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  • Accessories for a tool & cutter grinder?

    There have been a couple of good grinding-related threads going lately, so this seems like a good opportunity to continue the trend. I recently (and somewhat unintentionally) procured a tool and cutter grinder, specifically a K. O. Lee model BA-960. I'm not sure on the year, but judging by the styling, flat belt spindle, and a couple of manuals I've seen, I'd guess that it's around a 1960s machine. It's heavily used but seems to be in decent shape overall. The table slides smoothly on the scraped ways. I briefly removed the table and was pleased to see the original scraping still largely intact, and way oil covering everything.

    As stated, this was somewhat of an unintentional acquisition. My original/current intent was just to find a way to sharpen the knives off my wood chipper in a more or less repeatable manner. I dare say I'm pretty well covered on that account. Now that I have it, though, I'm coming up with all sorts of uses. I can sharpen end mills! And side and helical cutters for my horizontal! I can finish grind parts off the lathe! It's a (mediocre) surface grinder! And so on... The trouble is, I'm not well versed in grinding, although I've picked up some of the basics from books, Youtube, and the tool reps that come by the office from time to time.

    I did manage to get some tooling with the grinder - I have a decent selection of wheel arbors, including several very small tapered arbors that I assume are for ID work. I only have one 1-1/4" wheel hub/adapter, unfortunately, and it's for thinner wheels (I think up to 1/4"). There's also a variety of B&S 11 taper shank workholding stuff, none of which looks particularly useful to me at this point, and which I can't use anyways because I don't have a matching fixture to accept it.

    More importantly, I did receive the standard pair of centers, a complete set of spindle pulleys, a gun drill sharpening fixture that appears to be complete, and a rather crusty Weldon air bearing attachment with a full set of bushings. There's also a decent H/V 5C indexer, but I'm not sure how much use that would be on the grinder.

    For those of you that have done some grinding, what accessories would you recommend, or what have you found most useful? T&C grinder tooling isn't cheap, from what I've seen, and I'd like to know what I could generally expect to get the most use out of. I'll be getting wheels as the need arises, and I'm going to pick up at least one more 1-1/4" hub. Other than that, what say you?
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

  • #2
    If you will be sharpening cutters, you will want an adjustable rest for the cutter teeth to set on during grinding.

    A universal angle holder is good for getting cutter angles correct.

    If you do end mills, you may want an air bearing spindle to hold them.

    If you sharpen formed horizontal mill cutters, an indexing holder for them is good to get them correct.

    For cylindrical grinding, a motorized head to turn the work is good, especially if of the exact height of your centers (or having it's own).

    There are lots of extras that you can get for all kinds of purposes. Depends on what all you want to do.
    CNC machines only go through the motions

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    • #3
      I think Magnetic parallels and a magnetic V block are paramount requirements , assuming you have a magnetic chuck already
      Jerry pretty well covered the tool grinding accesories

      Rich
      Green Bay, WI

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      • #4
        The accessory I probably use the most on my T&C grinder is this vise, although I bought mine when it cost about half as much...

        https://www.shars.com/univise-univer...rinder-fixture

        Ted

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Brian H. View Post
          For those of you that have done some grinding, what accessories would you recommend, or what have you found most useful?
          Good for you getting one, imo they really improve the shop and quality of work. They're a boat anchor without the tooling, but it sounds like you've got a good start. For tool grinding, in order of frequency of use it would be an air bearing for grinding endmills, univise for twist drills and lathe tool bits and centres for horizontal cutters. I've got the radius attachment and indexable workhead, basically never use them. It woulds be different your daily grind was grinding, but 99.9% of the tool wear I'll create that needs fixing is on endmills, drills, lathe bits and horizontal cutters.

          Those are the tool sharpening uses, but the most frequent use for me is cylindrical grinding. Its oh so nice to get a great finish regardless of material and have a fighting chance of getting things to a tenth.

          Random other thoughts from one who actually does this stuff? You have to have an air bearing. Some will argue that, but you have to have an air bearing. Its just so much easier to delicately pull the end mills' helix over the tooth rest and get a decent ground OD. All I've seen take 5c collets which is good. Cylindrical grinding needs flood, and regular tool grinding hugely benefits from mist - you can almost plunge grind with it making jobs go quickly. I made my own univise before the cheap offshore ones appeared (in protest the silly dollars a dealer wanted for a delta) and made a V block for it for dills - any machinist can sharpen drills by hand, but its a lot nicer when they are about guaranteed to cut a hole with a few thou.

          to get you pumped up about all its uses...here's some photos from my shop



          (grinding an internal buttress thread cutting tool)

















          Last edited by Mcgyver; 09-08-2021, 08:18 AM.
          in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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          • #6
            Here area couple pics of my collection of accessories for the BA960. If I missed anything let me know.

