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View Full Version : Central Machinery 6" x 12" Surface Grinding (Made in USA?)



wlpier
09-03-2014, 05:20 PM
Found this on Craig's List: http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/tls/4624255037.html

Give me some opinions... (is that a loaded question!)... What's it worth or what would you offer him? (for a surface grinder not a boat anchor) Is that made in the USA legit?

I'm looking for something for very limited use. Make an occasional D-bit or sharpen the odd mill cutter. Something that may see an hour's use in a year and isn't a $2000 investment collecting dust. Any ideas? Thanks

justanengineer
09-03-2014, 06:18 PM
JMHO but I wouldnt waste my time. Surface grinders arent overly complicated machines, but they do need to be fairly precise with motors balanced quite a bit beyond normal (normal for 3 phase, not normal for single, which is why you never swap a grinder's motor), so I personally wouldnt trust anything marketed toward hobbiests, and that one definitely looks rather lightly built. Personally I'd say its worth <$100 bc there are many professional quality machines still in nice shape for <$500.

JMO as well, but if youre looking at it mainly for sharpening I'd suggest either a universal tool and cutter grinder or a single lip grinder, not a surface grinder.

flylo
09-03-2014, 06:21 PM
Goggle it & you'll find it was not sold at auction 4/30/2013 high bid $310. I may be wrong but I think it's chinese as I had a benchtop mill same name dated 1982 from harbor freight.

old_dave
09-03-2014, 06:23 PM
Found this on Craig's List: http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/tls/4624255037.html

Give me some opinions... (is that a loaded question!)... What's it worth or what would you offer him? (for a surface grinder not a boat anchor) Is that made in the USA legit?

I'm looking for something for very limited use. Make an occasional D-bit or sharpen the odd mill cutter. Something that may see an hour's use in a year and isn't a $2000 investment collecting dust. Any ideas? Thanks

I am as sure as I can be of anything that that surface grinder was not made in the USA. It is made to a pattern that I first saw back in the 1980's of a surface grinder sold by Wilke Machinery of York PA. Their machine was made in Taiwan. Since then I've since seen these in catalogues under a variety of other brand names. I wonder if possibly the magnetic chuck was made in the USA and that is what the seller is going by.

David

Ironwoodsmith
09-03-2014, 06:27 PM
I love it when they don't even take the auction tag off. Made in US...I think not.

Ohio Mike
09-03-2014, 08:48 PM
Certainly not made in the USA and worth virtually nothing to anyone but a hobbyist. You can buy used Boyar Schultz/Harig/Covel etc brand name grinders for $500-1000 at auction. Grizzly sells that grinder new for $1800.

Edit:

On second look, I'm pretty sure that's a Suburban permanent Magnetic Chuck which is made in the USA. Its worth much more than the grinder. Probably cost $500-700 new.

KiddZimaHater
09-03-2014, 09:32 PM
Definitely NOT made in USA.
I have the GRIZZLY version of that Surface Grinder, and (Besides paying too much), I'm not overly impressed with it.
Sure, you can surface grind with it, BUT ... It's only powerful enough to remove .001 - .002 per pass before the motor starts stalling.
In hindsight, I should've saved my Schillings for a good used 'REAL' Surface Grinder (Harig, Boyer Schultz, B&S, etc.)
HOWEVER... I think I spy a SUBURBAN Magnetic Chuck on that dinky grinder.
That Mag Chuck is probably worth 3 times the value of the grinder.

Doozer
09-03-2014, 10:17 PM
Anyone ever used a Suburban mag chuck?
I bought one new, and it was weaker than my old OS Walker chuck.
Kinda disappointed in it.
Nothing is as weak as a Brown and Sharpe chuck.
And they are a pain to grind, because the solder that holds in the poles
clogs the wheel when you need to grind it in.

-Doozer

DR
09-03-2014, 10:56 PM
Certainly not made in the USA and worth virtually nothing to anyone but a hobbyist. You can buy used Boyar Schultz/Harig/Covel etc brand name grinders for $500-1000 at auction. Grizzly sells that grinder new for $1800.

