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View Full Version : Newb on the bench grinder, needing some help



CMcmillan
09-13-2012, 02:07 AM
Ok, so I have been using my father in laws bench grinder for some time. It's old and hefty, when tools were made well. I don't know the model, size, hp, nothing about it. But when I use it to grind steel it grinds edges nice smooth and flat.

We recently moved so I no longer have access to it, so I picked up a craftsman 6"? Bench grinder, maybe an 8" would have to look. But when I grind steel it chunks it away and does not give clean edges when grinding, doesn't grind smooth at all. It leaves nasty burrs and rolls the steel up over.

Now is this a grinding wheel issue? I'm using the one it came with. I know a lot of tools come standard with belts, wheels, blades, etc that are close to worthless, and I didn't know what a good brand of wheel is to get IF this is the problem. It is a variable speed and I've tried every speed, the nice one I'm used to is one speed.

I'm out of work until I can find a grinder that grinds like the one I always used and I'm not too grinder savvy. What need I do?

darryl
09-13-2012, 02:22 AM
You should probably get yourself a wheel dresser. If the thing runs smoothly without vibration, then true up the wheels and it should do a better job. You may have to re-mount the wheels a few times before they run fairly true- do this before dressing the wheels.

Chances are the wheels on there are not very good- bottom of the barrel so to speak.

uncle pete
09-13-2012, 02:36 PM
CM,
I've always thought that if any group of people were fanatical about deadly sharp HSS it was woodworkers. Maybe a few checks on some woodworking forums would get you some good recommendations for proper wheels and just where to get them? Maybe Baldor supplies good wheels on their grinders, but for the rest, they seem to be the cheapest generic wheels possible that don't do anything well. Whatever wheels you end up buying will need regular dressing with a diamond dresser.

Pete

Dr Stan
09-13-2012, 03:10 PM
. It is a variable speed and I've tried every speed, the nice one I'm used to is one speed.

It sounds like you have one of the later model Craftsman grinders which to be blunt are not worth carrying home. My recommendation is to find an old Baldor, USA made Craftsman, etc on Craigs List, then sell the one you have. Then get yourself a good wheel dresser like this one http://www.travers.com/skulist.asp?r=s&n=||UserSearch%3Dwheel+dresser&q=block+id+84137+and+class+level3+id+29964. It will not only dress (sharpen) your grinding wheels but also make them run true. This in turn will make your grinding much easier and more accurate especially when it come to sharpening cutting tools.

Fasttrack
09-13-2012, 03:17 PM
Dr. Stan is probably right, but to make what you have work, you'll first want to dress the wheels. The grit dulls after a while or will get loaded with debris (NEVER grind aluminum or other soft materials!) and need to be dressed. Basically, dressing just cuts off some of the wheel to expose new grit underneath. It's a very gritty/dusty process. You may also want to get some good wheels.

It's been a couple years since I bought grinding wheels, but Camel (CGW) used to make good ones, from what I remember. Many of us home shop guys are familiar with a supplier called "Enco". If you search, you will find coupon codes posted on the forum that will get you free shipping and sometimes 10%, also. Website is www.use-enco.com. When I bought my Camel wheels, I bought them from Enco.

Welcome to the forum!

Dr Stan
09-13-2012, 04:01 PM
I probably came across too harsh, but I'm one of those who believe in buying quality tools from the get go. I learned the hard way buying cheap tools is expensive as you'll need to spend more money later on replacing the cheap ones that do not work, break, or wear out prematurely.

There is a lot of experience on this forum and we're all willing to express our opinions, good bad or indifferent. However, before you purchase a replacement grinder I suggest you start a thread and ask for opinions as to the reliability, etc of the particular piece of equipment you have found.

BTW, welcome to the insane asylum. :)

On edit. Don't worry too much about a member poaching an item you find on Craig's List, except for of course flyo (inside joke). :rolleyes:

customcutter
09-13-2012, 09:09 PM
On edit. Don't worry too much about a member poaching an item you find on Craig's List, except for of course flyo (inside joke). :rolleyes:

Don't care who you are, that right there is FUNNY!

Ken

RussZHC
09-13-2012, 10:50 PM
Welcome...your last statement is a telling one.

