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Thoughts on grinding setup for the shop.

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  • Thoughts on grinding setup for the shop.

    I'm looking at some slight changes to my grinding area to make it easier and more effective.

    Currently I've got a tool grinder and two general purpose grinders. A 6 inch with typical coarse and medium stones for grinding mild steel and some tool steels. And an 8 inch which right now has a tool grinding style medium friable 8 inch AlO wheel. And one side open which gets a big wire wheel as needed. It doesn't stay on the grinder as it shakes more than I like when grinding tools on the AlO wheel.

    So here's what I'm thinking.
    • I want to build a vertically oriented 2x48 belt grinder to replace the 6" regular stone style. For mild steel and other uses I think it would be way more effective.
    • The tool grinder is going to get a CBN face wheel on one side for HSS duty and a diamond cup wheel on the other for coarser carbide shaping.
    • The 8" grinder will stay as it is and serve more as a jack of all trades getting stones, wire wheels, flap sanders or other bits and bobs as needed.
    • For HSS and carbide touch up I'm looking at making a slow speed wet grinder that uses diamond lapidary discs. That may or may not live in the grinding area.

    So how does this sound as a plan? Thoughts and descriptions of what you have are encouraged.... not that we ever need that sort of request 🙂

    The belt grinder will be limited to 2x48 instead of the far more desirable 2x72 due to my space limitations at the grinder work area. It'll also be based on a couple of vertically oriented versions shown by some members here. But even with that it will have SOME ability to change contact wheel diameters and have a flat platen option. So more than just a basic belt.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

  • #2
    how much room do you have for the belt grinder? i built a 2x72 with space constraints. imo you dont need a slow grinder at all. the "lapidary" discs work well at 3000 rpm. you can always set up a coolant system if needed (spray bottle). so you plan on grinding on the flat face of the wheels? i thought so as well, but if i would do it again, i would make sure i can grind on the circumference. a concave grind is so much easier to lap.

    Last edited by dian; 05-23-2020, 12:12 PM.


    • #3
      Originally posted by dian View Post
      ..."lapidary" dicks work well at 3000 rpm.
      Sounds painful!


      "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

      "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton


      • #4
        Originally posted by DICKEYBIRD View Post
        Sounds painful!
        Don't judge until you try it. 😁.
        Talk about a hard on?


        • #5
          Hi BCRider,

          The only difference that your looking at is 12" taller or longer for the 72" and I think you will find that this size might have better choices for belt types. you might look at a work station for the grinders like this. my latest project to maximize space too.

          Click image for larger version

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          Had this bearing needed to make the housings and it spins around great.

          Just a suggestion.

          Mr fixit for the family


          • #6
            Sorry guys, I should have included the picture of my grinding area. Between the metal storage rack below and the cupboards above I think you can see where folding a 2x72 belt into the room available would be an issue. But to be fair I've not tried CAD'ing the spot and virtually wrapping the different size belts into the space available. I'll give it a try at least in a conceptual way and see if it's possible. I'd far rather build a 2x72 if I can make it fit. Let me do up a sketch in CAD and see how it goes...... Or.... looking at the picture I might be able to alter the cupboards to make more vertical space and extend the extra belt upwards... I'll have to play with that too. Sketches for consideration to follow soon.

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            This is the only place the grinders can go. It's a 550 sq ft two car garage and the rest is taken up by the machining area I'm trying to keep away from the grinding for obvious reasons and some motorcycles (hoping to reduce this from four to two in the next year). So this one shelf is what I have to work with. The belt grinder would replace the smaller 6 inch grinder shown in the middle.

            I'd thought about the idea of hanging the belt out over the edge a little to get away with a 72. But that would put the primary use area lower than what the grinders are set at. And really I like where the wheels sit now since it's a comfortable height. I'll have to play with a bit of CAD though and see how it all fits in.

            MrFixIt, I love the idea of a turn table or even vertically designed merry go round option for grouping tools. But I'm just out of possible room in my garage size shop for such a solution. Even the red motorcycle lift you see on the right hand edge doubles as my welding table when I'm not filling it with a bike. And the space you see in the foreground of this picture is where the lift goes when there's a motor cycle perched on it so I have working room on both sides. So simply there just isn't room for another "work island" for grinders.

            Dian, I appreciate that they can run that fast. But I really like Stefan G's simple magnetic retention system with small drive pins for rapid and easy disc changes between grit sizes. Not being secured with something threaded I'd be very reluctant to spin such a setup at more than a few hundred RPM. Plus being run wet at the lower RPM means no spray of any significant amount off the face of the discs and I can take off the mask since the particles won't get airborne for very far if at all. And for quick touchups while already working on the lathe the idea of a quick visit to a small quiet, smooth running, low speed and low power touch up tool appeals to me.
            Chilliwack BC, Canada


            • #7
              Here's an first sketch of what I'm dealing with. Sizes of the area and one option I've come up with. But the belt run shown in the concept on the right is still 2.5 inches shy of 72. And the front two wheels are already sticking out by 6 inches from the edge of the bench.

              As I started typing this a thought occurs. If I made it so the front two wheels and flat platen assembly hinged back with an easy to use lever format I could "park" the front wheels back out of the way and the slack belt would simply hang in place. I went back to amend the drawing to show the idea of "parking" the rig so it doesn't stick out past the edge of the bench. But then I thought I should check the path length for the three wheels as shown in the right view.... Glad I did. It looks like if I make the upper forward wheel the tensioning wheel and the drive wheel the lower back wheel and buy a 6" rubber contact wheel for some options for concave grinding on the wheel surface that I could run with 48's in the parked position for occasional grinding. But for a bigger project I could extend it out and run with the more economical and longer lasting 72" sizes.

              I think I have it all now...

              Click image for larger version

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              Chilliwack BC, Canada


              • #8
                BC this is what I built for my 660 sq/ft shop. Being mobile for me is important. The cabinet is fairly stable with locked casters and I really lie the vacuum system. Although the positioning of the nozzle needs to be more secure and a better at grabbing the dust. It probably sucks 50% of the dust, I was hoping for more. Not shown is the vacuum hose that fits in the 2" hole in the center of the table.


                • #9
                  I saw that grinding station in a previous thread. That's a fantastic solution. I especially like the built in dust collection.

                  Sadly I simply do not have the room to dedicate to even a roll around grinding station like that. I purposely reasoned during my planning that I'd put the grinders in the welding "zone" of the shop knowing that I'd be using the angle grinders a lot in that same area. So it made total sense to put all the grinding tools in the same area and as far as is reasonable away from the precision machines. But as I mentioned above that area in front of the metal rack is needed to serve double duty as both a welding area, access to metal in the rack and for room to get to either side of the motorcycles when up on the lift. So simply no room for a new roll around grinding station.
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada


                  • #10
                    just for your information: i can stall a 2.2 kw motor with not too much effort. not all belts are the same length. for metal hogging you need high speeds (up to 10'000 ft/min).

                    also and contrary to what iv been told, put a bevel on two wheels, make it 2° on each side (4° total).
                    Last edited by dian; 05-24-2020, 12:36 AM.


                    • #11
                      Yep, it'll be a good sturdy motor. I've read where belt sanders need a lot of power. Not sure what motor yet.

                      I'd read that 6K fpm was a good speed but to cover my bases I'll plan on closer to 10K to be sure.
                      Chilliwack BC, Canada


                      • #12
                        the thing to keep in mind is that torque falls once you surpass basic frequency. so an overdriven motor will be fast but not able to hog out material. a vfd is a must imo.