Edit:

On second look, I'm pretty sure that's a Suburban permanent Magnetic Chuck which is made in the USA. Its worth much more than the grinder. Probably cost $500-700 new.

Yep, my thought too, sure looks like a Suburban magnetic chuck. Way overkill for a machine like that. Grinder is likely junk, the mag chuck is worth whatever use it has to the owner.

projectnut
09-04-2014, 12:56 PM
It isn't an American made machine, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's worthless either. The auction tag is more than likely from the estate sale. When the auctioneer didn't either get enough money or any bids at all it remains as an unsold item. I've seen a couple at online estate auctions, and they don't go for a lot of money. If the machine is in good shape and has some degree of accuracy it's probably worth somewhere around the $200.00 - $300.00 range

If you want to know the intended accuracy limits look at the graduations on the hand wheels. For a truly accurate machine the Vertical Axis should have increments of .0005. There should be a corresponding set of indicators on the machine body that go down to .0001. The X axis isn't always marked, but if it isn't there is usually a travel limit that can be set with a set of gauge blocks. The Y axis is usually marked in .001 increments with a corresponding set of marks on the machine body that will allow you to read down to .0005.

If you're interested in checking it out there are a few things to look for. First off check how much play there is in each of the lead screws. Crank each one until you see the wheel/table start to move. Note where you are on the hand wheel and change direction. Crank the hand wheel slowly until you can see or feel the wheel or table move in the opposite direction. Anything more than about .030 play means either the nut or screw (or both) are worn to the point they will need attention in the not distant future. This could be a show stopper. Finding or making parts for an obsolete Chinese built machine could be quite an undertaking

If you determine the screws and nuts are OK crank each hand wheel to the limits of the table/wheel. The movement should be smooth, without tight or lose spots. If everything functions correctly so far start the machine and let it warm up about 10 minutes. It should be a smooth hum without any noticeable vibration from the table, spindle bearings or column.

After the machine has warmed up put a piece of material on the table secure it and take a couple light passes. There shouldn't be any growling from the bearings, motor or any other part of the machine.

If you want to do a deeper inspection you can remove the table and check the ways for wear. There are a lots of other things you can check but if the machine passes all the tests I've outlined odds are it's in decent shape.

I've had a 1950's Sanford manual surface grinder in my shop for several years. It isn't as fancy or powerful as some of the other brands I've used, but it more than gets the job done. It can produce as fine a finish as any Harig, Kent, DoAll, Thompson, or any other machine I've used.

gzig5
09-04-2014, 02:22 PM
You may want to consider a Rockwell Toolmaker Grinder. It is really a bit of a jack of all, master of none but makes a decent light duty surface grinder and is flexible enough with some fixtures to do a reasonable job as a tool grinder/sharpener. You can probably find a pretty good one for $600-900. Take note that there are two vintages, older with a tapered bronze sleeve bearing and newer with ball bearings. Not sure if one is superior. Mine is awaiting re-scraping of the table ways. It was rode hard and put up wet but the price was right. Just haven't had time to finish the rebuild.

projectnut
09-04-2014, 02:41 PM
I second the idea of looking for a Delta Toolmaker. It was actually my first choice for a small surface grinder. Unlike the traditional surface grinder the head can be rotated about the column. It's a little more complicated to set up if you need to grind a profile or to a shoulder, but it is truly the poor mans jack of all trades.

Around here they go fast. Over the last 2 years I've seen about a dozen on Craigslist. Generally the add isn't more than 1/2 an hour old and the machine is gone. Right now there are over a dozen surface grinders of various makes and models on the list. They range in price from $150.00 to over $2500.00

The lone Delta Toolmaker has an asking price of $1250.00.

http://janesville.craigslist.org/tls/4607377961.html

It's been out there over a month, so I'm inclined to believe they're asking too much money for the condition it's in. It is a single phase machine with several accessories, so it might be worth checking out.

