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View Full Version : Tool and cutter grinders, who has one and is it worth having your own?



Jimmer12
10-31-2012, 03:21 AM
I'm interested in learning to regrind (or make from scratch) various tools and cutters and want to know more about T&C grinders. Are they that much better than working up some sort of fixtures for a surface or cylindrical grinder?

If you do have a T&C grinder, what make/model is it? Are any models out there considered superior to others?

Thanks,
Jim

JoeFin
10-31-2012, 07:24 AM
I have a Cinnci #2 that I just sort of fell into.

The Grinder was free for the hauling minus any tooling and needed quite a bit of work to get back into useable condition. A different expedition through a barn full of machine tools and tooling netted me a pallet load of various Tool and Grinder tooling for $200 which outfitted my machine

As far as I'm concerned the Cincinatti #2 T&C Grinder is the best out there but then again its the only T&C I've ever laid hands on. I resharpen endmills and drill bits on it and can grind a lathe tool to perfection with a great degree of accuracy. I have the Horizontal Cutter tooling but have yet to use it

Ian B
10-31-2012, 07:37 AM
Might be worth getting yourself a copy of this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tool-and-Cutter-Grinder-CD-suit-model-engineer-/160904834709?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2576acee95

It'll show you the various setups, and the tooling you'll need. A fair number of T&CG's come without the tooling (as Joe's apparently did), and without it, you're very limited to what you can do.

I have a Union T&CG - nice little machine, it has a 10" stroke table. This *just* lets me regrind 10" wood planer blades. Figure out what tooling you want to grind, and then find a suitably sized machine.

Ian

Mcgyver
10-31-2012, 08:05 AM
yes it is well worth having. I maintain they should be in more shops and be a higher priority....sort of for the same reasons good woodworkers can put a proper edge on all their tools. You just do better work if there is always a sharp tool available.

For years I had (still have) a bench top with air bearing and drill grinder capability. That does 90% of of common tools and is imo the basic set needed - being able to properly do end mills and drills. A few years ago I added and reconditioned a small floor model with centres and motorized head. This does horizontal mill cutters nicely (owning a T&CG goes hand and hand with a horizontal mill). More recently I've added flood coolant and a tenths indicator and am having some real success using it as a cylindrical grinder. Reliable results to 10ths and great finishes in difficult or hardened materials is a real luxury!

These are great tools well worth having. Look for one fully tooled is my recommendation

Grind Hard
10-31-2012, 09:02 AM
Have one, it's the most used machine in my shop. I was shown one setup years ago, and something clicked... I use mine to sharpen EVERYTHING and to do some fancy one-off production parts every so often.

Finding them with tools can be an issue... 99% of the ones I see go by are auction or salvage. Often the rack of or bench full of tooling gets scrapped out separately by someone who has NO idea.

Looking for a second one myself. If I can find a twin of the one I have... I'd be able to share tooling between them.

Jimmer12
10-31-2012, 09:50 AM
Thanks for the info guys. It kind of jumped out at me when I started working at my current employer, and noticed an old Brown and Sharpe #10 T&C grinder that has had the cords cut off because it was deemed unsafe without proper guards. I asked a few of the guys about it, and they all said "no shops regrind their own tools anymore, they all send them out". One guy said he used it and that was just for putting a nice point back on his transfer punches. So I'm starting to think about talking to the boss about taking that unsafe horrible machine out of there before someone gets hurts!

Does anyone have any comments on the B&S grinder in particular?

