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Who here modified the HF tool grinder into better shape?

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  • Who here modified the HF tool grinder into better shape?

    I recall a lengthy post on someone's modifications to a HF tool grinder. There were many mods and updates done, but the search function seems to turn up squat. Can anybody lead me to the post (-er).?
    Thanks, Mike
    Bricolage anyone?....one of lifes fun games.

  • #3
    Step one...

    Discard the two green "carbide" looking wheels which came with the machine or use them for doorstops. Be certain the grinder runs without discerable vibration with no wheels mounted. If not, exchange it for another one. If it passed the vibration test, KBC has a plate backed AO wheel (for HSS) that will fit this machine. Consider hunting EBay for a diamond wheel for the other side, for carbide tools.

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    • #4
      The other option is to just get lucky, mine sits on the bench without a bit of vibration not even bolted down.
      The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

      Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

      Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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      • #5
        Originally posted by reggie_obe
        Discard the two green "carbide" looking wheels which came with the machine or use them for doorstops.
        Why discard the OEM wheels? Mine run smoothly. I just wish it came with a diamond tool to dress the wheels.

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        • #6
          Originally posted by reggie_obe
          Discard the two green "carbide" looking wheels which came with the machine....... KBC has a plate backed AO wheel (for HSS) that will fit this machine.....
          I kept one of the green wheels on and it does a good enough job on my carbide tools but I have the AO wheel on the other side for my (mainly used) HSS tools, it does a great job. Other than that, I did spend a little time tweaking the table top adjustment mounts and duct taped a couple chopsticks to the lamp goose-neck to make it a little stiffer.
          I only use it maybe 45 min a week and, so far, no major complaints.
          "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."~ Thomas Jefferson

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          • #7
            mine doesn't vibrate either and it still has the original crappy green wheels on it. i really need to get one good wheel for HSS and one for carbide. the original wheels really are junk.

            andy b.
            The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining

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            • #8
              OK the general consensus is the wheels are junk, but why? Don't they last are they not true or are they just made from stale chinese food?

              Perhaps they only want us to think because they are green they are "carbide grinding wheels" do they work at all for HSS? or does AO just do the job that much better?
              Bricolage anyone?....one of lifes fun games.

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              • #9
                don't get me wrong, i use the original green wheels to grind HSS and carbide. i have never dressed the wheels (i don't own a dresser) and they may have a few hours on them at most. the wheels still look smooth and square to me (or at least as smooth and square as when i bought the grinder). what i have noticed is that it takes longer now to grind HSS and it takes forever to grind carbide. one other thing i should point out, i have never used any other tool grinder, so maybe it normally takes a long time to grind tool bits. by a long time, i mean i can jam the carbide cutter against the wheel to slow down the grinder and it still takes several minutes to carve much away, such as for removing a small chipped area.

                andy b.
                The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining

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                • #10
                  The problem with the green wheels supplied with the grinder is they are to hard. That is, they don't break down and just glaze over and don't cut freely. It's almost like they are concrete painted green. If you ever use a high grade green wheel you will know what I am talking about. The better wheels cut faster but need dressing more often. I finally got a diamond wheel and it was the best move I ever made for grinding. after years of using green wheels and white wheels in job shops I finally got a diamond wheel for my home shop and it was a great move. I no longer have to dress the wheel.

                  Don't go overboard on modifying the HF tool grinder, only do what is needed to make it work for you.
                  It's only ink and paper

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                  • #11
                    I've had one of these grinders for a few years now on the bench. The green wheels are fine for touching up the edge of the tool but for making one from a HSS blank it takes some time. I picked up a AO wheel from JTS for under 20 bucks that fit without grinding or boring the hole... just had to scrape the paint from the inside. It can shape a blank in no time... as I make up lots to tools for my shaper. I'll be picking up a couple more next time I'm up that way for sure. All in all it's a good tool.
                    Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.

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                    • #12
                      Andy & Carl both have a good description here, you can get by with the existing wheels - if they happen to be ones that wont shake the grinder off the bench, but they are certainly not the best choice.

                      So, if you are gonna replace the wheel/s it really doesnt make sense not to do so with a diamond. With the coming of the Chinese tools - along with a lot of junk - there are some real bargains, and a diamond wheel is one of them. A wheel to fit this grinder from Shars in 100% by 1/8" thick diamond is only $61.00! And, again, I'll join the chorus -- once you use a diamond wheel itll amaze you at the difference!! Its certainly a pleasure to walk over to the grinder with a carbide bit that has gotten a chip on the face and clean it off in 30-45 seconds.

                      And then. for further amazement, get a CBN wheel for the other side for all your HSS stuff!
                      If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by oddball racing
                        OK the general consensus is the wheels are junk, but why? Don't they last are they not true or are they just made from stale chinese food?
                        Mine were some kind of hard, white concrete-like material that was painted green. Besides grinding like sh!t, they were also wildly out of balance.

                        Replacing these with a good AO (for HSS) or SiC (carbide) wheel makes a huge difference.

                        Putting a diamond wheel on them is problematic. Mine doesn't vibrate, but it's got HUGE runout at the wheel shaft. I re-turned the spud and the cast wheel mounting plate, but it's still got considerable runout.

                        For an AO or SiC (green) wheel, you can just dress that out. But you don't have that kind of material to dress-off with a diamond wheel, so Forrest and others have had to shim theirs, which is a PITA.

                        Has anyone figured out how to improve the table tilt mechanism? The whole table falls apart when you loosen the tilt screws. I've never used the Baldor 500 carbide grinder it was copied from, so I don't know how the Real Deal works...
                        Last edited by lazlo; 10-25-2009, 01:49 PM.
                        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                        • #14
                          Part numbers...

                          I've had difficulty determining which AO wheels are compatible with the HF grinder, with seemingly conflicting information and widely varying pricing.

                          I would appreciate the effort of anyone willing to post the actual part-number and source for AO wheels known to be compatible.

                          Thanks.

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by lazlo

                            Has anyone figured out how to improve the table tilt mechanism? The whole table falls apart when you loosen the tilt screws. I've never used the Baldor 500 carbide grinder it was copied from, so I don't know how the Real Deal works...
                            The table tilt on mine is awful - it binds badly. I've considered yarding that part out and milling the tracks to make things smoother. Also considered putting lapping compound in the track and letting my shaper work it back and forth until it moves freely.

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