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  • Surface grinding coolant choices

    I have had a Harig 612 grinder now for about 3 years and with the help of experts on this and other forums, and the utube community I have learned a lot. Up until now I have been grinding dry and had good success and nice finishes using the proper grinding wheels and taking my time and not heating up the part. Now I want to make some tool room stones like the ones Robin Renzetti has made and I need to reconfigure my grinder for flood coolant. I don't see any problems making a flood coolant system but I would like some advice as to what type of coolant is best. I am a retired home hobbyist and I probably don't grind more that 4-5 times a month. I would like to use a water soluble type that is stable for the light use. Most of the ones I've seen are a milky white. I am pretty fussy about keeping my shop and machine clean so I hope this coolant isn't difficult to cleanup?
    Thanks for any advice

    skipd1

  • #2
    Hi,

    The biggest killer of coolants of any kind is lack of use. If you don't use the coolant fairly frequently, it will go bad. Anaerobic bacteria is the culprit. Soluble oils are maybe the worst for sump life if not used a lot. Best is synthetic water based. All sump life can be extended some by aerating the sump when not in use.

    For infrequent home use, avoid using the built in sump if possible. Generally they are often too large for home use, (you really don't need a 15+ gallon tank at home). And they are nearly impossible to properly clean when they do eventually go rancid. Much better is to simply use a cheap plastic 5 gallon bucket with a relatively inexpensive pump to move the coolant. Get a lid, drill a hole for pump and return lines, add a quarter turn valve, and you are good to go. It's cheap, it's easy. and simple to maintain.

    No matter how hard you try, how much money you spend, coolant systems are cumulatively messy. I've used very fancy and expensive mist vacuums on some very nice grinders. But at the end of the day, some of that mist is going to be floating around your shop. And it will get gummy and sticky and it isn't always easy to clean up. Though I've found the best fluid to clean up gunky old coolant is simply more coolant. But you will notice it on all surfaces eventually - inside and outside of everything. So if you really want to use coolant, just get used to that knowledge.
    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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    • #3
      You could re-purpose an ultraviolet light from an old clothes dryer to eradicate the bacteria in the coolant tank.

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      • #4
        Hi,

        It's really hard to access the inside of the sump most of the time. So a light won't fit. And unless the coolant is moving, the UV can do nothing for the dark corners and recesses. I've never seen a machine with a UV light in any sump in any shop.
        If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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        • #5
          Dale:

          Just because you've never seen it doesn't mean it can't be done.

          36 watt UV bulb used in water purification can handle 8 gallon per minute flow rate, that's more than likely several times higher flow rate than a home shop surface grinding coolant system.

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          • #6
            Hi,

            If it's not generally seen done, there is very often good reasons for that.

            That said, if you need to move the fluid past the light, save the money for the light. Just keeping the coolant moving will reduce rancidity about as well as anything. Which is why aeration works and the most common method used. At least until the swarf starts to decay. Then your coolant will die no matter what.
            If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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            • #7
              One of the problems with a UV light is its very ineffective with opaque coolant - it does not penetrate. A work in progress (Mk II is on the drawing board), I built a "coolant server" that recirculates coolant through a residential UV light treatment apparatus. The idea behind the server is there is a lot of infrastructure to properly maintain coolant, so do it once and supply all machines from the server. With the UV, the thinking was with the coolant constantly being passed over the light, it would give it a fighting chance of making some difference. You also need a bubbler (cheap fish tank one works) and and a tramp oil skimmer.

              Moving the coolant or bubbling isn't enough. That discourages anaerobic bacteria, however the most prevalent source of coolant troube starts with aerobic (oxygen loving) bacteria. Not knowing which one will strike, you have go on offensive against both.

              This seems like a good summary:

              http://www.carbideprocessors.com/pag...-unusable.html

              then again.....until the Mk II is done (Mk I scrapped), a plastic 5 gallon pail has sufficed. Drag it to the machine needing flood. I started using Microsol 585XT as someone said it just doesn't seem to go bad, and with a batch for close to year, so far, I have to agree....without all the fancy maintenance contemplated in the Mk II.
              Last edited by Mcgyver; 05-18-2018, 08:15 AM.
              .

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              • #8
                I just use water with a synthetic cutting fluid in the mix. Occasionally after a lay up of not using it a month or two, it smells bad when I first turn the suds on, it clears up after a tiny bit of use. I have a external tank made from a motorhome water tank, so it has a great big fill port and I can get my hand in there and skim the skin off the top easy enough myself and the one way circulation valve sticks but free's with a delicate measured kick.
                If there was some fancy solution with uv bulbs and skimmers etc, I think I'd stick with scooping it once a year and kicking the valve after a few months layoff...

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