RussZHC
10-31-2012, 10:00 AM
I don't own, would really like to, though getting air into the shop should likely happen first (air bearing).
I certainly second McGyver's statement
owning a T&CG goes hand and hand with a horizontal mill, the number of edges to be kept sharp on horizontal mill style cutters takes almost several exponential increases compared to say a two flute mill.
The flip side is of course is most shops will send out, locally we have had one or two service places that have been grinding nearly anything for decades but I suspect one has seen a dramatic drop in business since another got in a full CNC grinding "cell" and heavily advertised the fact...its a matter of being able to keep very tight tolerances without a lot of the fiddling adjustments one has to do manually.
I sort of lean towards the older style of Clarkson but to find all the bits and pieces, a bit of a chore. There are a few smaller grinders which were made by most companies, I am thinking for a more typical space challenged home shop, finding one close to complete as far as fixtures, another matter.

Edit to add: frankly its not to hard to find tool and cutter grinders of the size a good job shop would have commonly had for decades, but again, home shop, a #2 Cinncinatti is not the smallest of machine and will often be higher voltage to start...Kijiji in Ontario has one ad with your choice of three for sale less than $1500 per, there is another for even less but NO tooling etc. There is an internal grinding attachment selling for only $120 less than the whole machine it goes to...

Bill Pace
10-31-2012, 10:06 AM
If you think you might want to build one there are 2-3 decent plans around (fairly involved) - one I can recall off hand is the "Tinker" plans, maybe one of the other guys can remember more shop builds.

http://lautard.com/tinker.htm

I have a 'Cuttermaster' and my friend Lane has the 'Darex E90' , both of these are pretty much limited to end mills, but have the advantage of being smaller sized, fitting on a benchtop. They both do a great job on EMs

One thing to keep in mind - like on the B&S - you almost HAVE to have the air bearing fixture, and as already mentioned, these things are often missing components and IMHO the air bearing is a 'must have'

RussZHC
10-31-2012, 10:12 AM
Out of curiosity, what did they use before air bearings? Just a very precise bearing surface?

JohnAlex141r
10-31-2012, 10:55 AM
I'm finishing up a Worden grinder; purchased the kit and had it shipped overseas to Canada.

Did get a diamond wheel as well, but I expect that I'll be moving back into using more and more HSS. And, I've got some drills that need some work...

Did get the "crank feed" kit, the 4-facet drill grinding kit, and the radius turning kit as well.

I've got lots of end mills to sharpen; only the ends of the flutes, but that's where the wear is, from what I understand.

Did have a Tinker, loaned it out, then was in an estate auction before I knew it, so I lost it. Not much of a loss, in my mind.

Looked at some of the chinese cutter grinders; one available from a place in Toronto (lost link, though, but sometimes on ontario.kijiji.ca) but decided to go with the Worden.

I've no experience with it yet, but the plans are *great*, and having all the materiel available without scrounging is the way for me to progress.

Another JohnS.

Mcgyver
10-31-2012, 10:55 AM
Out of curiosity, what did they use before air bearings? Just a very precise bearing surface?

This is a subject of some tiny contention. I think most of us who use air bearings would maintain they are a necessity for sharpening endmills. The incredible sensitivity and low friction makes it so easy to drag the (comparatively) small cutters smoothly over the tooth rest. Large cutters, not so much an issue, but endmills need the airbearing. When you go in a commercial shop (if they're not cnc) you certainly see lots of air bearings. otoh there must have been lots of end mills sharpened before air bearings were common. Maybe with practice you could do good job without an airbearing, maybe the results weren't as good? i don't know, but as far as I'm concerned doing it as a weekend warrior you need an airbearing to easily get great results

jungle_geo
10-31-2012, 11:57 AM
I agree with an air bearing is nearly essential for sharpening the flutes of small endmills. I have sharpened small end mills with a spin indexer like fixture but one had to be careful and you really lose the feel of whats going on with the endmill-stylus contact point. You have to rely on visually insuring the flute is riding on the stylus and is not riding above it which is tedious when sharpening the flutes.
Having said that, be careful when purchasing a used air bearing. They do wear out and are not cheap to replace. I've looked at several used T&C's over the years that were out of grinding shops and they were all shot and I'm sure that is why they were getting rid of them. If you are looking at a used one, make sure it spins freely about its length when under pressure or plan on spending a lot to replace it. It should be floating on a bed of air. I have seen where people have made air bearings in their home shops, so that is also an option but not a trivial one and would require some trial and error.