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            JL.................

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            • #7
              Huh Joe, I don't see a motorized 5C workhead.? Maybe its in there somewhere. I find one of the most handy uses for me is cylindrical grinding with one of those workheads. A very handy machine.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by darylbane View Post
                Huh Joe, I don't see a motorized 5C workhead.? Maybe its in there somewhere. I find one of the most handy uses for me is cylindrical grinding with one of those workheads. A very handy machine.
                You didn't think I would be without one of those did you ???

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                JL.................

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                • #9
                  Ha Ha, Very Nice!!! I saw the pulleys but not the workhead. I use mine all the time. I did change out the belt for one of those hook and loop type, as its kind of a chore to change it if need be.
                  Last edited by darylbane; 09-08-2021, 11:17 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by darylbane View Post
                    Ha Ha, Very Nice!!! I saw the pulleys but not the workhead. I use mine all the time. I did change out the belt for one of those hook and loop type, as its kind of a chore to change it if need be.
                    Yeah, I thought of replacing the V belt with one of those adjustable link belts because I often have to rotate the workhead spindle by hand when indicating and the belt puts a drag on it, but...... it's easy enough to slide off the pulley.

                    JL.....................

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the suggestions! And wow, JoeLee, that's an impressive collection, in both quantity and quality. You must have put a ton of effort into it.

                      I'll definitely want to do some cylindrical work, so right now I'm thinking a powered workhead is probably at the top of the list. I can think of a few jobs lying around right now, in fact. Next up would be some sort of coolant unit, followed by a smaller magnetic chuck and a univise. I'll also need to get, or make, a finger rest if I start sharpening cutters.

                      I dragged all of the existing tooling out after I got off work today and took some pictures. Here's where I stand as of right now:

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                      Here I have most of the standard tooling. I'm not sure what the fine adjustment block in the bottom right corner goes to. The arbor with the male thread on the far right is also a bit of a mystery. The OD appears to be cylindrical, but the ID at the top end is tapered. Possibly an extended 1-1/4 wheel hub? Moving to the left, there's what I think is a 3MT adapter, a chuck adapter, and then some short arbors for shell mills or side cutters. Then, there are the ID wheel arbors, a 3" taper arbor, the 5/8" straight wheel arbor, and the motor shaft arbor.

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                      The grinder came with this grungy but complete-looking Weldon air spindle / air bearing. There is another plate that this unit is supposed to mount on top of, and I have that as well. I believe these can be somewhat delicate, any ideas on how to clean it? Oh, and I found a small treasure in the bottom of the machine cabinet - there's a new-old-stock spare bearing assembly, still in the old greased paper.

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                      Finally, there's this; an Eldorado Model B (I think) gundrill sharpening fixture, with a good selection of bushings. I don't have a need for it myself, but I guess I'm set up if ever the need arises. Maybe I'll clean it up a bit and sell it, and fund some other accessories that way. I think there may be a few small parts missing - I think there should be a rod that would go in the hole next to the badge, which would hold a locating finger (the long rod at left is too large and won't fit). Some of these parts may not go with it, either, but they were all in the wooden box together. The item in the box is unknown but identifies as a "No. 478".

                      All of this stuff has a pretty thick layer of "shop butter" all over it. I don't think there's much that's rusted, just badly in need of cleaning. With all the other things I have going on, it may take me a while to get to all of it. Still, exciting!
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        I've got an import air bearing that is surplus to my needs and that I can sell, if that is allowed here now. PM me if interested.
                        Mike Henry near Chicago

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                        • #13
                          A handy fixture is the one made by Ascension Industries. https://asmfab.com/product-lines/st-mary-spin-rolls

                          I have an auction purchase of a motorized version of the spin roll, I believe a clone version with no brand name on the unit.

                          Nice unit to OD grind parts to close concentricity to the diameter between the rolls.

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                          • #14
                            I have toured the shop at Ascension fab, big place.
                            One guy in my college manufacturing class, his dad owned the place.
                            The spin rolls were just a side line to keep the machine shop busy.
                            My class mate, who's name long escapes me, was working on possibly
                            fabricating a line of commercial lawn mowers at the time (some years ago).
                            Don't know what came of it. The fab shop was a huge place. They made
                            lots of heavy fab items there. Think like 3/4" and 1" thick plate heavy.
                            Christian family, if you can't tell by the names of the stuff.

                            -Doozer
                            DZER

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                              You didn't think I would be without one of those did you ???

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                              JL.................
                              That is a nice KO collection.

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