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Magnum164
09-03-2011, 10:54 AM
I have decided to bite the bullet and get a grinder to make some form tools for my lathe as I keep running into the reality some things are just probably best made on a lathe.

Would a grinder such as one from Lowe's (Porter Cable or Dewalt) be versatile enough for this. Realizing I would have to build some fixtures for certain things.

Can these also be used to sharpen end mills as well?

Grind Hard
09-03-2011, 11:11 AM
Get a dedicated tool grinder.

http://www.harborfreight.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/370x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_1263.jpg


...not this model though this is a Horrific F*uck tool-grinder. It is made out of **** and fail... and possibly low-grade lunch-meat. These are SO BAD it is illegal to sell them in China because the Chinese Government doesn't want people being maimed or killed by shoddy products. :D Come back in an hour and I'll tell you what I really think of HF products.

Spend the money to get a decent one of these and dedicated wheels for shaping HSS and touching up carbide.

Notice the mini fence? The tilting table? The water-cups/trays? You COULD rig these things to a bench-grinder but why polish a turd? Right tool for the job and all that.

I have two of these at home... both cost me about $250. Both came from a T&C sharpening shop in Rochester. Same place I got my T&C grinder and the rest of my shop gear (not counting my press-brake -- I stole that from work :D)

Magnum164
09-03-2011, 11:43 AM
I appreciate the info. But it doesn't help much. That doesn't look much different some of the others I have seen at Lowe's, minus the tables and angle brackets which could be made later.

I actually bought one of those last week for $99, thought it was a good deal till the stock runner at HF told me that was the last one, the floor model. And it was in such crappy shape no one wanted it even at $99.

Dr Stan
09-03-2011, 11:48 AM
Stay away from the big box grinders as they are intended for light off hand grinding by DYIers and are not suitable for something like grinding cutting tools.

I have a Baldor 8" pedestal grinder and a Baldor tool grinder, both of which I bought lightly used off Craig's List for about 1/2 retail. Still slightly more than the HF or similar low quality equipment, but substantially superior. Don't settle for what's available right now, but take some time to find a good tool at a reasonable price. You'll be better off in the long run.

As to resharpening end mills, that requires a tool & cutter grinder as off hand grinding of end mills will not produce a satisfactory result.

Magnum164
09-03-2011, 11:53 AM
Thanks for the Baldor tip, they look like quality grinders. And yes, a little pricey but found some on Ebay and a fair price.

Scottike
09-03-2011, 12:35 PM
While the above comments are all true, you can freehand HSS and carbide lathe tools on any decent quality bench grinder. Baldor is considered the Cadillac. Stay away from the cheap china stuff as mentioned, but don't be afraid to pickup an older american made Craftsman or other brand from a yard sale, pawnshop, or auction, if it's good condition.

gcude
09-03-2011, 12:45 PM
I appreciate the info. But it doesn't help much. That doesn't look much different some of the others I have seen at Lowe's, minus the tables and angle brackets which could be made later.

I actually bought one of those last week for $99, thought it was a good deal till the stock runner at HF told me that was the last one, the floor model. And it was in such crappy shape no one wanted it even at $99.


If you got the HF carbide grinder (like I did), you will want to view these videos of DIY improvements that show how to polish a ... well, just watch the videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSi3lucyRQo

Very worthwhile investment of time to turn a low quality import into a nice tool.

Magnum164
09-03-2011, 12:48 PM
No, I did not get that one. I got my money back. It was just in too bad of shape at the time, when I was expecting a new one:)

T.Hoffman
09-03-2011, 12:53 PM
I bought the Horror Freight tool grinder. If you're willing to put in some work, it can be quite useable. I true up the trunions, deburred the table. Pulled the backplates off, pulled the shaft out of the motor, and true up it all as one unit between centers on the lathe.

This helped tremendously since the plates are just cast. The supplied wheels are not good, but will serve until I get some new ones.

After six hours of turd polishing, the grinder is incredibly smooth now..... bought on sale, and had a 20% off coupon. Plus a two year no fault warranty thrown in for free. I'm satisfied for now.

Arthur.Marks
09-03-2011, 03:32 PM
I would first ask:
*what do you mean by 'form tools'? As in, non-standard cutters with specific radii or angles?
*budget or budget ranges if it did this but not that, etc.