Beyond the air bearing, if it doesn't come with a lot of tooling, you can make most of it to do lathe bits, slab cutters, and hand reamers.

I had a Logan #1 T&C, but after acquiring too many other tools I downsized to a Chevelier bench top with an air bearing and I use it regularly. The only downside I see with the smaller T&C's is they generally don't have a universal table (one that swivels) and that makes some grinding setups a little more difficult to do such as hand and taper reamers. I can still do everything with it, its just not as easy as when you have a swivel table.

Pherdie
10-31-2012, 12:37 PM
I built a Bonelle and occasionally use it when I need to create something 'unusual' or 'precise' (IE: worm gear cutter), or to sharpen items such as a threading die. I can't seemingly freehand sharpen, so the Bonelle is an asset in that regard.

Most of my lathe tooling gets sharpened on the HF grinder and I don't sharpen end mills.

I never cease to be amazed at the clever jigs folks come up with to turn a standard bench grinder into an amazing sharpening machine. Look around, there are some wonderful ideas

R_Audano
10-31-2012, 01:23 PM
I built my T & C grinder from a Gorton Pantograph. it's not very pretty but is pretty functional... A buddy gave me a very smooth running spindle motor that accepts 1.25 bore wheels and I've attached a Harig air spindle to the table. The Motor/Head can be rotated or turned to any angle. I jump at the opportunity to buy dull US end mills and sharpen ends and flutes when necessary. If You're the hobbiest like myself, they are great! If You get an air spindle that takes 5C collets, grinding of HSS lathe tools is a breeze. later on, upgrade to some diamond wheels for carbide tools and You'll be set. Some people like to have nominal sized endmills and the answer is to keep a rack of them on hand. Most of my work is just material removal so a .666 diameter end mill is no biggie.

oldtiffie
11-03-2012, 01:12 AM
............................................

I had a Logan #1 T&C, but after acquiring too many other tools I downsized to a Chevelier bench top with an air bearing and I use it regularly. The only downside I see with the smaller T&C's is they generally don't have a universal table (one that swivels) and that makes some grinding setups a little more difficult to do such as hand and taper reamers. I can still do everything with it, its just not as easy as when you have a swivel table.


http://images.machineryhouse.com.au/G198/9/375

http://www.machineryhouse.com.au/G198

Jimmer12
11-06-2012, 12:03 PM
http://s1286.beta.photobucket.com/user/Jimmer1212/media/Brown%20and%20Sharpe%20No10%20Tool%20and%20Cutter% 20Grinder/IMG00117-20121101-2119.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0
http://s1286.beta.photobucket.com/user/Jimmer1212/media/Brown%20and%20Sharpe%20No10%20Tool%20and%20Cutter% 20Grinder/IMG00118-20121101-2119.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1
http://s1286.beta.photobucket.com/user/Jimmer1212/media/Brown%20and%20Sharpe%20No10%20Tool%20and%20Cutter% 20Grinder/IMG00119-20121101-2119.jpg.html?sort=3&o=2

So here is the beast I am looking at. I don't know if there is anything other accessories that go along with it. I was toying with the idea of building a quorn or a bonnelle anyway, so I'm thinking even if I get this machine just for the basic motion it offers, and then build or buy the fixtures and accessories to really make it useable.

oldtiffie
11-06-2012, 04:22 PM
I'm interested in learning to regrind (or make from scratch) various tools and cutters and want to know more about T&C grinders. Are they that much better than working up some sort of fixtures for a surface or cylindrical grinder?

If you do have a T&C grinder, what make/model is it? Are any models out there considered superior to others?

Thanks,
Jim

A fairly simple question with a fairly simple/easy answer.