You've either got to spend time working with what you have, dress wheels, buy better quality wheels etc. OR look for a different machine and likely go through some or all of those same adjustments/details. Cost will likely enter into any path you take. What is often a stock wheel on common bench grinders is not the same as something picked specifically from a company like Norton or Camel (CGW) as well as some others. When you go looking into those catalogs you will find there are lots of choices.

What the base machine is plays a role too. One of these http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/tls/3248916370.html is not the same species as one of these http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/tls/3201731795.html

I am pretty much a hack so one of the best purchases I have made was a used Baldor 8", use it all the time...guy that sold it to me said it was too much for their shop...certainly not the biggest or even middle of the road of the Baldor models but I have never even bolted it down properly, its heavy enough that you can pretty well lean with body weight into it, all it does is rough grinding and wire wheel brushing. Use a much poorer quality 6" Delta but with very good wheels for lathe tool grinding.

gizmo2
09-14-2012, 09:16 AM
A source to keep in mind when your cash is flowing better, Lee Valley Tools carries white 6" wheels and the Norton blues, with 1/2" holes. Either of these will cut faster, cooler, and produce a better finish than those stock gray thingies.

CMcmillan
09-15-2012, 12:16 AM
Thanks for the inputs. I'm going to try and get a video up and posted here of the grinder I am used to working on, show the results, and then go from there...it may help forneveryone to see what I'm trying to achieve. Due to my lack of knowledge on these things I may be missing something big, maybe not. Will try to get it posted sometime in the week.

customcutter
09-15-2012, 09:01 AM
Thanks for the inputs. I'm going to try and get a video up and posted here of the grinder I am used to working on, show the results, and then go from there...it may help forneveryone to see what I'm trying to achieve. Due to my lack of knowledge on these things I may be missing something big, maybe not. Will try to get it posted sometime in the week.

CM

Please let us know what you are trying to accomplish. Seems IIRC that in another post of yours you mentioned cutting knife blanks with a bandsaw. If you are simply trying to "profile" the outer edges of the blades, then a bench grinder will work for that. If you are trying to grind the "bevels or concave" sections of the blade, you need to use a belt or disc grinder. I started with a 9" disc and a reversible motor. I could only flat grind my blades, but it got me started until I could purchase a 72" Burr King belt grinder.

good luck,
Ken

CMcmillan
09-15-2012, 01:32 PM
CM

Please let us know what you are trying to accomplish. Seems IIRC that in another post of yours you mentioned cutting knife blanks with a bandsaw. If you are simply trying to "profile" the outer edges of the blades, then a bench grinder will work for that. If you are trying to grind the "bevels or concave" sections of the blade, you need to use a belt or disc grinder. I started with a 9" disc and a reversible motor. I could only flat grind my blades, but it got me started until I could purchase a 72" Burr King belt grinder.

good luck,
Ken

I am just wanting to clean the edges up and finish the profile with the bench grinder. For example, i profile the knife by other means and then from there there is barely any steel left that needs removed to complete the profile of the knife blank, basically from there I use the bench grinder to grind the edges of the profile where they are all nice and even and right up to the line to finish the profile of the blank.
The problem with this new bench grinder is it chunks the steel and when grinding down to the line it would chunk into the profile instead of grinding nicely right down to the line. The grinder I used to use would grind really smooth and I could get nice flat even grinds right down to the line and would not need to further sand the profile edges to get the edges flat, such as the spine of the knife profile...the grinder would leave a nice clean finish.

I will be profiling the knife mainly with a bandsaw but the last little bit of metal that needs grinded down to the line I will be doing on a bench grinder...and at the same time this makes the edges flat like I said, grinder I'm used to using gave nice clean passes with no burring/rolling of steel.

Hope that helped explain things a little better.

customcutter
09-15-2012, 01:45 PM
CM

I'd suggest trying a combo sander. One of the small 4X36 belts with the small 5or6" disc sanders on the side. The disc sander with the adjustable table set at 90 degrees would work perfectly, and they are rather inexpensive. MIght find a used one on CL for a few $'s. It sounds like the grinding wheel is out of round on the bench grinder you are using. You could also try dressing that wheel to get a smoother profile.

