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how far does grinder dust travel?

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  • how far does grinder dust travel?

    I have my lathe and mill at one end of my shop. The grinders are about 25 feet away.

    I'm planning on buying another bench grinder just to mount the "good" wheels for sharpening HSS tools. And I'd like to have it closer to the machines so I don't have to gimp across the shop every time I want to sharpen something.

    We're talking about a 6" bench grinder used for touching up HSS cutters. How close can I put the grinders to the machines before I need to worry about airborne abrasive dust? Would a partial enclosure be worth the effort?

  • #2
    You would be surprised. I take exquisite care to protect my machines when using my toolpost grinder and I'm glad I do. After a grinding session I wipe down all horizontal surfaces that were not covered. Imagine my surprised when I found grit on top of my overhead light reflectors!

    I keep all my bench grinders either outdoors or in my welding shop.

    So many projects. So little time.


    • #3
      Put a cloth cover over the machines.


      • #4
        I would cover the mill and lathe with a sheet or blanket. Dust from grinding will be everywhere, even if you put the grinder in a "partial" enclosure. Of coarse you can watch and see how much dust you're getting depending on how much grinding you are doing. I know when I was grinding knife blades that my grinders were in a 8' X 8' room in my garage and dust was everywhere in the garage.



        • #5
          We have 2200 square feet of shop space and there isn't a square inch of it that isn't covered in dust. The only way to keep machine tools "completely" clean is to put them in a separate, sealed room. Even then, they'll get dirty. There's a difference between the super fine "dust" that floats in the air and the stream of heavier grit thrown off a wheel when you're grinding. A bit of the light dust isn't going to kill your machine--the grit will have a much more detrimental effect.

          I throw an old sheet over my machines when they're not in use and I wipe them down regularly. If you do this and don't spray them with grinding sparks you should be fine...
          Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...


          • #6
            Your breathing that crap you know,woodworking dust collectors and PVC swimming pool hose are fairly cheap these days.I like the idea of sucking it up as it's being made and blowing it outside into a filter bag or water trap.
            I just need one more tool,just one!


            • #7
              For "ordinary" machine tools near "ordinary" bench grinders, 10' separation probably adequate. Obviously, you can make devices like angle grinders throw grit a long, long way.


              • #8
                Dust collection is the solution. Put a good dust collector on it that blows in to a water trap or other filter media and make it so that it starts whenever the grinder starts.
                Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.


                • #9
                  Short answer is that you are never going to have a dust-proof shop - whether it be grinding dust/grit or the dust that blows or gets carried in anyway.

                  You may reduce it to varying degrees but never entirely and you will get sick of trying to and your standards drop etc. - and all not as detrimental as you may have thought or been led to believe.

                  Same as rust.


                  • #10
                    Its not the answer that you asked for but I put old shower curtains (plastic) over my machines when grinding and when I'm thru with them.


                    • #11
                      It may not be the answer expected, but I think it is the best most practical solution. I use old duvet covers for larger machines. They have the advantage that they do not promote moisture collecting underneath. They get a bit oily round the edges over time, but I think that enhances their protection if not their appearance.


                      • #12
                        Ventilation goes a long way toward any air born pollution.

                        The dust from my surface grinder is discretely vented outdoors with a small
                        blower thru clothes dryer hose. The outlet pipe is at ground level where the dust is discharged over my lawn. Any higher and the grinding dust will stick on the garage siding and appear as an orange residue.
                        So much to learn, so little time


                        • #13
                          To answer your question. If you don't keep track of it , it will eventually get everywhere. When I had my shop the surface grinder was in it's own little cubical along with the pedestal grinders. Like the others said vetilation and wipe everything down.


                          • #14
                            My .02, put your grinder in a corner, build a booth/ enclosure around it and run enough vacuum that you can feel a slight breeze when you use it. Vent it outside, low to the ground, through a filter system to trap the big particles. A water trap would probably be a good idea. So would a door/cover on the front when not in use. But I tend to over engineer/over think stuff too. other than that, carry a rag and enjoy wiping things off. A lot.

                            I work in a factory full of grinding machines, cnc as well as manual. All with enclosures (most are full, sealed, enclosures), flood coolant (water based & oil), and serious ventilation both on machines and the building as well. Dust and grit end up everywhere. Clean a surface at the start of a shift, come back 8 hrs later and there's a fine layer over the same surface.

                            Last place I worked had even stricter ventilation controls in place due to the materials we machined/ground (major heavy/radioactive metals). My grinders drew 300-700cfm of air through every opening on the machine and still had dust/grit in the shop. Have even drained coolant tanks into the vent system on occasion, not a good thing when running production