For just grinding lathe tools etc. all that is required is a fair quality surface grinder with one of these accessories to/for it:

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Grinder_work-head_demo/Grind_work-head_demo3.jpg

You should find one cheap on eBay etc.

Any lathe tool can fit into the accessory which is multi-directionally adjustable to grind pretty well any face on most if not all lathe tools and will do anything a "Baldor" grinder will do and more..

Use an aluminium-oxide "cup" or "saucer" wheel for most HSS tools.

A good small (eg 6" x 12") surface grinder is a very handy tool/machine to have and this accessory really does extend its range to meet your requirements.

A good surface grinder can work very well as a tool and cutter grinder for the intended work (lath tools etc.) and a good universal tool and cutter grinder has a wider range of capabilities and is a very good surface grinder as well.

It is quite possible to use a "Spindexer" as both an angular tool positioner and as an end milling cutter sharpened (all cutting edges - side and end) but just takes a bit more care and concentration - but it works and costs very litlle - nothing at all if you have one. It works quite well on a surface grinder.

RussZHC
11-06-2012, 04:58 PM
Its not the same model but it could be worth getting in touch with Cardon Tools in Ottawa, they show a Brown and Sharpe Universal with "loads of tooling"...if they were to send photos it could at least give an idea of what B&S had available...and maybe pieces to go looking for in storage etc.

IMO, for me, the #10 advantage is it's size, close to manageable for the home shop

rohart
11-06-2012, 05:35 PM
I'm just finishing a Quorn build. Well, all done except I don't like the look of the flute attachment, so I'll probably do an air bearing instead. I've redesigned a couple of components - my main tool holder is a much bigger bore, and the motor head has screw raising/lowering.

I sharpened the ends of all my end mills the first day I had it working, but I haven't done any lathe tools on it yet. While I'm not that impressed with the overall design now I've built it, it will do me functionally until something good happens along.

More than any other piece of workshop equipment, I suspect a T&C grinder is something you buy unseen - you don't know what its capabilities will be until you've had it for a while.

I'm toying with the idea of adding some spring-loaded feed attachment to a wet grinding wheel - so I can set up a lathe tool blank and let it carve the main shape out without constant overheating. Mayhbe I've just never found an aggressive enough wheel.

I hope my Quorn doesn't end up occupying shelf space, like the belt grinder I reconditioned. I haven't used that in over a year.

Mcgyver
11-06-2012, 05:43 PM
I hope my Quorn doesn't end up occupying shelf space, like the belt grinder I reconditioned. I haven't used that in over a year.

Murphy dictates a law whereby the intensity of the need is inverse to the availability.

have you got pics you can share? its big project and i'm sure many would like to see it

philbur
11-06-2012, 06:04 PM
I haven't done it myself but supporting the workhead spindle in a couple rolling element bearings seems to work reasonably well. It gives free, low friction, rotational movement, which appears to be the biggest hurdle with respect to achieving smooth movement along the tooth rest. You put a weighted lever on the workhead spindle to hold the flute against the tooth rest while you move the whole workhead axially past the wheel by what ever means is provided.

Phil:)


Maybe with practice you could do good job without an airbearing, maybe the results weren't as good? i don't know, but as far as I'm concerned doing it as a weekend warrior you need an airbearing to easily get great results

Jimmer12
11-07-2012, 10:27 AM
I'm not too concerned with using the cutter grinder as a surface or cylindrical grinder, since I already own one of each, it would be primarily for end mills, reamers, counterbores, countersinks, drills, lathe tools and maybe the occasional bit of "universal" work with the motorized workhead.

I was originally planning to build a Quorn or Bonelle, but when I saw this one taking up space at work, I started thinking I should grab it, have a good base to start with then I can start adding or building fixtures for the various tooling.

outlawspeeder
11-29-2012, 09:02 AM
I don't mean to hijack but....