There are a few ways to go. If you like the sound of making your own rest, there are great plans out there. One easy source is the "Tool and Cutter Sharpening" book by Harold Hall. He gives plans for just about everything to be done on a simple, off-hand bench grinder. Or the Quorn through Martin Model and Pattern would be a dedicated machine. You need to focus on what you want it to do or would like it to expand into at a later date. You mention sharpening end mills; that is why I ask. Options for sharpening milling tools can also sharpen lathe tools but not the other way around.

aboard_epsilon
09-03-2011, 05:10 PM
There was a thread on here a few weeks ago about a Baldor grinders and all newer ones.

The opinion was that they aren't what they used to be ..
so i would look that thread up and read before you go out and buy something that isn't up to the job

all the best.markj

Chris S.
09-04-2011, 02:11 PM
If you got the HF carbide grinder (like I did), you will want to view these videos of DIY improvements that show how to polish a ... well, just watch the videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSi3lucyRQo

Very worthwhile investment of time to turn a low quality import into a nice tool.

I was viewing all 5 segments of this video but when I got to the best part, (4-5) which was turning between centers, the video stopped and no more cache was being stored. Did this happen to anyone else? For sure I've had this happen on other videos too but not all the time.

As I side note, I did flush my Temp Internet files to see if it would help, but no change.

BTW, It's a sh*t load of work but typical of what it takes to turn a Chicom paper weight into a viable machine!

Thanks,
Chris

Chris S.
09-04-2011, 02:23 PM
Here's an update on my last post..

I decided to bring up the next segment which was part 5-5. I watched a short bit of it and stopped it, clicked on part 4-5 but moused the progress bar to approximately where the player stopped last time. This time it played through to the end. Go figure? :confused:

BTW, the facing operations are never shown anyway. :D

gcude
09-04-2011, 02:34 PM
I was viewing all 5 segments of this video but when I got to the best part, (4-5) which was turning between centers, the video stopped and no more cache was being stored. Did this happen to anyone else? For sure I've had this happen on other videos too but not all the time.

As I side note, I did flush my Temp Internet files to see if it would help, but no change.

BTW, It's a sh*t load of work but typical of what it takes to turn a Chicom paper weight into a viable machine!

Thanks,
Chris


Some days the computers hate us.

Yes, out of the box, the grinder needs lots of work and hours of elbow grease to make it a pleasure to use rather than an aggravation.

Chris S.
09-04-2011, 02:37 PM
If yall want to see and hear what this grinder is like before modifications check this out. WOW, what a difference! :eek:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=fgp3_-7hEFY

Chris

MichaelP
09-04-2011, 04:33 PM
I especially liked the guy stating that he converted the cheap tool into a $1000 one. Apparently, in addition to everything else, he has managed converting the POS chinese motor into a real one. :rolleyes:

Now I'll be eagerly awaiting for his next project: converting an HF lathe into a Monarch.

Dr Stan
09-04-2011, 05:26 PM
I especially liked the guy stating that he converted the cheap tool into a $1000 one. Apparently, in addition to everything else, he has managed converting the POS chinese motor into a real one. :rolleyes:

Now I'll be eagerly awaiting for his next project: converting an HF lathe into a Monarch.

Yes that will be the day. :rolleyes:

T.Hoffman
09-09-2011, 09:26 PM
Just a note that the Horror Freight tool grinder was on sale in my local store, at $129 down from the normal $189. On sale until 9/13.

Add in a 20% coupon, and a few hours of tweak time to get a useable tool grinder.... it ain't bad for the money spent if you put some time into it.

I've pissed away more than that on a good night at the bar some weekends.... ;-)

Magnum164
09-09-2011, 09:34 PM
Fortunately I never took up drinking. Well except when I got married...

Not a bad price. If they have one in stock, my problem was they only had the floor model.

Which can be a good deal sometimes, I bought their bandsaw floor model and it has been good.

T.Hoffman
09-09-2011, 09:59 PM
I bought one of them as an experiment for my little shop at work which had no tool grinder. Some hours of tinker time and it turned out quite well. I went in knowing the supplied wheels are rather junkish.

I just bought unit number 2 on sale for my basement shop, which had no tool grinder.