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Tool Grinding Machine

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  • Tool Grinding Machine

    An machinery house in WA state lists a machine for sale that I'm unsure of. It's a B&S Model #13 "Automatic Tool Grinding Machine", and I realize that that ought to be all I need to know. It's floor standing, has double doors in the front, and looks something like a horizontal mill--with a bed that moves and an arbor overhead from what I can make out. The price is stated at $350.

    I'd like to know if it's a machine for grinding cutting tool bits to complex angles or whether it's some sort of all purpose grinder like a tool post grinder works at being.

    Can anyone give any skinny on such a machine?

  • #2
    B&S catalog #140, 1935 describes no. 13 Universal and Tool Grinding Machine as follows:
    "a high grade general purpose toolroom grinding machine. It is particularly adapted for sharpening milling cutters of all kinds, reamers, cutting tools, etc., and for grinding small cylindrical work."

    Sorry that I don't have a scanner, or I could send it all. It lists many accessories that go with it, but yes it is indeed a tool grinder. It also lists weight as 2050# less drive and countershaft. Recommends 2HP which sounds like a lot.

    Jim H.
    Jim H.


    • #3
      Hmmm. Maybe not so great a prospect for home machining.

      Thanks Jim


      • #4
        A tool grinder can be most usefull and handy tool you can grind form tool on it with ease. For $350 I would go for it.


        • #5
          Well, that particular machine is gone and it was well thrashed anyway-missing drive pulley, belt, and had some very odd wiring snake mess. LOTS of serious rust. Neglected.

          But my interest in these machines is piqued. Do you mean to say, Frank, that they are a machine that can be used with ease to setup and grind those wonderfully complicated and precise lathe tool cutters that are always shown in photos to make readers feel inadequate, and which I find impossible to replicate by hand using any of my trusty grinder wheels however dressed?

          I've been reduced to using glued carbon bits to have hope for a successful cut, but I'm hardly able to keep up with the feedspeeds I'm forced to run in order to get a halfway presentable finish.


          • #6
            A tool room grinder can be forced to sharpen nearly anything - except long shear blades - Mr. Surface grinder has that job! Drills, reamers, tapered chanks, endmills, shell mills, you name it. Even HSS lathe bits can be done on them, but it would be easier just to use a good bench grinder with a half-assed (at least!) decent table (the ones they come with are crap - bent mangled, and useless) to suport the work you are doing. Lee Valley Tools sells a nice little table that is fully adjustable and works far better tha the grinder's original supports.

            Only Diamond Wheel grinders seem to come with good tables.


            • #7
              Yeah, I've been figuring it all out. Although one of those tool grinding machines might be nice for the ability to hold a tool at a set position and run it through a sharp edged wheel the thing I need more is a lathe bit holder to take heat off of me and a secure way to hold and feed bits to the wheel. The machine is overkill for my needs which are mostly due to my preference for slow speed cutting and fine finishes, things that are hard to combine using carbide.

              I'd actually be happy if anyone knows a source for precut HSS bits in 3/8 and 1/2" sizes with 60 degree, offset and straight, as well as a selection of turning bit for cutting other than threads.


              • #8
                Ken, in the Jan/Feb issue of "The Home Shop Machinist" on page 25 is an ad for an item that may interest you. It's a precision sharpening machine called "Accu-finish". there is an e-mail [email protected]
                and a phone no 1-800-835-3519 for a catalog. This is all I know about it, may be good, may not. Good luck, Bobby.


                • #9

                  Have you considered the Diamond Toolholder?
                  I do not know what type of lathe you have, but they are adaptable to all but really tiny ones.
                  Sharpening the bits for this tool can be done by anyone, with basically no practice, and the bit will produce an excellent surface finish.

                  Ken aka Ozarks Hermit
                  Shell Knob, Mo


                  • #10

                    Have I got a cool Idea for you! Check out they have tool holders and preground & honed CPM T-15 & T-15 inserts for 3/8 & 1/2 tool holders (very reasonable). I got a brochure from them and have been intending to send off for some goodies myself. For what one of my Mitsubishi 3/8" carbide tool holders cost I could have bought their whole set with these T-15 inserts.

                    T-15 is a better choice than carbide for the home guy but regular T-15 bits are a real hassle to sharpen (CBN wheels work best). These guys come up with a great idea - I think - make T-15 Steel bits just like the inserts, use the three edges and then toss them. The CPM (powder metalurgy) bit has the edge over regular T-15. Made in the USA too.

                    The Diamond toolholder is a good alternative, but more limited than these sets I spoke of. They also have special small nose radius T-15 inserts to thread with.

                    Hope that will help a little.



                    • #11
                      Thrud--Great Find!! A quick look-see shows a lot of promising things. I'll contact them or order something as a trial tomorrow and let you know. It really looks like those guys are addressing my wants, and I'd come to the conclusion tht HSS cutters were considered to be a thing of the past in industry, sort of like film in cameras with the digital onslaught of developments.

                      Ozarks Hermit--I've heard of, but never seen those. I use an Aloris AXA for the most part but have a complete set of Armstrong holders for a post. A conflict?

                      And Bobby. That elusive Jan/Feb issue. I'm beginning to think that it was written for me. It evidently has an article about the overhaul of SB Heavy 10 halfnuts, but wasn't delivered to me at the time that I was muddled in that little adventure. Now this, and I still don't have the issue. Must be something to do with anthrax and the mails-I'm in California. Maybe I'll give them a call, but I'd like to see the ad. (anyone up there listening?)


                      • #12
                        Ken, send me your e-mail address, and I'll try to scan a copy of the ad and article and get it to you.

                        [email protected]


                        • #13
                          Not anthrax, the mailmen just are not done reading it yet - so you can't have it! I would email or call Village press, you should have it by now - I even have mine and I live in Canada!

                          Once you try T-15 bits you will reluctantly use regular HSS when you "have too". The problem with the T-15 blanks are they are really tough to grind - but that high "Hot Hardness" is what makes them better cutting tools. Any T-15 I have used in the past I got by cutting up surplus 2" end mills from a scrap bin (too much work, but the Scottsman in me says it is a great deal).

                          Carbide is my tool of choice, and it could be argued as not a good choice. I love the finish I get - those beautiful Stainless Steel threads give me a warm fuzzy feeling all over. It works for me but I still have a hundred pounds of HSS around here somewhere - just in case.



                          • #14
                            I assume that the HSS insert bits and holder are the same as advertised in HSM???

                            I could never figure out what the price was. Seemed like it was about $120 and I assume that included at least a couple inserts, but was not sure.

                            What do they get for the inserts? Website I did not see a price on, but I just skimmed it.


                            • #15

                              You get 6 inserts, five different (AR, BR, E, BL, AL) toolholders, extra screws, and a wrench (Torx?). A ten pack of inserts are $45 or $40 when you purchase the kit.

                              I do not remember the ad, I am going by the brochure they sent me - nice guys.