by Sunday:

http://www.cp-tel.net/mary/LanesPhotos/LReversingGrinder.JPG

JCHannum
08-29-2011, 08:56 PM
That is a good illustration of what can be done by the HSM. The 1/4HP motor of the Accu Finish units pretty well precludes any thoughts of rapid metal removal. They are hones, not grinders and, as such, are secondary operation machines.

Over the weekend, I caught up on the latest Home Shop Machinist that had been neglected while on vacation. It has the continuation of Mike Ward's excellent series in scraping with the promise of his power lap coming in the next article. I would suggest anyone considering one of these machines to wait to see what Mike has to offer.

etpm
09-07-2011, 11:26 PM
You prompted me to look at these. From what I can tell, there were a few makers until recently: Kool Kut, Cold Grind, KK Calamar (same as Kold Kut??) and Accufinish. All I can find now are Accufinish and two in-stock KK Calamar grinders at MSC. I think all but the Accufinish are now defunct. I see the pictures of the others and think Heavy Duty, Cast-Iron Monstrosity :) ...as mentioned. I also found this webpage: http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/GrindRLap.html Look here, though: http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/GrindRLapBottom.jpg Sure it is cast (Aluminum), but the impression from the top gives a misleading impression ;)

From what I can tell, these are all essentially the same except for one feature. On all but the Accufinish, the wheel moves side to side. On the Accufinish the table moves side to side. To continue with the Accufinishes, it looks like the major difference other than size between the Model 1 and the Model 2 is how the table moves. The series 1 uses a rod & bore to slide the table. The series 2 uses a ball-bearing slide. For those that have used both, is the movement of the series 2 table noticeably smoother? In other words, is it really an 'upgrade' or is the series 2 just intended to be a more permanent, freestanding machine---what with the optional stand and all.
The GrindRLap pictured is missing a part. There is a protractor table that sits on the tilting table pictured. With the protractor in place you can move the tool from side to side while the wheel is stationary. So the GrindRLap has two modes of operation. By moving the lever on the side of the machine the wheel will either oscillate or sit still. I use mine in both modes, oscillating for roughing and still for finishing. I have used the Glendo machines and prefer the GrindRLap. It's too bad they are no longer made by Leonard. For a while you could buy a Chinese one for about $900.00 but I don't know if they are still sold. Instead of buying a Glendo machine I looked online for a GrindRLap for a couple years. One thing I like about the GringRLap is that I can make my own wheels for it. I use cast iron and diamond paste. This allows me to have roughing and finishing wheels. I can get VERY good finishes on both carbide and HSS. Using coarse diamond paste enables me to rough tools quickly-fast enough in fact that I have not used a high speed diamond wheel for years when grinding carbide form tools for the lathe. Even though I have a T&C grinder and a surface grinder with a full compliment of diamond wheels it's usually faster to just rough on the GrindRLap by the time setup is counted.
Eric

uncle pete
09-07-2011, 11:36 PM
You've all posted some interesting thoughts. Thanks again.

Pete

gwilson
09-07-2011, 11:50 PM
I have a vertical/horizontal diamond wheel unit made by Sunnen. Uses 5" or 6" wheels. In the vertical position(you just tilt the box with the motor and wheel over to make it vertical),there is a sliding table with miter gauge.

This unit cost $3000.00 new last time I checked,and the wheels are something like $275.00.

However,Rio Grande jewelry making supplies catalog has thin,sheet metal wheels,electroplated with diamonds in a nickel matrix,either 5" or 6" dia(can't remember),for about $70.00. I intend to get one of these and glue it down to a steel disc that I can turn to fit the grinder,which is very simple. No need to pay so much for thick steel wheels,when you can get the same diamonds much cheaper. If this works well,I'll buy some different grits. I believe these are sold for lapidary.

The makers of the unit also sell a white ceramic wheel to be used with diamond compound,but the ceramic disc costs as much as the diamond wheels. I had 1 at work. Glad I found the Sunnen for home shop.

J Tiers
09-08-2011, 12:32 AM
It sounds like either Sunnen or Glendo copied the other...... That description of the sunnen would fit the Glendo accufinish nicely.