I am thinking about asking for a QUORN MK-II kit for X-mas. If I am in the shop my wife knows where I am at opposed to out on the Harley…

To stop all the debate about sending tools out to be sharpened vs doing it yourself. I am building it for me. I have self-taught myself with help from sites like this to do many things. Again, it is time to increase my knowledge.

Now to the questions:
Air bearing on the spindle. I need thoughts, is it needed? Can I build one these? If so plans or thoughts or where to get them.
Motor thoughts, I am in the USA. Looking for a source

Has anyone ordered from http://www.martinmodel.com/ are the casting good? Is there a better place to order?
And yes I have been reading many sites about this but all build that I read on line are years old. Is there something newer?

Helpful sites:
Good info
http://modelenginenews.org/meng/quorn/quorn.html
http://www.metalwebnews.com/howto/quorn/quorn.html

Good photos
http://www.lathes.co.uk/quorn/
Old and not finished:
http://thebloughs.net/hobbies/metalworking/quorn/index.php#overview

Europe Supplier:
http://hobbymechanics.com.au/products/Quorn-Tool-%26-Cutter-Grinder-Complete-Mark-I-Set.html
Martins old site?:
http://users.easystreet.com/depmco/martinmodels/products.htm

New site:
http://www.martinmodel.com/
Sites I’ve looked at and read most of:
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/archive/index.php/t-20863.html
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/31528-Spindle-Bearings-for-a-tool-holder-air-vs-linear/page5

Thanks

Mcgyver
11-29-2012, 09:14 AM
I don't mean to hijack but....


its old enougth that it doesn't mach matter....but in general I think if one has to start with or even thinks of saying "i don't mean to hijack but..." it should be a new thread
:)



Air bearing on the spindle. I need thoughts, is it needed? Can I build one these? If so plans or thoughts or where to get them.

The grinding spindles aren't air bearings, they are various combinations of roller element bearings. The air bearing is a specific bit of tooling that holds endmills for sharpening....it has almost no friction making it easy to have get the helix to follow along a tooth rest. As per this this thread, many including myself think they are necessary for doing a good job on end mills.

There was an article in HSM iirc a few years ago on making an air bearing for a Quorn

outlawspeeder
11-29-2012, 09:52 AM
I also program software. Most of those sites do not want a new thread as it keep all the information about one type of code in one thread.


From what I found air bearings for doing End Mills is almost a must. Back to the big question should I build a Quron or is there something better as all-around sharpener.

Mcgyver
11-29-2012, 10:07 AM
Should you build a Quorn? imo the answer to that will change from person to person.

For me, I would not although it might be great for someone who really wanted to make one and had space constraints. My reasons are its a very long build that leaves you with a very light duty machine of limited capacity....contrasted that against a full size T&CG (that aren't that expensive) that will do everything the Quorn will along with 6" slab mill cutters and cylindrical grinding with flood etc.

I bought a beater and scraped it into perfection. Lots of effort but less than a Quorn build and the results are vastly superior for less dollars and less time. Its like ending with a Unimat vs Standard Modern (desktop vs full sized lathe).
otoh, its a fair argument to just want to build a Quorn, not have the space, or be in place where there aren't many used machines

this is nature of the responses to that sort of question - everyone's figured out their way for their reasons. Take it in and do whats best for you

outlawspeeder
11-29-2012, 11:08 AM
I think that has been the best advice. I only have a lathe and a BP. I will not build large projects but having a line on dull cutters for only the price of tool steel. This make this a fairly cheap way to get cutters.
I have looked at one sharpener but was well out of my price range and was missing parts.

uncle pete
11-29-2012, 03:10 PM
Possibly I missed it's mention, but I'm a bit surprised I'm the first to point it out. The Village Press published book The Shop Wisdom of Philip Duclose has a full set of drawings and machining instructions for building a shop constructed air bearing used for sharpening items like end mills.