Ken

CMcmillan
09-15-2012, 04:52 PM
CM

I'd suggest trying a combo sander. One of the small 4X36 belts with the small 5or6" disc sanders on the side. The disc sander with the adjustable table set at 90 degrees would work perfectly, and they are rather inexpensive. MIght find a used one on CL for a few $'s. It sounds like the grinding wheel is out of round on the bench grinder you are using. You could also try dressing that wheel to get a smoother profile.

Ken

Will the regular sanding disks for those side disc sanders remove metal easily? A problem with that on my main belt sander ( I do own the belt/disc combo) is I can never get the cheap flimsy tables they give you to mount flat. Things are made so cheaply now days it looks like the adjustment areas are too flimsy and I cannot get the work tables to sit flat. Are there even any mods for that kind of thing?
Again my belt sander/disc combo is another craftsman. Works fine for now but the tables when adjusted and tightened angle a bit and I can't get them flat therefore I can't feed my workpieces into the sander evenly. I have this same problem even more so on my new bench grinder, tables are slightly angled enough to cause grief.

customcutter
09-15-2012, 08:26 PM
Will the regular sanding disks for those side disc sanders remove metal easily? A problem with that on my main belt sander ( I do own the belt/disc combo) is I can never get the cheap flimsy tables they give you to mount flat. Things are made so cheaply now days it looks like the adjustment areas are too flimsy and I cannot get the work tables to sit flat. Are there even any mods for that kind of thing?
Again my belt sander/disc combo is another craftsman. Works fine for now but the tables when adjusted and tightened angle a bit and I can't get them flat therefore I can't feed my workpieces into the sander evenly. I have this same problem even more so on my new bench grinder, tables are slightly angled enough to cause grief.

Try using 50-60 grit, it should work fine. Try using a small square held against the face of the disc, adjust the table to 90 and snug up the bolt to keep it square.

Ken

CMcmillan
10-11-2012, 10:57 PM
It's been a long delay and my apologies for that, but this is what I have been using to grind down steel to profile out knives,

http://i49.tinypic.com/11tbj9d.jpg

After doing some research its a belsaw sharpall used for sharpening things. Are these even meant for grinding away steel? Because I have been profiling out knife blanks using the grinding wheel on the left side with the table 90 degrees to the wheel. Maybe this is why my craftsman 6" bench grinder doesn't grind steel away the same, it's not even the same type of tool..
I no longer have access to the belsaw and have no idea what grit wheel I was using to grind with. Now I am stuck with the craftsman bench grinder and it doesn't seem to grind steel the same at all that the belsaw did.
These belsaws go for about 300 dollars, should I invest in one, is it the wrong tool for the job, will my craftsman do?

RussZHC
10-11-2012, 11:12 PM
Are these even meant for grinding away steel? I would encourage you to be, let us say, a bit more adventurous...I think you will find a lot of posts on this board that are about getting something to work for the purpose or job you want to do.
I think you have hit upon in your previous post a big difference between the Belsaw machine and other machines with
"cheap, flimsy tables". I don't have a Belsaw of any sort but have looked a quite a few, some are somewhat old fashion but that does not necessarily matter for function...the mass of the machine overall, that you can adjust tables and hold that adjustment. I could easily see how that Belsaw would do quite a nice job of profiling knife blanks. IIRC there is a lot of information about Belsaw products on the web, some models for doing some things are not so good, others are very good but for a very specific task. The only thing, if I read correctly, most are not meant to take off substantial amounts in a single pass but hey, thats a bit more time or larger grit stone, right?

CMcmillan
10-11-2012, 11:38 PM
I would encourage you to be, let us say, a bit more adventurous...I think you will find a lot of posts on this board that are about getting something to work for the purpose or job you want to do.
I think you have hit upon in your previous post a big difference between the Belsaw machine and other machines with . I don't have a Belsaw of any sort but have looked a quite a few, some are somewhat old fashion but that does not necessarily matter for function...the mass of the machine overall, that you can adjust tables and hold that adjustment. I could easily see how that Belsaw would do quite a nice job of profiling knife blanks. IIRC there is a lot of information about Belsaw products on the web, some models for doing some things are not so good, others are very good but for a very specific task. The only thing, if I read correctly, most are not meant to take off substantial amounts in a single pass but hey, thats a bit more time or larger grit stone, right?