Doozer
09-04-2014, 03:10 PM
You are fooling yourself thinking that a Delta Toolmaker makes a good or even acceptable
surface grinder. It has no protection from grit, hence why most of them are worn out.
It is too light and flexible to take any amount of grind stock. (oh, I forget that everyone
here takes .0002" at a time, for some reason unknown). I consider a Boyar Shultz 6-12
to be the lightest real surface grinder. Even the small Sanford is 10x better than the
Delta. Maybe if you want to sharpen end mills or saw blades, you can use the Delta,
but using it for surface grinding is like moving firewood with a station wagon.

-Doozer

huntinguy
09-04-2014, 04:34 PM
HF sold them last year (maybe the year before), close out maybe, for $300.00
I think they originally listed for $1800.00

IF it is not the HF version... I have no clue about it.

projectnut
09-05-2014, 09:08 AM
You are fooling yourself thinking that a Delta Toolmaker makes a good or even acceptable
surface grinder. It has no protection from grit, hence why most of them are worn out.
It is too light and flexible to take any amount of grind stock. (oh, I forget that everyone
here takes .0002" at a time, for some reason unknown). I consider a Boyar Shultz 6-12
to be the lightest real surface grinder. Even the small Sanford is 10x better than the
Delta. Maybe if you want to sharpen end mills or saw blades, you can use the Delta,
but using it for surface grinding is like moving firewood with a station wagon.

-Doozer

A surface grinder isn't meant to be a hogging machine, it's a finishing machine. .005" is considered a heavy cut for a 6" X 18" machine with a 2 hp motor. At that depth the table speed has to be pretty quick to avoid overheating. A part is generally machined to within .010 to .005 before it ever gets to the grinder. About the only exceptions are when grinding to a profile. Most cuts are in the .001 to .0005 range.

The chuck on the Toolmaker is only 6" X 12" so that's the absolute capacity of the machine. In the scheme of things most work performed on this size grinder is less than 1/2 the width of the table and 1/3 the length. The machine in my shop spent the last 25 years grinding thrust washers for the lower units of Mercury inboard/outboard motors. It was chosen for the job because it fit the purpose they had in mind. It didn't need to be rigid enough remove massive amounts of material. You may not want to move firewood with a station wagon, but on the other hand you don't put a flower in a pot with a backhoe.

Doozer
09-05-2014, 09:58 AM
Wrong Wrong Wrong.
I can easily take .025" depth of cut on my lowly Boyar Shultz with only a 3/4 hp motor and no coolant.
You most certainly can rough with a surface grinder. It is done every day. Open your mind.
Why in the heck would G&L, Brown-Sharpe, Norton make truly massive machines in the 6x18 size range
when a machine of 1/3 the weight could swing the same work envelope? Answer, to remove lots of
material, fast.

--Doozer

gzig5
09-05-2014, 11:44 AM
Wrong Wrong Wrong.
I can easily take .025" depth of cut on my lowly Boyar Shultz with only a 3/4 hp motor and no coolant.
You most certainly can rough with a surface grinder. It is done every day. Open your mind.
Why in the heck would G&L, Brown-Sharpe, Norton make truly massive machines in the 6x18 size range
when a machine of 1/3 the weight could swing the same work envelope? Answer, to remove lots of
material, fast.

--Doozer

Did you read the OP's requirements?

"I'm looking for something for very limited use. Make an occasional D-bit or sharpen the odd mill cutter. Something that may see an hour's use in a year and isn't a $2000 investment collecting dust. Any ideas? Thanks"

He's not running a production shop and seems to be interested in versatility with a focus on sharpening, not surfacing. The Toolmaker fits that bill better than any standard 6x18 surface grinder, no matter your prejudice against the Delta/Rockwell machine. He may be better served by a dedicated tool sharpening rig, but he asked about a surface grinder. This isn't PM. We can discuss lighter duty and hobbyist machines here.

Doozer
09-05-2014, 11:46 AM
Good point.
--D

Optics Curmudgeon
09-05-2014, 06:55 PM
Some of you may have missed Flylo's point, so here is the item in a different venue: http://dev.auctionsinternational.com/servlet/Search.do?auctionId=1050&page=info&lotId=17
Not a similar item, the same one, they even used the same picture.