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delta milwaukee surface grinder ??

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  • delta milwaukee surface grinder ??

    Hey Guys,
    I've been out looking for a mill....haven't found one I want yet but I stumbled across an older, all original (and looks to have seen VERY little use) Delta Milwaukee surface grinder. The "Toolmaker" model.

    This machine has a magnetic chuck, no diamond dresser....its got a 220 3phase motor on it at the moment (no use to me so I'd have to remotor it) and has been bolted to a pallet, tarped up in this old timers yard for a year or more so there's some light rust on the handles, etc but its the type that'll clean up nicely. Everything else looks tight...spindle brngs, etc...original paints in good manuals or anything with it.

    I've got a small-ish, though fairly well equipped shop here (with the exception of a mill damnit!). Been collecting tools & equipment for years against the day I get this house paid off and I can semi-retire and use this stuff full time.....welding/fab'n, repair/replacement parts for obsolete equipment...that type of thing. Nothing in the way of machining really much bigger than say a 12 x 36 lathe would handle...just the type of jobs that big shops don't want...i'm sure you get the drift.

    Anyhow, my question is: is this machine worth the $700 the guys asking (he won't go any lower)? I realize its a very subjective question but having never used a surface grinder I'm wondering just how versatile or "handy" it is. I hate to turn down a decent, available and relatively nearby machine. I know they go on ebay for $100 or so but there's some serious shipping involved in those....

    Appreciate any opinions....thanks!


  • #2
    Always assuming it's in good shape, it ought to easily be worth $700.

    The original motors on those things were balanced (big $$$), so I think I'd consider a VFD or phase converter of some kind before replacing the original motor with one that's not balanced.
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


    • #3
      If it has been outside in the humidity (tarp or no) I would lift the cross slide table up and check the ways thoroughly. That is no way to store a precision machine. That doesn't even address the concerns with the spindle which is a *very* precision part.

      I have the more recent Delta/Rockwell version of that "Toolmaker" grinder. With some available fixturing, it is really a tool and cutter grinder. It is also usable as a surface grinder. I only acquired mine recently, and have not had a chance to use it. A fellow over on PM has one and swears by it. Search on Delta and Grinder and you should find a post by Precisionworks that I found informative.

      Mine has two changes from that model. The first is that they went to a teflon tape on the ways (mine needs replaced). This is *not* turcite, but a fixed thickness self adhesive type to be applied to the ground ways. Some folks with your model have chosen to install this to make travel smoother. The other change is that the new ones use angular contact ball bearings on both ends of the spindle. Yours has a tapered bronze bearing at the front...and that is something to be checked. Let it go dry and it could be damaged. I would look for signs of lube in the oil cup, and spin it and make sure it will spin easily and not stop too quickly. Pull the belt off first to take the motor and belt friction out of the test. End play is adjustable as I recall.

      I think the price is a bit high. Some people really like their stuff and price it to *not* sell Does it at least have the toolmaker accessories (a pair of centers on a special table and the Unihead and Univise were options)?

      Do *not* however, re-motor it. That is a specially balanced motor, needed to get a good finish. You won't want to pay for another dynamically balanced motor like that. It is .5HP as I recall, so a small VFD is a relatively reasonable way to run it and not much more than a static phase converter which is your cheapest option. Keep this cost in mind too. Given the importance of a smooth running motor and spindle assembly in surface finish, I would not really consider the static phase converter.
      Paul Carpenter
      Mapleton, IL


      • #4
        What Paul says. They are good machines, and a useful addition to the shop. With all the talk about T&C grinders lately, it is not out of the question price-wise, but it is toward the high end if there are no other accessories than the mag chuck.

        The outside storage could be a problem however. Inspect it carefully, and run it under power if at all possible.
        Jim H.


        • #5
          thanks for the info !

          didn't realize remotoring that is a potential problem, though having rebuilt my dumore TPG awhile ago I should have considered this....

          I'm glad I asked and its much appreciated ! If nothing else its another "bargaining chip"...I'd gladly give him $500 as-is, and no, there's no vice or any accessories aside from the mag chuck.



          • #6

            I have one of these grinders and they have square ways which makes them a little bit easier to scrape if it needs to be rebuilt. Here is a site that has the manual for this grinder.




            • #7
              WTD: Motor for Toolmaker Grinder

              I got one of these recently, the owner had replaced the original motor with a 1725rpm single phase motor. I believe these grinders came with a 3450rpm motor. So I'm looking for a preferably original Delta 6" motor. 3 phase ok as I have a phase converter. I have the older Delta Milwaukee flavor.

              Be sure to check out the Toolmaker Yahoogroup.

              Jack of All Trades, Master of None


              • #8
                That would be a cheap price down here . It all depends on where you are at like JC said . may be high in Ohio. Tooling all over E-Bay.
                Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self


                • #9
                  I've got a Delta/Rockwell...couldn't pass it up, guy closing up a machine shop, let me have it for $50. Not overly crazy about it, don't really like the depth ajustment. and the table is a bit small. But for ones first grinder it's a great place to start, think the price is a bit high though, I usually see them go for $2-300.

                  Mike Hunter



                  • #10
                    This thread is two years old. I wish people would not do that.

                    The Rockwell Toolmaker is firas a T&C grinder. It has an extended range that allows it to be used as a surface grinder to a limited degree. They are a good machine for the home shop or smaller commercial application.
                    Jim H.


                    • #11
                      I know that this thread is very old, but I'll point out a few things on these grinders that may be of some interest. I purchased one of these grinders that had been converted from the hand wheel operation to a hydraulic cylinder. It had been used in some type of production work and I think that it had never been oiled. I disabled it and the wear on the ways could be measured with a tape measure. As someone else pointed out that it has box ways which made it much easier to mill and then hand scrap. The motors supplied with these grinders are balanced with the drive pulley so every effort should be made to keep the original motor and pulley. The spindle bearing is a tapered brass bushing and the spindle shaft is also tapered. I can't remember but the bushing is about 3" long. By using the tapered bushing system the amount of clearance between the bushing and shaft can be adjusted by adjustment of the nut on the other end of the spindle shaft. Care must be exercised on this adjustment as the shaft may cease from thermal expansion. The bushing can be removed and replaced with a standard bearing, without modifying housing with something like a 6205, with the grade that your pocket book will stand. The existing spindle shaft could be modified for the new bearing, but I made a new shaft so the original bushing and shaft could be reinstalled. The fine adjustment for the vertical is rather unique, and would be difficult explain, it is very simple and it works. Mine has a cast iron base which brings the weight up to around 800+ lbs. If you can get into one of these at a decent price they are good project for rebuild and you will have a very nice machine.