I agree, I just didn't want to be misusing the tool and have something malfunction or cause a safety concern.
At this point I may sell my craftsman bench grinder and get a belsaw sharpall instead, unless I can figure out why the craftsman won't grind steel very well. Like I said I just need to get knife blanks profiled out and I cant grind down curves on a regular flat belt grinder.
If I can get the craftsman to grind well then great, if not I may be heading for a sharpall. there has to be a reason the craftsman isnt grinding smoothly though and I plan to figure out why

demerrill
10-11-2012, 11:40 PM
You don't get very specific about your location in your profile but here is a Google search for 'belsaw sharp-all' across all current Craigslist classifieds nationwide: http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=belsaw+sharp+all+site:craigslist.org&oq=belsaw+sharp+all+site:craigslist.org&gs_l=hp.3...34011.41915.1.42267.20.20.0.0.0.0.75.9 09.20.20.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.QL32N4ZjBbQ&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=4bf76621ca799f85&bpcl=35243188&biw=1334&bih=1018

Note that asking prices vary widely. It's been my experience that, in my location at least, asking prices on Craigslist postings are often unrealistic. Buy nothing without a personal inspection of condition and to ensure that no essential accessory items are missing. Search manufacturer sites before going to look at used equipment to determine if downloadable manuals are (likely) available.

A search of 'completed' eBay transactions are another way to determine realistic prices.

David Merrill

browne92
10-12-2012, 10:32 AM
If someone could explain the right hand side of that machine (thin abrasive blade, bowl, pointed thingy), I'd love to hear it.:)

michigan doug
10-12-2012, 11:21 AM
I used to own one of those a hundred years ago...

The "bowl" is a clamp/arbor arrangement. That piece of machinery was/is to sharpen circular saw blades, back when they mostly were not carbide tipped. You can see that the "bowl" can slide in and out on that square beam, to accommodate larger/smaller circular saw blades. The pointy funnel shaped thing fits into the hole of the saw blade, and is designed to fit any circular or diamond shaped hole. Pretty clever really. The thin abbrasive blade is to get in and sharpen/re-form the cutting edge and the gullet.


In general, craftsman tools has been going down the pooper for years. Some of the older stuff was almost pro quality. These days, a mere shadow of their former self, including how they stand behind their warranty.

A good bench grinder will have a nicely balanced motor, high quality bearings, highly concentric shafts to mount the wheels, very square/straight/concentric drive washers, and high quality balanced concentric grinding wheels, big heavy cast iron work supports that are easy to adjust, and hold those adjustments.

I'm afraid yours has none of those things. Having said that, if you dress these wheels with a diamond dresser, that will likely help a lot. If you throw these wheels away, and buy good ones, and dress those, you will get an even bigger improvement.

Black and Decker used to make some pretty heavy duty stuff too. They watered the quality down until now they are only useful for coffee pots and disposable drills and saws.

If you can learn to do good work with a cheap modified tool, you will feel like a god when you finally get the nice expensive tool.

Finest regards,

doug

Boucher
10-12-2012, 12:06 PM
This machine was designed to sharpen circle saw blades. Foley designed good equipment back in the late 40s and early 50s Previously carpentry was done using handsaws. The New circle saws began to dominate. This was a time before everything was throw away. Sharpening with a file was slow and tedious. This machine revolutionized circle saw sharpening. The bowl pointed thing that you were referring to is probably the centralizer to true up the OD. The thin blade was probably for reaching into the gullet. If the OP was nearby I have one he can have.

Doug types faster than I do.

CMcmillan
10-12-2012, 09:08 PM
That clears a lot up so thanks guys. I think when I get the money together I'm going to try and find one of the sharpalls.

Boucher, I'm not in Tx but I would be happy to pay shipping for it here! :rolleyes: Go figure every time I get a nice gent offering a free tool or some help theyre states away. But hey be thankful you dont live here where I'm at. . . .it is a dump and the local craigslist never has nothing good. I appreciate the gesture very much, too bad we aint neighbors.

flylo
10-12-2012, 09:20 PM
I'm in SW Mich & know of one for I believe $150 (not mine). Let me know if interested. Thanks!

CMcmillan
10-12-2012, 09:45 PM
I'm in SW Mich & know of one for I believe $150 (not mine). Let me know if interested. Thanks!

Thats a little bit of a drive for me L O L.
But thanks anyway.