Pete

lane
11-29-2012, 07:50 PM
Here is the truth the best I can tell it. Yes you can build a Quorn if you have lots of free time and a nice place to display it after it is done. It is a exercise in futility. I did and it came out great . But use less . I use a real Tool and cutter grind a KO Lee but had to make my own tooling Built a motorized work head and tail center , all angle vise a radius grinding attachment and most of the parts for a Air Bearing fixture Plus all the work fingers and all the standard tooling KOLee offers. Here is the Quorn .
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w277/lane5263/QuornSawstorage014.jpg

Here is the KO Lee with home made work head
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w277/lane5263/KOLeecuttergrinder012.jpg
Here is the Air bearing spindle .
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w277/lane5263/Air%20bearing%20spindles/Christmas2011010.jpg

The Quorn build will teach you a lot but for relay sharpening things is not worth the trouble I can be done but takes too long to get set up and cutters sharp. I do not know about you but when I am in a project I don`t want to have to waste time trying to sharpen a dull cutter. A real cutter grinder is faster . For lathe tool bits I just do them by hand on a pedestal grinder . If I were to need something real special like a acme threading tool or something I would use the T&C grinder. Home this may help some . And I know some of this crew will disagree with me but I am a get it done kind of guy Don`t mess around. But some may be better but after 43 years of doing this have not met many yet. You could be the one.

Jimmer12
11-29-2012, 07:54 PM
Any details on the build of the air spindle? I'd like to build an air spindle if I can manage to get this B&S tool and cutter grinder I've been looking at.


Here is the truth the best I can tell it. Yes you can build a Quorn if you have lots of free time and a nice place to display it after it is done. It is a exercise in futility. I did and it came out great . But use less . I use a real Tool and cutter grind a KO Lee but had to make my own tooling Built a motorized work head and tail center , all angle vise a radius grinding attachment and most of the parts for a Air Bearing fixture Plus all the work fingers and all the standard tooling KOLee offers. Here is the Quorn .
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w277/lane5263/QuornSawstorage014.jpg

Here is the KO Lee with home made work head
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w277/lane5263/KOLeecuttergrinder012.jpg
Here is the Air bearing spindle .
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w277/lane5263/Air%20bearing%20spindles/Christmas2011010.jpg

The Quorn build will teach you a lot but for relay sharpening things is not worth the trouble I can be done but takes too long to get set up and cutters sharp. I do not know about you but when I am in a project I don`t want to have to waste time trying to sharpen a dull cutter. A real cutter grinder is faster . For lathe tool bits I just do them by hand on a pedestal grinder . If I were to need something real special like a acme threading tool or something I would use the T&C grinder. Home this may help some . And I know some of this crew will disagree with me but I am a get it done kind of guy Don`t mess around. But some may be better but after 43 years of doing this have not met many yet. You could be the one.

lane
11-29-2012, 09:39 PM
The one shown I got off e-bay But only got the main housing and the spindle Had to build every thing else so no real problem only took 2 week ends. I have built a air spindle fro article in HOME SHOP Machinist Mag many years ago Designed by Phil Duclos it can be seen here are on my web site .
https://sites.google.com/site/machinistsite/TWO-BUDDIES/lanes-home/tooling/LTooling1.JPG?attredirects=0
The boring and honing and grinding of the spindle had to be perfect are it will not work.

Jimmer12
11-29-2012, 10:07 PM
The one shown I got off e-bay But only got the main housing and the spindle Had to build every thing else so no real problem only took 2 week ends. I have built a air spindle fro article in HOME SHOP Machinist Mag many years ago Designed by Phil Duclos it can be seen here are on my web site .
https://sites.google.com/site/machinistsite/TWO-BUDDIES/lanes-home/tooling/LTooling1.JPG?attredirects=0
The boring and honing and grinding of the spindle had to be perfect are it will not work.

It would be a good challenge, I will have to see about getting those plans from the HSM store. I do have an OD/ID grinder in my home shop, so it would be a good way to put them to use.